In the news

The Los Angeles Times
Wesley Samms

Re: "Small surgery, huge markup," Business, Jan. 31

The article hits the nail on the head when it comes to high costs in California's healthcare system. Consumers ultimately pay the price through extravagant out-of-pocket costs and soaring premiums.

As we found in our recent study, "Your Price May Vary," California's priciest hospitals charge 2.7 times more than other regions for the exact same procedures. In the end, this has real impacts on consumers. For example, Anthem Blue Cross plans to raise rates by 26% for 340,000 Californians in February. This isn't sustainable.

It's time insurers and providers got serious about cutting waste and overhead expenditures to rein in runaway healthcare costs. Price transparency and protections against this type of overcharging are good places to start.

Wesley Samms


The writer is a healthcare advocate with the California Public Interest Research Group.


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