Health care costs

The U.S. has the worst patients in the world

It's easy to criticize the U.S. health care system for high spending and poor outcomes, but American patients may also be the problem, the Atlantic's David Freedman writes.

What's happening: One study found that 74% of the variation in life expectancy within the U.S. was attributable to lifestyle factors like smoking and inactivity — behaviors decided by patients, not doctors. And American patients don't like to be told they can't have expensive care, using more speciality care and emergency care than other countries.

Drug pricing's "double whammy" for patients with chronic illnesses

Rising deductibles paired with the rising cost of medications for chronic conditions has left middle-income Americans saddled with debt and skipping out on their treatment, the L.A. Times reports.

Why it matters: Care for conditions like cancer, diabetes and epilepsy— which require regular treatment, including drugs— are costing the insured thousands of dollars a year, a major shift from when deductibles were lower or nonexistent.