KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Law, Costs Confusing For Consumers

Several news stories cover why and how health costs are determined, as a doctor group seeks to demystify the health law.

Kaiser Health News: Fixing Health Care Isn't About Party, 'It's About Building A Sustainable System' - The KHN Interview
[A]bout 15,000 physicians and medical students from around the country, working through the grassroots advocacy group Doctors for America, [haven taken] on the challenge of explaining the [health law] to patients and providers. ... Dr. Vivek Murthy, an attending physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the co-founder of Doctors for America: ... "Our thesis going in was that people didn't care if it was a Republican or a Democrat pushing for health care; ultimately what they cared about was how it could make their lives better. People would tell us they were worried about how expensive insurance had become [or] that coverage wouldn't be there for them when they got sick" (Kulkarni, 10/24). 

CBS (Video): LaPook: Extra Doc Fees Result Of System "Where Meter Is Running"
Susan Krantz says her doctor charged her an extra $50 for asking questions during her annual physical. But it's not just Krantz that's noticing these fees. It's becoming a problem for patients all over the country. CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said on "CBS This Morning" ... [insurers] will pay for a once-a-year preventative visit that covers what's happened in the last year and pre-existing conditions. However, if something new comes up that takes time to discuss, the doctor will charge again. "The patient should be warned (they'll be charged) beforehand," LaPook said (10/24).

Kaiser Health News: Seven Factors Driving Up Your Health Care Costs
There is no one villain in the battle against rising health care costs. Currently, the United States spends more on health care services than any other country, exceeding $2.6 trillion, or about 18 percent of gross domestic product. Most years, medical spending rises faster than inflation and the economy as a whole. Many factors -- and nearly everyone -- contributes to those increases (Appleby, 10/24).

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