Article Review












Article Review












Article Review

The health sector serves as one of the key areas of national operations though it emerges that the high costs, particularly in the private firms seem to scare away the persons who become ill and would want to receive proper healthcare. Steven Brill is one of the many scholars who offer insight on the high medical costs in the United States and feels that the costs may become unbearable unless the relevant stakeholders take some action to lower the prices. Brill’s “What I Learned from my $190,000 Surgery” provides suggestions that may help to cut the high bills and this serves as a good initiative and sensitization on the importance of charging prices that a large group of Americans can afford.

Summary of Major Points

The author (Steven Brill) utilizes his personal account to describe how health institutions now charge high bills with the intention of making excessive profits. The author, who undergoes surgery at the New York Presbyterian Hospital to control an aortic aneurysm he suffers from, realizes that the hospital, like many other health facilities across the country, charge high prices for operations that involve the MRI, which Brill considers being the equipment that saved his life. Brill, however, feels that sometimes doctors use the MRI when it is unnecessary, which further adds to the bills.

Brill provides various statements which show how the government and health institutions spend a lot of money on medical equipment and services. Brill (2015) mentions that “We spend $17 billion a year on artificial knees and hips, which is 55% more than Hollywood takes in at the box office” (1), and proceeds to assert that America spent at least $3 trillion in 2014 to take care of health issues. According to Brill, the high costs yield undesirable outcome rather than producing results that would impress every person, and this only hurts the government and every citizen who may have to pay higher taxes to meet the high financial demands in the sector. Apart from spending a lot of money acquiring expensive gadgets, Brill identifies that the area of health comprises of unnecessarily many workers who may only have to work for a limited period before proceeding to other activities that have little connection with health. The writer suggests that the parties in charge of health issues should take quick measures to prevent further crisis, which is looming in the industry.

The article’s author provides certain suggestions which he feels would regulate prices in the health sector, and which may help to build a scenario where every person acquires health services at a relatively cheaper cost. One of the suggestions is that insurers who serve as middlemen should quit the industry and allow cover providers such as the government to take charge of operations. The author feels that competition in the insurance sector contributes towards the high medical cost in the country. Secondly, Brill believes that coming up with a single bill instead of creating different charges for every service a sick person gets would help to lower medical bills. Hopefully, the recommendations by Brill will create a scenario where Americans do not complain of high medical rates in the coming days.

Critical Evaluation of the Article

The report provides adequate sensitization on the need to lower spending and bills in the medical sector to attain a condition where Americans get affordable healthcare. Persons serving in the medical industry acquire the awareness that charging high fees may obstruct some individuals from accessing the appropriate care. The principal limitation in the article is that it only focuses on private institutions, which may contribute towards the high medical cost the writer writes about in the publication. It would be better if Brill considers the pricing in public facilities before coming up with the judgment that medical bills are unbearable in the American hospitals. The briefing, however, still serves a critical purpose in showing how high costs in the medical sector denies many citizens the chance to acquire the essential service, which may not be easy to do without, more so in times of ailments. Furthermore, Brill points out that Americans do not expect cheaper health services in any area because the Obama Care program, which started on a high note, is not offering concrete solutions at present. The scholar congratulates the former president for initiating a plan whereby at least all Americans get health cover but proceeds to mention that practitioners and health institutions do not adhere to the policy. Wear (2011) and Collins (2014) share a similar opinion with Brill by suggesting that the creators of the act do not go a step further to ensure that health services are affordable to every citizen. Mechanic & Altman (2010) on their part feel that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) only offers massive government subsidies to allow Americans purchase health care at high prices that have direct negative implications for global competitiveness and the country’s Treasury. The party in power, as well as all stakeholders in the health sector, should develop a system which guarantees all people access to inexpensive medical attention.


Brill feels that restructuring the issuance of health cover and the system of preparing medical bills would lower the hard financial burden the health sector faces. The government should strive to see that all citizens get affordable care through the alteration of how policies such as the PPACA function. Unless the relevant parties put effort to advance how the sector operates, the nation will encounter more financial hardships.





Brill, S. (2015). What I learned from my $190,000 surgery. New York, NY: Random House.

Collins, B. (2014). Health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act–a progress report. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(3), 275-281

Mechanic, R., & Altman, S. (2010). Medicare’s opportunity to encourage innovation in health care delivery. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(24), 41-71.

Wear, (2011). Sense and nonsense in the Conservative critique of Obamacare. The American Journal of Bioethics, 11(12), 17-20.

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