I’ve been asked many times if there was one thing, one moment, that led me to leave my job at a big health insurance corporation. Yes, there was, and it occurred five days before Christmas in 2007. That was when a beautiful 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan passed away,...
We know too well the cost of American health care keeps rising as far as the eye can see. In 1995, health care accounted for 13.4 percent of GDP; in 2018, it consumed 17.7 percent. It is projected to rise even more.  Despite all the talk about how they should...
The tribulations of fighting unfair denials from PBMs and how one patient taped her calls. Listen to her calls within.
In recent days, several tweets shared ominous news about the state of health insurance in the country. One tweeter said she bought an Affordable Care Act policy for a $1,200 monthly premium and a $7,500 deductible. By May, she said, she could no longer afford that premium. Another tweeter said...
Congress has prohibited the government from bargaining for cheaper Medicare medications under Part D.
I recently shared the link to an op-ed on social media explaining why, in the author’s opinion, establishment of a single payer system in the U.S. is almost inevitable.  In response, a fellow Tennessee family physician who is only a few years out of residency commented that he hopes...
The drug industry worked with the Obama administration to sow safety fears about cheaper medications from foreign sources.
Ascension Health Alliance caught some attention last month when the nation’s largest Catholic hospital system formed a partnership with Google to find and use patient data in a more efficient way.  But for those who are watching Ascension’s business practices, this seems more of a practical move to cut...
Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person with a net worth of more than $130 billion.  The story goes that he founded Amazon with a $300,000 loan from his family: quite a return on investment under any criteria!  Just out of curiosity, I...
Seventy-five percent of Democrats support “Medicare for all.” But the American health care industry appears to have pushed Democratic leaders away from backing House candidates who would support universal public health insurance. This backhanded approach occurs as key lobbies for the industry have united in opposition to single-payer with...
A two month coma, a misdiagnosis and a $3 million bill.
Propagandists are trying to force Congress and voters to make fear-based choices about health care.
As health insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital companies fight to prevent more politicians from backing Medicare for All, the industry’s front group has turned to top Democratic consulting firms and pro-business nonprofits for help, according to its 2018 tax return. The array of consultants includes presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pollster. The...
At the recent Democratic debate, Lester Holt asked for a show of hands: Who would end the role of private insurance companies as part of health care reform? Four hands went up – Bernie Sanders, Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. Other candidates argued for incremental expansions...
The pharmaceutical industry has reinforced its clout on Capitol Hill with campaign contributions that heavily support incumbents in both parties. That figure came to a total of $62.7 million during the 2016 election cycle, according to the OpenSecrets database. The largest drug companies lean, in particular, toward the members of...
A cheaper premium or no premium sounds good when you’re well, but what happens when you’re sick?
https://www.facebook.com/Tarbell.org/videos/2305283496367173/ Transcript Here's a startling fact: almost one of every three Americans now has diabetes or prediabetes. Thirty million Americans are already diabetic, and many of them have to use insulin to control their blood sugar levels.
Critics feared the worst on March 14, but under pressure from activists and Tarbell reporting, an Oregon panel has tabled a vote on a cut-off that could raise the risk of suicide nearly 300%.
Five years ago, a bipartisan bill that would have allowed Americans to order U.S.-made prescription medicines from Canada, where drug prices are much lower, went down to a bipartisan defeat despite widespread public support—just as it has every time the idea has been considered by Congress over almost two...
How health insurance cash forms opinions on Medicare for All.