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The Price We Pay: Congressional solutions to America's health care woes


In previous installments of WFAE’s health care series, “The Price We Pay,” we examined issues in American health care, from the high cost of medication to the impact one’s ZIP code can have on life expectancy.

Today, we begin to look at solutions. Specifically, the role Congress plays in solving these problems.

In 2010, one major attempt was the signing into law of the Affordable Care Act. More than 30 million people — a record high — were insured under it as of this June, but the law has been challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court three times in recent years and problems, such as high deductibles for some, remain.

President Joe Biden has major health care plans built into a proposed spending bill, but the final details are yet to be determined as Congress struggles to pass it.

We look at the powers and limitations of Congress to solve America’s health care woes.


Dana Miller Ervin, the Holly and Paul Freestone Health Care Reporting fellow examining the U.S. health care system at WFAE

Jonathan Oberlander, professor of social medicine and health policy & management at UNC Chapel Hill

Austin Frakt, professor of health law, policy & management at Boston University and health economist and director of the Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center at the Boston VA Healthcare System

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.