Hospitals Not Part of the Health Care Costs Blame Game (Yet)

Politicians are reluctant to go after institutions that many constituents consider mainstays of their communities.

Hospitals have done more to cause soaring health insurance costs than either the pharmaceutical or health insurance industries. Yet, they’re given a pass when it comes to getting tough questions from elected officials about those costs, Elisabeth Rosenthal opines in the New York Times.

“Data shows that hospitals are by far the biggest cost in our $3.5 trillion health care system, where spending is growing faster than gross domestic product, inflation and wage growth,” Rosenthal writes.

But every lawmaker at every level of government must deal with a hospital system in their area. “As hospitals and hospital systems have consolidated, they have become the biggest employers in numerous cities and states,” Rosenthal writes. “They have replaced manufacturing as the hometown industry in a number of rust-belt cities, including Cleveland and Pittsburgh.”

It’s time for politicians of every stripe to step up and address this situation, she concludes.