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The Price We Pay

The Price We Pay series banner

The Price We Pay

Americans spend more on medical care than those in other wealthy countries, but we’re a lot sicker. "The Price We Pay" will explore the reasons for that and possible solutions to our health care crisis.

Listen to "The Price We Pay" Tuesdays on WFAE's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Also, we'll go deeper on some of the issues in this series on Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins.


Lars Lund
Courtesy Lars Lund
The U.S. spends twice as much on medical care per person than other wealthy countries. That has led to a health care system that’s rich in resources, but with health outcomes that are remarkably poor.


Grier Heights building "No Weapons Allowed"
Dana Miller Ervin
Research and data shows social determinants of health are leaving Americans sicker while spending more on health care. In Part 2 of The Price We Pay, we examine how social drivers of health aren't necessarily something we think of when considering health care — but we should.


Taylorsville, NC
Courtesy Gary Herman
Working-age Americans are dying prematurely. You can learn a lot about why by looking at what’s happened in Taylorsville, a small community 60 miles northwest of Charlotte. In Part 3 of "The Price We Pay," WFAE's Dana Miller Ervin looks at how job loss, education and health are linked.


hospital IV drip bag
Courtesy Joan Malloch
In 2021, Americans will spend more than $ 4 trillion on health care, and the federal government expects that number to rise even more in the coming years. Costs are growing faster than the economy, and employers and people with commercial insurance coverage are covering a big portion of those bills. In Part 4 of WFAE's series The Price We Pay, reporter Dana Miller Ervin explores why, starting with rising hospital costs.


hospital administrative
Dana Miller Ervin
It's estimated Americans spend $1 trillion a year on health care administration — more than we spend on Medicare. A study shows a quarter to half is wasted on things only necessary due to the complexity of our health care system.


pill bottle
Olga Delawrence
Patients in the United States pay 2 1/2 times more for the same medications than those in other countries. The system leaves some cashing in their life savings to afford medicines like Revlimid.