With the recently proposed $894 billion heath care legislation working its way through Congress (to date it has been passed by the House and is working its way through the Senate; for more information, go here to read a recent article detailing the progress of the legislation) and the national debate over universal health care, rising insurance costs, and the possibility of a public insurance option heating up, what is needed is high-quality, incisive, and in-depth reporting on the facts of the situation. Luckily for those interested in teasing out the true nature of the health care related problems facing the nation, journalists from both National Public Radio and the public radio program This American Life have worked jointly to produce several articles and programs examining many aspects of the health care debate, all of which are available for free online.
This American Life (which, as mentioned earlier, is a radio program and therefore is in audio format) has produced the following episodes on the topic of health care:
- More is Less is an examination of why it is that medical costs keep rising. One story looks at the doctors, one at the patients and one at the insurance industry.
- Someone else’s money is a deeper look inside the health insurance industry, including stories examining industry jargon, the origins of the employer health care system, and the inside scoop on drug coupons and how they affect drug prices.
- The third act of the episode Fine Print reports on a House subcommittee hearing addressing the insurance industry’s practice of rescission.
- Additionally the TAL website also features a page of links to other health care articles and information, which can be found here.
If you’d prefer to read your news rather than listen to it (though you can listen to these stories as well), take a look at the health care related content produced by NPR:
- How the Modern Patient Drives Up Health Care Costs is an explanation of rising health care costs focusing on the role of patients, in a similar vein to Act 2 of the TAL episode More is Less.
- How Drug Ads Changed Health Care discusses the shift in pharmaceutical marketing over the past 25 years from attempts to influence doctors to advertising campaigns targeting patients, and the consequences of that shift.
And finally, for those still eager for more coverage on this subject, check out a couple of titles available from the DCPL catalog:
- Health Care Half-Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality
- Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths And Fixing Our Failing System