Health care costs

America's caregiver crisis

America's caregivers are increasingly putting their own needs last in order to sustain their charges through an increasingly complicated health care system, according to a new AP-NORC poll.

Data: AP-NORC poll conducted March 13–April 5, 2018 amongst 1,024 U.S. adults who have or are currently providing long-term care. Margin of error is ±4.1 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The big picture: "Four in 10 Americans have provided long-term care to an older relative or friend... for nearly a quarter of them... the amount of time spent on caregiving duties is equivalent to a full-time job."

The average sticker price for U.S. childbirth: $32,093

The U.S. is the most expensive country in the world to give birth. But most hospitals won’t tell patients how much delivery and care costs until after the baby is born.

Why it matters: The average sticker price for childbirth in the U.S. is $32,093, and even insurance doesn’t take care of all of it. Hospitals can charge whatever they want for services, often leaving patients with a confusing list of items on the bill. For Dr. Renee Hsia, an emergency department physician and lead author of a study on California women giving birth, childbirth prices reflect the larger health care system — where high prices are “more the rule than the exception.”