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Tangible and unseen healthcare costs

Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2009

In the national debate over healthcare, doctors and policy makers often point to spending on defensive medicine as a key driver of soaring costs. But calculating how much defensive medicine actually costs is extremely difficult, because medical professionals often have many motivations for ordering tests and other procedures. And healthcare experts say the direct costs of medical malpractice—the insurance premiums, claims paid, and legal fees—amount to a very small portion of overall healthcare spending, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.