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The Price We Pay: Why are American health outcomes so poor when we pay so much?

hospital beds

Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

Editor's note: This show originally aired Aug. 17, 2021.

Americans spend more on health care than any other country. All this week, we're revisiting our series The Price We Pay for health care taking a deep dive each day into different aspects of this complicated issue and at its effect on us all.

We'll examine the medical and business systems in place that produce winners and losers and will explore everything from rising costs, drug prices, policy and politics to how where you live can impact your health care.

Today, we start with a core question: Given the extraordinary costs of health care, why are American health outcomes so poor?


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

Reginald Williams, vice president of international health policy and practice innovations at The Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that promotes better health care access and quality, particularly for the disadvantaged.

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

Christopher Kerns, vice president of executive insights at The Advisory Board, a health research group

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.