What's Driving Health Care Costs? California State Senators Want to Know

February 2, 2015

By: Pauline Bartolone (Health Care Reporter @CapRadioHealth)

The Senate Health Committee says it wants to learn more about the inefficiencies in health care spending.

Democratic State Senator Ed Hernandez chairs the committee.

“If we’re going to be mandating that every single person purchase health insurance, then it’s incumbent upon us to figure out what those cost drivers are,” Senator Hernandez says.

He says the Affordable Care Act does impose spending rules on insurers, but he's interested in what can be fixed in other parts of the health care system.

"Health care costs would include everything from hospitalization to drugs, to provider fees, to durable goods, to administration, everything. Eveything that's spent by the consumer on health care," he says.

Hernandez says two topics will surely be part of the conversation - the high cost of specialty drugs, and the market power that hospitals yield when they consolidate.