Atrios again - Health care edition:
A recurrent question is why US health care prices are so much higher (pdf) than the rest of the OECD, even though the US system ranks in the bottom third of most measurements of effectiveness. Part of the answer is the skimmers, the third party gatekeepers who take money out, but don't put health care services in. Another part of the answer is that Medicare prices are set by a committee of providers, in secret triannual meetings which are used to set provider reimbursement rates for the industry as a whole.
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