Why does health care cost so much? A reading guide

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We did something a little different for this issue: We wanted to share some of the stories that explain the machinations of the U.S. health care system — stories that really influenced how we think about and report on this industry. Drop us a line to let us know which stories have resonated with you over the years: [email protected] and [email protected].

‘It’s The Prices, Stupid’

Everyone’s first major encounter with the health care system usually results in surprise and confusion. Whether it’s childbirth, caring for a family member, or dealing with one’s own injury or illness, a bill inevitably comes in the mail leaving most people asking, “Why does everything cost so much?” The answer invariably comes back to a popular 2003 journal article from a quartet of health economists titled, “It’s The Prices, Stupid.”

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