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OVERVIEW

Putting the health care industry on the defensive by moving reforms that increase transparency, oversight, and accountability highlights health care costs and the industry's self-interested opposition to change.  The US health care system underwrites some of the most profitable industries in the world; either through complicit arrangements between the industry and government, as in the new Medicare drug benefit and Florida's recently enacted limited-benefit health plan, or through government inaction, as in poor public oversight of health insurance rates. Too large a sum of our taxes and health care spending ends up in industry profits and inefficient administration, rather than actual medical care.

In response, states can (1) reduce prescription drug costs through bulk-purchasing and countering the industry's abusive marketing influence; (2) bring accountability and oversight to health insurance rates; and (3) ensure non-profit hospitals, which provide 68% of all hospitals beds in the US, provide a real "community benefit" for their tax-exempt status.

A widely held belief is that the health care industry, specifically pharmaceutical companies, puts profits ahead of people.  This anger can be channeled to bring transparency and accountability to the health care industry.