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When people talk about U.S. health care, they often say that it’s a free market system. When David Belk, MD, began researching why U.S. health care costs so much, nothing he found looked very much like a market at all; either free or regulated. No one seemed to know the cost of anything—not the people buying (the patients) and not the people selling (the doctors and hospitals). Cost is a central feature to any market system, but if no one knows what these costs are, Dr. Belk asks, how can this so-called free market be free? Using anecdotes gleaned from his medical practice, Dr. Belk takes an in-depth look at health care costs and the many factors that make our system needlessly complicated and expensive. (

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