Why is America’s health care system so expensive? Why do hospitalized patients receive bills laden with inflated charges that come out of the blue from out-of-network providers or that demand payment for services that weren’t delivered? Why do we pay $600 for EpiPens that contain a dollar’s worth of medicine? Why is more than $1 trillion—one out of every three dollars that passes through the system—lost to fraud, wasted on services that don’t help patients, or otherwise misspent?
Overcharged answers these questions. It shows that our health care system, which replaces consumer choice with government control and third-party payment, is effectively designed to make health care more expensive. Prices will fall, quality will improve, and medicine will become more patient-friendly only when consumers take charge and exert pressure from below. For this to happen, consumers must control the money. As Overcharged explains, when health care providers are subjected to the same competitive forces that apply to other businesses, they will either deliver better services more cheaply or they will be replaced by someone who will do so.