Health and Science

Why medical bills in the US are so expensive

VIDEO14:5814:58
Why medical bills in the US are so expensive

The American health-care system is in a tug of war between physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and shareholders. At the center of it all are the patients.

Ashley Palmiscino's insurance company was billed roughly $4 million for her five-month-old son Luca's lung transplant. Her family had to turn to fundraising almost immediately just to keep up with the medical bills, and she's not alone. One-third of the money raised on GoFundMe last year went to medical campaigns.

So how did we get here, and how do we turn things around?

"Once there's all this money sloshing around in a system, there's this sort of pile-on effect where everyone wants to grab their bit of this huge pot of money," said Elisabeth Rosenthal, a former physician who wrote a book about how health care became big business.

"Now what we have as we're trying to take it back and reduce costs is everyone is desperately clinging to their piece of the pie."

Watch the video above to follow the money through the U.S. health-care industry.