Exclusive - Steven Brill Extended Interview Pt. 1

  • Aired:  01/16/14
  •  | Views: 70,784

In this exclusive, unedited interview, Steven Brill examines the monopolistic pricing structure of American health care. (6:24)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A COLUMNISTFOR TIME MAGAZINE PLEASE WELCOME

BACK TO THE PROGRAM STEVENBRILL.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]SIR --

>> NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> Jon: HAVE A SEAT.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]SO IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: SO LAST TIME WE WERE>>TALKING TO YOU YOU HAD JUST

WRITTENTHIS INCREDIBLE ARTICLE FOR

MAGAZINE 20 PAGES CALLEDBITTER PILL ON THE REAL

FINANCIAL CRISIS IN OUR MEDICALSYSTEM, THE PRICING, THE

HOSPITAL -->> THE HIGH PRICES.

>> Jon: HIGH PRICES, EXACTLY.

HAS THAT -- HAVE THEY TRIED TO ADDRESS THAT

IN ANY REAL STEPS?

THERE'S SOME PROVISIONS INOBAMACARE THAT TAKE A STEP

TOWARD DOING A LITTLE BIT BUTBASICALLY NO.

WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING SINCE I'VEBEEN

PREPARING FOR A BOOK ABOUTTHE WHOLE ROLL OUT OF OBAMACARE

AND WHAT IT MEANS. AND NOWI'VE STARTED A SERIES OF

COLUMNS IN TIME ABOUT IT.

WHAT I'M FINDING IS KIND OFOBVIOUS WHICH IS WHAT OBAMACARE

DID WAS IT CREATED A WAY FORLOTS MORE PEOPLE TO GET

INSURANCE PROTECTION, WHICH IS AVERY GOOD THING.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> BUT IT DIDN'T CHANGE THEPRICING STRUCTURE SO THE FIRST

PATIENT THAT I WROTE ABOUT WHO IWENT BACK TO WHO NOW HAS

OBAMACARE PROTECTION, THIS WASTHE MAN WHO HAD TO PAY UP FRONT

IN CASH $13,700 FOR ATRANSFUSION OF A CANCER DRUG.

HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY CHOICE.

>> Jon: $13,000 UP FRONT -->> $13,700 BUT WHO IS COUNTING.

>> Jon: UP FRONT TO GET ACANCER DRUG.

>> PART OF AN $83,000 UP FRONTBILL FOR HIS INITIAL TREATMENT.

THAT DRUG COST THE DRUG COMPANY$300.

THE CEO OF THE DRUG COMPANYMAKES OVER $11 MILLION.

NONE OF THAT HAS CHANGED.

THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT HE NOWHAS INSURANCE COVERAGE.

THERE'S A PREMIUM SUPPORTSYSTEM.

HE'S NOT VERY WELL TO DO.

THE FAMILY MAKES LESS THAN$40,000 A YEAR WHICH MEANS WE

PAY HIS INSURANCE PREMIUM, WEBEING THE TAXPAYERS AND GUESS

WHAT THE PRICE OF THE DRUG STILLIS $13,700.

>> Jon: THAT HAS NOT CHANGED.

>> THAT HASN'T CHANGED.

THE COST HAS SHIFTED TO THETAXPAYERS WHICH I THINK IT'S A

GOOD THING BUT IT'S ANOUTRAGEOUS THING THAT WE HAVEN'T

DONE ANYTHING TO CONTROL THECOSTS AND PROFITS.

>> Jon: THE IDEA IS WHAT THISNEW SYSTEM DOES IS BRINGS MORE

PEOPLE INTO THIS DETERIORATINGBUILDING.

>> THE GOVERNMENT CREATES AWHOLE BUNCH OF NEW CUSTOMERS TO

GET GOUGED IN THE HEALTH CARESYSTEM.

>> Jon: HOW COME BECAUSE ONEOF THE CONVERSATIONS

ABOUT THIS IT WOULD HELPUS WITH PRICE CONTROLS?

>> THERE'S NOTHING IN IT.

THE WAY THEY DEAL WITH PRICECONTROLS,

FOR EXAMPLE, IS TOHAVE REAL ANTITRUST PROTECTION

WHEN HOSPITALS GOBBLE UP OTHERHOSPITALS.

IT'S TO DO WHAT EVERY OTHERCIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

DOES WHICH IS TO CONTROL THEPRICE OF DRUGS.

YOU LIKE TO COMPARE THE HEALTHCARE MARKET.

EVERYONE SAYS IT'S AMARKETPLACE.

THAT GUY HAS NO CHOICE ABOUTBUYING THAT DRUG.

HIS DOCTOR TOLD HIM THIS WILLSAVE YOUR LIFE.

YOU DON'T TAKE IT YOU WILL DIE.

>> Jon: THAT IS THE CONSERVATIVEPUSHBACK ON YOUR ARGUMENT

WHICH IS THAT THE ANSWER HERE ISNOT CONTROLLING IT IT'S ALLOWING

COMPETITION.

ONE OF COLUMNISTS MAYBE IT WASGEORGE WILL SAID IT'S GETTING

MORE PEOPLE WITH SKIN IN THEGAME, LETTING THEM KNOW HOW MUCH

THEY ARE PAYING FOR THAT CANCERHDRUG SO

THEY CAN BE SMART CONSUMERS ANDGO OH I CAN GET THAT CANCER DRUG

FOR LESS AT JIFFY CANCER.

>>THAT'S EXACTLY IT.

>> Jon: THAT'S THE ARGUMENTTHEY ARE MAKING.

>> IT HAS A PATENT.

IT'S A MONOPOLY THE GOVERNMENTHAS GIVEN THE DRUG COMPANY.

THERE'S NO OTHER DRUG.

SECOND AS I EXPLAINED TO GEORGEWILL ON ANOTHER TELEVISION

PROGRAM WAY BACK WHEN WE TRIEDPTHE EXPERIMENT OF SKIN IN THE

GAME. REMEMBER IN THE FIRSTARTICLE, THAT GUY HAD

TO PAY THE ENTIRE $83,000 BYTAPPING OUT HIS CREDIT CARDS,

TAPHIS MOTHER-IN-LAW'S CREDITCARDS.

HE HAD $83,000 WORTH OF SKIN INTHE GAME AND WHAT GOOD DID IT DO

HIM?

HIIT'S NOT LIKE HE WOKE UP ONEMORNING AND SAID I WANT TO

SHOP FOR A CANCER DRUG.

IF I LIKE IT I'LL BUY IT BUT IFI DON'T I'LL BUY SHOES INSTEAD.

>> Jon: AT WHAT POINT BECAUSETHERE'S THIS IDEA THAT THE

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SHOULDFUNCTION AS ONE OF OUR REGULAR

UNFETTERED FREE MARKET SYSTEMSBUT IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THAT.

IN CONNECTICUT THERE'SMONOPOLIES ON HOSPITALS.

YOU DON'T DECIDE WHERE THEAMBULANCE TAKES YOU.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

THERE'S NO SEMBLANCE OF A FREEMARKET.

WHAT DOES A FREE MARKET USUALLYHAVE?

THERE'S A BALANCE BETWEEN THEBUYER AND THE SELLER.

THERE'S NO BALANCE YOU HAVE TOBUY THAT PRODUCT.

YOU CAN'T GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TOBUY IT IF YOU ARE GOING TO THE

EMERGENCY ROOM OR EVEN IF YOU'REGOING ANYWHERE IN NEW HAVEN,

BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY HOSPITALAND THEY OWN ALL THE DOCTORS

PRACTICES.

THERE'S ALSO IN A FREE MARKET,KNOWLEDGE.

YOU DON'T HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGEWHAT TO BUY.

YOUR DOCTOR IS TELLING YOU TOBUY IT.

YOUR DOCTOR IS TELLING YOU TOGET THIS CAT SCAN AND THIS MRI

PROBABLY AT A HOSPITAL THATEMPLOYS THAT DOCTOR SO HE HAS AN

INCENTIVE TO DO THIS.

THERE'S NO FREE MARKET.

YOU KNOW WHAT?

WE'RE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THEWORLD THAT INSISTS ON THE NOTION

THAT THERE CAN BE A FREE MARKET.

EVERYBODY ELSE HAS TRIEDSOMETHING ELSE AND IT WORKS

BETTER.

THEY GET BETTER HEALTH CARERESULTS AT A MUCH LOWER COST.

THIS ISN'T TERRIBLY CONFUSING.

>> Jon: I GUESS WHAT IT BOILSDOWN TO, THE REAL ISSUE IS WHY

DO YOU HATE AMERICA?

>>THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

HOW DID YOU KNOW?

>> Jon: STICK AROUND.

>> JYOU TALK ABOUT TAXPAYERSSUBSIDIZING THE INSURANCE

PREMIUMS BUT ISN'T THAT WHAT WEWERE DOING BEFORE WITH THE

UNINSURED IN THE EMERGENCYROOMS.

BITTER PILL APPEARS IN THE NEWISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE.

IT'S A MONTHLY COLUMN. STEVENBRILL.

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