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Here’s Why Healthcare Is So Expensive, According To Your Favorite Presidential Candidate

The United States far outspends peer countries on healthcare. When American politicians complain about these high healthcare costs, they often vilify pharmaceutical and insurance companies for profiting at the expense of the general public. As I wrote earlier, such vilification is misguided, pushing too much of the blame on individual actors rather than on the system that incentivizes individuals to act those ways.

So what it is about the system that politicians believe is to blame for the staggering cost of medical care in the United States? To get a sense, I asked a team of research assistants to scour presidential candidate speeches and websites, to see what or who they say is responsible for high healthcare costs. Our methodology was admittedly unscientific. We didn’t have access to every speech that each candidate made, for instance, or every television interview that each candidate conducted. And we made arbitrary judgments about which issues candidates mentioned versus which ones they emphasized, when they discussed healthcare costs. Those caveats aside, we got a pretty solid picture of how candidates, past and former, portray America’s healthcare costs problem.

Not surprisingly, these portrayals vary dramatically across party lines:

Who Presidential Candidates Blame for Healthcare Costs

Here is what strikes me about this picture, in no particular order. (To read the rest of this article, please visit Forbes.)

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.