FHC #139: The hidden costs of rising healthcare prices with Zack Cooper

In this special episode of “Diving Deep,” part of the Fixing Healthcare podcast series, cohosts Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr dive deep into the economic and societal implications of rising healthcare costs with Zack Cooper.

Cooper, an associate professor of public health and economics at Yale, serves as director of health policy at Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He is a health economist whose data-driven insights have helped reshape public policy.

On today’s show, Cooper explains how employer-sponsored health insurance, which covers most Americans under 65, is anything but free. As healthcare prices rise, the costs are passed down to workers through increased premiums and, more insidiously, through job losses. Cooper’s research highlights that when healthcare prices increase, employers often respond by reducing their workforce to manage the higher insurance premiums, disproportionately affecting workers earning between $20,000 and $100,000 a year.

Cooper also discusses the broader impact of rising healthcare costs on communities. These costs contribute to decreased tax revenue and increased government spending on unemployment benefits and subsidies, leading to a negative cycle of economic decline in affected areas. The psychological toll of job losses, including increases in suicides and opioid overdoses, underscores the far-reaching consequences of healthcare inefficiencies.

Click play to learn more or check out the various links below for additional information.


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Dr. Robert Pearl is the author of “ChatGPT, MD: How AI-Empowered Patients & Doctors Can Take Back Control of American Medicine.” All profits from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple, Spotify or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.