The Health-Care Article That Might Give You A Heart Attack


If you haven’t yet read the Time exposé of the American health-care industry, you’re missing out.

It’s easy to see that something’s wrong with the way we do health care in the United States, but hard to understand just how deep the dysfunction goes. It goes alllll the way down:

His bill — which included not only the aggressively marked-up charge of $13,702 for the Rituxan cancer drug but also the usual array of chargemaster fees for basics like generic Tylenol, blood tests and simple supplies — had one item not found on any other bill I examined: MD Anderson’s charge of $7 each for “ALCOHOL PREP PAD.” This is a little square of cotton used to apply alcohol to an injection. A box of 200 can be bought online for $1.91.

The article is long and heavy on numbers, but so shocking that you won’t be bored for a second.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →