Brill’s March 4, 2013 cover story in TIME Magazine – “Bitter Pill: Why Medical
Bills Are Killing Us” – weighs in at more than 24,000 words, making it the
longest single-author feature ever published by the prestigious magazine.
While most of the health care reform debate focused on access to care, Brill said he thought the question should have been just the reverse – why is care so incredibly expensive in the first place? As he put it: “Why will it cost $1 million if you are diagnosed with cancer? How come? Who’s getting the money?”
Among his findings:
- “The bills are indecipherable. They are in double code. No consumer can understand those bills.”
- “Obamacare does nothing to attack the core problem, which is pricing.”
- “Health care is not a marketplace … There’s nothing free about that market…. There’s no player in the current health care market, no buyer, who has any leverage over the seller -- except for Medicare, because it is so big.”
And, he says, forget the formidable military-industrial complex. The health care industry eclipses it in power, spending four times as much to lobby Congress.
Brill concludes: “This health care economy’s going to eat us