The Bottom Line is Stated Right Here: Medical Costs — The Bills
Introduction to the article here that journalist, author/and health care researcher Steven Brill states in part this way:
Further, from Brill's study is seen here and it reveals "... the plight of patients in this system: "They are powerless buyers in a seller's market where the only sure thing is the profit of the sellers."
Brill astutely cites specific examples of out-of-whack prices charged to real patients that illustrate his observations.
• $1.50 for 325 mg of acetaminophen (generic Tylenol). For one penny less, you can buy 100 of those pills on Amazon.com, Brill found
• $283 for a chest X-ray compared to the $20.44 Medicare pays
• $199.50 for a blood test on which Medicare would spend just $13.94
• $7 for an alcohol prep pap when a 200-count box retails for $1.91
There are many, many more examples in the article drawn for the medical bills of seven individual patients Brill studied and, in some instances, interviewed.
Steven Brill appeared on the Charlie Rose Show (PBS, February 21, 2013) -- can be accessed here from Rose's page.
I agree with Brill's solution as many others have a long time: We need "Medicare for All" (my term) -- a one payer, one billing agency, priced decently, and it works great.