As I write this editor's note at the beginning of the summer of 2016, yet more increases in US health care prices on the state marketplaces are reported. Individual plans are requesting a 10 percent increase on average (Abelson and Sanger-Katz 2016). Another study reported that out-of-pocket spending per hospital stay increased by 37 percent (from $738 to $1,013) over a four-year period (North 2016). Yet, for those of us who have been studying the US health care system for a long time, these findings seem less novel than a repeated echo of a persistent problem in the United States—persistent, in part, many argue, because politicians are unwilling to actually address health care prices in the United States.

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Or are they?

The first article in this issue by Philip Rocco, Andrew S. Kelly, Daniel Béland, and Michael Kinane argues that...

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