Watch Steven Brill Talk About His Latest Obamacare Column on the Daily Show

TIME columnist talks about his latest piece with Jon Stewart

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Steven Brill, who last year authored Bitter Pill, TIME’s in-depth look at the health care industry’s bewildering billing system, appeared on The Daily Show on Thursday to discuss his latest TIME column, in which he lexamines some of the early effects of Obamacare.

In his original story, Brill wrote about a cancer patient who had to pay $83,900, in advance for his treatment plan and $13,702 transfusion of cancer drugs. Now under Obamacare, Brill said, nothing has been done to change the cost structure; the bill has merely shifted to the taxpayers. “We pay his insurance premium, we being the taxpayers,” Brill said. “And guess what the price of that drug is: $13,700.”

Brill said it’s outrageous that nothing has been done to control health care costs. “The government creates a whole bunch of new customers to get gouged in the health care system.”

10 comments
rappstr
rappstr

With this kind of gaps in our reporting how can our republic survive?     And Brill is one of our best reporters!      The $9,000 subsidy for the family earning $60,000 after deductions and the $3,000 subsidy for the family making $90,000 after deductions has to be paid in the form of taxes by those self same families.     This is NOT a free ride.    Even if the government doesn't increase taxes immediately the government will have to borrow that amount or print the money which amounts to a tax because of the inflation it causes.     Listen to economist Milton Friedman's "There is no free lunch" or "Myths about our government" on Youtube.com.     The author makes it sound like the government spins it where this is subsidy is a freebie.    It is NOT free and these self same taxpayers and/or their children will pay for every penny of that subsidy.     Honestly this kind of travesty is treason and the reporters that can't figure this stuff out should not be given the privilege to write tripe like this.



JimFitzsr
JimFitzsr

one answer is to ave rates for procedures at doctors offices and hospitals posted on line so i can see which has the best rates!


some of this info is available now on "gov medicare" but is not easy to interpret.

jmac
jmac

Steven Brill thinks we should follow the examples of other countries that have health care - none of whom rely on a market-based private health care with no government intervention on prices.


Brill needs to run for president and get us a Democratic health care plan.  If other countries can do it - we can do it.  

sophicsage
sophicsage


I just found out that the county government I work for is seriously talking about dropping our county health coverage. I am very upset about it. I depend on that health coverage for my family and have been paying a family rate. Because of increased costs associated with complying with Obamacare, the cost to the county has risen and they are looking for ways to plug the new budget holes Obama created. When I say I am upset, I am seriously understating my true feelings.

If I lose my health coverage, I will not be able to afford the costs of Obamacare, combined with the gigantic deductibles associated with it...which are thousands of dollars. There will be no way I could afford that. I also could not afford to pay my own personal "fines" and oppression by the IRS, since I cannot afford it. I might as well quit my job (or find a way to get fired, so I can get unemployment) and get my wife and baby on WIC and Medicaid, because at my income in the center of the middle class, I am apparently considered rich by the government and therefore not eligible for assistance. Maybe the answer is to be POOR. So if this happens, I guess POOR it will be. Goodbye, middle class. Nice knowing you.

BorisIII
BorisIII

I can pay $750 month for my generic pill or $22 a month through Canada on the internet.  Through the insurance it would be cheaper to get my meds at a pharmacy in the US.  But it would cost my insurance 750 a month. STUPID

JohnNFlorida
JohnNFlorida

Congress is the only group who can actually control the increasing costs of Health Care. 

Congress has abdicated that role and nobody is around to take their place. It's simply too lucrative FOR Congress and they're not about to strangle their own cash cow.

Since Congress has now made their own Insider Trading LEGAL again, POSSIBLY they might do something to rein in costs - but I doubt it. The same greed that powered the repeal of that Insider Trading Prohibition will deflect and defend any reluctance to actually do something.

We've elected a Class of 'Gordon Geckos' to the House and Senate and "Greed is GOOD!"

LeahPetersen
LeahPetersen

Two words: Single Payer. There's a reason this happens here and nowhere else.

PCMartin
PCMartin

Single-payer (and all-payer) supporters with a background in economics have been saying what Steven Brill says in his Daily Show interview for a very long time, but very few mainstream media voices even mentioned them up till now. (If memory serves, Bill Moyers, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Rick Ungar of Forbes, and at least one reporter at the LA Times were exceptions during the Obama reform process, and Walter Cronkite of CBS did a great special, Borderline Medicine, during the Clinton reform process.) It's a shame Brill and Time didn't do this work in 2008, 2009, and early 2010 when it was legislatively timely. For that matter, it's a shame it wasn't done in 1984, when Canada passed the Canada Health Act, and again in 1992 and 1993, when the Clintons tackled healthcare reform. 

Economists have known that healthcare is a very imperfectly competitive market at least since 1963, when Kenneth Arrow published the seminal article in the field, "Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care," and we have decades of real-word comparative international data to support that contention. Compared to other first-world countries, Americans are being gouged for around an extra $880 billion a year for medical care right now (and getting inferior results). If the CBO's predictions are correct, that will rise to over $1 trillion a year when Obamacare is fully implemented. One would think that Congress and American businesses outside the for-profit health sector might be interested in seeing that bonanza freed up and made available for other uses. For now, though, it seems the for-profit health sector are the high bidders in Congress.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

Spot on!  We have created new additional demand for health care without creating new supply. Econ 101. Prices will rise.



rossmami
rossmami

@JohnDavidDeatherage  Most people are unaware of the portions of the bill that will have an impact on costs. ACA is not just about extending coverage to the uninsured.