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Editorials

February 27, 2013

Health care system is killing us

(Continued)

The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the pharmaceutical and health-care-product industries, along with organizations representing doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, health services and HMOs, have spent $5.36 billion since 1998 on lobbying in Washington.

Put into perspective, during that time frame, the defense and aerospace industries spent $1.53 billion, and the oil and gas industry $1.3 billion.

Part of the cost, to be sure, is related to hospitals trying not to get sued.

“We use the CT scan because it’s a great defense,” said one hospital CEO. “For example, if anyone has fallen or done anything around their head — hell, if they even say the word ‘head’ — we do it to be safe. We can’t be sued for doing too much.”

Or, apparently, for charging too much … way too much.

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