Experts debate all-payer setups vs. Medicare for all

By Brett Norman
Politico, March 14, 2013

Health care prices are too damn high.

That’s the punch line to the provocative Time magazine piece “Bitter Pill” by Steven Brill, who laid out his diagnosis of the problem Wednesday at a Center for American Progress panel.

He cited sky-high hospital executive salaries and operating margins, monopolistic and opaque pricing by providers and a fearsome lobbying force — many times larger than those of the oil and gas or defense industries — that has beaten policymakers into submission.

“The lap-doggery to the health care industry is bipartisan,” he said. The article has sent hospitals and other stakeholders to the wall in defense of the system, and it’s fueling debates in policy circles.

But while many policy experts agree with much of Brill’s diagnosis of factors that are driving up costs, there’s far less consensus on what to do about it.