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WFAE’s New Series, 'The Price We Pay,' Looks At Why Spending More Doesn’t Make Us Healthier

Charlotte, N.C. (August 12, 2021) – In the United States, Americans spend more on health care, but have less healthy outcomes. We spend twice as much per year, but our mortality rates are higher compared to other wealthy countries, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

WFAE’s new series, “The Price We Pay: Exploring Health Care Costs in the United States,” looks at why Americans are sicker, why we pay more and what we can do about it.

The 11-part series is produced by Dana Miller Ervin, the Holly and Paul Freestone Health Care Reporting fellow at WFAE. “The Price We Pay” is the culmination of a yearlong examination of the health care system in the United States.

The Price We Pay

Individual stories will explore one of four themes:

  • Americans are sicker, why? – A comparison between Americans and citizens in other wealthy countries; social determinants of health; and the effects of drugs, alcohol, suicide and obesity.
  • Why does American health care cost so much? – A look at how hospital consolidation, pharmaceuticals and wasteful administrative costs affect the bottom line.
  • Solutions and politics – What would happen if all states took advantage of the Affordable Care Act? What are private employers doing to cut costs? What’s possible in the current political environment?
  • Future of medicine – How could a smartphone be used as a medical device? Will advances in personalized medicine and gene mapping help raise or lower costs?

This weekly series starts Tuesday, August 17. Listen during “Morning Edition” (M-F 5-9 a.m.) and “All Things Considered” (M-F 4-6:30 p.m.) on WFAE.

WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” will also air shows related to the series. “Charlotte Talks” airs weekdays at 9 a.m. with rebroadcasts at 7 p.m. and on Saturdays at 7 a.m.

Dana Miller Ervin

Ervin is an award-winning journalist who has worked at “60 Minutes,” CNBC, “CBS This Morning” and “Nightline.” She has three Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and an Alfred I. DuPont Award.

The Holly and Paul Freestone Health Care Reporting fellowship was established in August 2020. It was funded by a donation by Holly and Paul Freestone. Paul joined WFAE’s Board of Directors for a three-year term in January 2020.

Read other stories by Ervin and learn more about “The Price We Pay.”

About WFAE WFAE is a multimedia news organization, licensed to the University Radio Foundation Inc. WFAE offers an award-winning mix of local, national and international news, and entertainment programs from NPR® and other content partners. With 90.7 in Charlotte, 90.3 in Hickory, 106.1 in Laurinburg and 93.7 in Southern Pines, WFAE serves more than 320,000 monthly listeners and 200,000 monthly readers in the greater Charlotte region. Listen online at WFAE.org.

Contact: Renee Rallos
Email: rrallos@wfae.org
Phone: 704-926-9314