Laura Ingraham hosted Steven Brill on "Why Our Medical Bills Are Killing Us".
Brill said the only efficient health care system is Medicare which is more run by the private sector rather than the government, albeit fraud which with such a big enterprise gets headlines. He credits the Bush administration with cleaning up fraud in Medicare.
Brill finds items cost so much in our medical systems because there is no competition. He said privatizing health care is impossible because there are no choices in an emergency and that it is a market unto itself. He agreed with Ingraham that no one knows what health care costs and that all we focus on when sick is our illness.
Brill described the "Charge Master" as a giant cost list used by hospitals which is willy nilly depending on which hospital's list is looked at. He said that as we regulate health care, that these charge lists should be readily available and transparent. Ingraham and Brill agreed if it's a simple procedure, there is a choice. Brill said over half medical practices are owned by hospitals and that there is no choice in where one goes for a procedure. He described it as negotiations between insurers and hospitals with hospitals having the upper hand. Brill said non-profit hospitals are the most consistently profitable and excellent businesses, ironically which is similar to colleges and universities with management highly compensated.
Brill said medical billing is a cottage industry with women working from their homes and patients can get them to advocate for them.