Run, do not walk, to the local newsstand and pick up a copy of this week's Time Magazine for the lengthy investigative reporting done by Steven Brill on the price-gouging and profiteering of the American medical system.
From doctors to hospitals to insurance companies (which actually almost come off as heroes in this tale), Brill follows the money, and does it in-depth and in such a thorough manner that you feel what the various victims of the scamming feel as you read it: anger, terror, overwhelming intimidation.
Hardly a granola crunching hippie, is my point.
In this treatise, he makes a very cogent argument that not only are hospitals -- even non-profits, which opened my eyes -- overbilling, they are basically running RICO scams against consumers, fueled mostly by greed and cynicism.
We all know stories of the aspirin that costs $5 a piece, and we're told its because there's overhead and salaries and equipment to cover. Brill demolishes that shady defense, and points out that most of the money lines the pocket of shareholders and executives of hospitals, doctors' groups and insurers.
As I said higher up, insurers almost look like they're getting scammed, except Medicare. Brill lays out a very strong case for single-payer healthcare, pointing out that Medicare/Medicaid actually get the most cost-effective "bang for the buck" of any insurer out there...and they are still mandated to cover a comfortable profit margin for healthcare providers.
This article may be the arrow that finally pierces the armor of Big Med. Go read it. You'll be mad as hell, and yet come away with a sense of hope for the future.