Concerning the ridiculous cost of American health care: This morning, the New York Times has published a striking letter.
First, a bit of background, including an observation about the puppies who haven’t barked.
On Sunday, June 2, the New York Times began a series of front-page reports which ought to be important. In these reports, Elisabeth Rosenthal is going to explore the ridiculous cost of health care in this country.
For our original post, click here.
For many years, the mainstream press corps has worked like dogs to avoid exploring this topic. Given the massive amount of looting which is involved in American health care, you’d think progressives would be very interested in this developing series.
People, guess again! Last Monday, Rosenthal ran the second report in this series. But on the One True Liberal Channel, have you heard a single word, pro or con, about these first two reports?
We just ran Rosenthal’s name through Nexis. Not a single reference! Through other searches, we find no sign that these first two reports have been mentioned on MSNBC at all.
Why aren’t the puppies barking? We’ll turn to that question next week. For today, we were struck by a letter in this morning’s Times about the ridiculous cost of American childbirth, the subject of Rosenthal’s second report.
This letter comes from a retired primary care doctor in Berkeley. Can you see why we found her letter so striking?
This is the way it starts:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (7/8/13): I was utterly shocked by the information in “American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World,” even though I regularly follow news about health care. The lack of price transparency was not as surprising as the figure of $37,341, the average 2010 billed charges for having a normal pregnancy and delivery.The writer is a retired physician. She says she regularly follows news about health care.
It is so important that we Americans learn more about health care costs and try to understand what is behind them, because their growth is outstripping the growth in our gross domestic product...
Despite these qualifications, the writer says she was “utterly shocked” by Rosenthal’s second report. Despite her profession, despite her interest, she apparently had no idea how crazy the costs of childbirth are in this country, as compared to the costs of childbirth in other developed nations.
For what it’s worth, this letter vastly understates the lunacy of the situation. Let’s assume that the growth in health care costs “is outstripping the growth in our gross domestic product.” The problem is, we start from a baseline in which U.S. consumers are paying two to three times as much as everyone else in the world to begin with! Rosenthal is building her series around those crazy disparities.
At any rate, this retired physician was “utterly shocked” by what she read last week. She had no idea how crazy the situation is.
If she had no idea about this, what are the chances that non-physicians understand this topic?
Answer: Average people don’t know squat, squadoosh or squadoodle about this absurd situation. Most people have no idea about the extent to which they're getting looted through health care costs. The silence of our corporate liberal puppies plays an obvious role in this widespread public ignorance.
We had planned to start with this topic this week. We decided to jump to the Zimmerman trial as our primary focus. We’ll plan to return to this topic next week.
In the meantime, why do you think the puppies aren’t barking on the One True Channel? What has kept these fiery players from urging Rosenthal on—from insisting that she push even harder toward the heart of this matter?
Fourteen years ago, we asked these questions about the mainstream pundits who refused to discuss the Gore-Bradley health care debate. This morning, we expand our search.
Why won't the puppies bark?
What do progressives care about: At Slate, Friedman and Lithwick offered two pieces last week about the current state of the liberal/progressive agenda.
Who decides which topics get discussed within the career liberal world? We wouldn’t have written those pieces ourselves, but we think they’re well worth reading.
We plan to discuss them next week. For the first presentation, click this.
For the second column, click here.