Letters: Health Care, Corrections

Listeners respond to the story on how consumers purchase health care. Noah Adams and Robert Siegel offer two corrections and read from listeners' messages.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Noah Adams.

Time now for some of your letters and a couple of corrections.

SIEGEL: Yes. On yesterday's program, we brought you a story about the statement by two American journalists who were recently freed from North Korea. And some of you may have heard us incorrectly refer to one of those journalists, Laura Ling, as Lisa Ling. They are sisters and both journalists, but it was Laura Ling who was held captive for 140 days along with her colleague, Euna Lee.

ADAMS: Also, on yesterday's program, Laura Sydell reported on Google's negotiations with authors and publishers over rights for its new book search engine. A settlement has been reached for paying authors, but writers can opt out of that agreement. Some of you may have heard us say the deadline to opt out is September 8. It is, in fact, September 4.

SIEGEL: Well, now, some of your reactions to our story yesterday on our roles as individuals in the massive health care system about how we purchase health care but don't know how much we're spending. The story by David Kestenbaum and Chana Joffe-Walt began this way:

CHANA JOFFE-WALT: David, we're going to start by imagining something strange.


JOFFE-WALT: Okay. Imagine you walk into a Target store and everything is there on the shelves: all the shoes, the toasters, the guys in those red vests, but all the stuff on the shelves, nothing has any prices. That is what being a patient in our health care system is like.

ADAMS: And that's the idea of the story. Wayne Self(ph) of Columbus, Ohio, says he's also been noticing these invisible prices. He writes: As I heard the segment on health care consumption by its customers, the patients, I recalled a TV commercial viewed earlier that day. The product was a newly opened dental clinic offering 20 percent discount crowns. However, unlike a furniture store, the clinic never indicated how much that crown now costs on sale or how much a crown regularly costs.

SIEGEL: And Mike Oppo(ph) of Honolulu didn't like the style of that segment. He writes this: NPR's trademark has been smart, sharp, well-presented reporting. But it seems more and more, ATC is going for the lowest common denominator with this new kind of local TV news junk. Kestenbaum and Joffe-Walt do some good work but not this cutesy back and forth. Lose it, please, or you will lose me as a listener and supporter.

ADAMS: Whether you take issue with our style or our substance, please keep writing to us. Visit npr.org and click contact us at the bottom of the page.

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