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tv   Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson  ABC  February 21, 2016 10:00am-10:30am EST

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to compare prices of specific procedures. we ended up with some incredible results that show it pays to shop around. scott haller: i was often sent to the wrong place many times. sharyl: scott haller played the role of patient in our project. he's a research assistant at the boston-based pioneer institute research group. the institute helped conduct a survey for "full measure" of 54 hospitals in six states -- texas, new york, california, iowa, north carolina and florida. scott h.: i would call the operator and ask for a cost estimate for an mri of my left knee without contrast, and basically see where they sent me because it could be one of many different places. sharyl: shopping around is more crucial than ever with so many consumers paying thousands in cash out of pocket under obamacare, according to the pioneer institute's barbara anthony. barbara: the reason this is important is because we are now living in an age of
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it used to be that your insurance coverage would take care of your healthcare expenses from the first dollar of your expenses. well, that's no longer the case. sharyl: getting a cost estimate for an mri radiology procedure that takes images of the inner body should be simple. but scott found it was like pulling teeth. scott h.: the operator would frequently send me straight to the mri department, who are on the frontlines of giving the mri's and don't actually know anything about the billing. you'd often get the run around, people could be a little bit rude to you. all sorts of stuff really. sharyl: getting even partial information on the price of an mri took up to eleven persistent phone calls. scott h.: one time i was told to call an 800 number and got a coal company, who then immediately told me to dial 1-866 instead and that got me to where i wanted to go and they've obviously been through that before, but also there were many times where i would leave a message, sometimes multiple messages, on the same person's phone and they would just not get back to me after waiting over a week. and sometimes they'd call back
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you're calling me." barbara: in 25% of the cases that we called, 25% of the hospitals that we called, 14 of them we were actually unable to get a final price. sharyl: the pioneer institute found hospitals around the country are ill-prepared to provide prices to a consumer asking for basic information. joe fifer: this is a big ship that we're turning as an industry. sharyl: joe fifer is ceo of the healthcare financial management association, which represents many hospital finance hospitals that we called, 14 of them we were actually unable to get a final price. executives. joe: i don't defend the fact that it's very difficult for patients to navigate their way through this. that is something that we need to fix. we know we need to fix that as an industry. sharyl: he says what makes it so hard is the complex system set up by the government and insurers using thousands of arcane codes with different fees depending on who's paying the bill -- private insurance, the government, or you. joe: almost all of these codes have dollars associated with them that are on these charge masters.
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calculation to a different payment methodology. sharyl: so you kind of lost me. joe: i'm sure i did. one good analogy is if you ever go into a hotel room and you look at the charge sticker that's on the back of the door, it's usually some charge that's significantly higher than what you're paying. they probably don't collect that charge that's on the back of the hotel door from anybody, it really means very little, that's kind of like what these hospital charges are like. sharyl: maybe that's why the prices we did get in our survey were wildly inconsistent and not tied to a city's size or cost of living. for example, one hospital in the los angeles area charged $400 for the knee mri. but a hospital in smaller des moines, iowa quoted $3,500. that's eight and a half times as much for the exact same procedure. similar dramatic ranges are found within the same region. in orlando, one hospital charged as little as $877 total.
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to read the mri. hospitals in los angeles charged from $400 to $2800. raleigh-durham, about $1000 to $2700. des moines, also from about $1,000 to $3500. dallas-ft. worth, $500 to $4200. and the biggest disparity was in the new york city area. the cheapest knee mri was about $440. another hospital in the area -- the most expensive in the survey -- charged $4,500. barbara: i think we called something like 11 hospitals in the new york city region. there was a difference in price of 1,000%, from the lowest price in new york to the highest price in new york. the point is, there are differences and they are huge. and from the research we did, we couldn't figure out what would account for these huge differences in price. sharyl: in a similar study
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year, the pioneer institute also found "price information difficult to obtain" -- even though massachusetts requires hospitals to give it under the strictest transparency law in the u.s. and the ranges were equally baffling. a dermatologist removing a wart cost anywhere from $85 to $400. a routine eye exam at an ophthalmologist went for $80 to $327. an adult mri ranged from $700 at one hospital to more than $8,000 at another. fifer says hospitals are not planning to come up with a single, standard price list that they would all use. but they are working to meet consumer demand to give cost estimates up front. joe: internally, how i would describe it to you is that we're scrambling to be able to develop this capability. but we're probably not moving fast enough for consumers who
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overnight, sitting their with a multi-thousand-dollar deductible health plan. barbara: as a country, we are really lagging behind in terms of healthcare price transparency for consumers. it is a very daunting task for the average consumer to find out the price of a procedure before obtaining that procedure. we really have a long way to go, i think, all over the country, before we give consumers the tools that they need in order to spend their healthcare dollars wisely. sharyl: who proved to be the easiest to get quotes from? dentists and dermatologists, possibly because they've always had a lot of patients who self-pay since insurance often doesn't cover their procedures. also, kudos to cedar sinai in los angeles, which provided info on the cost of an mri in just 4 minutes. you can see the entire report at ahead on "full measure" -- the politically hot issue of immigration -- donald trump used it to launch his presidential campaign. next, we'll talk with a young, rising political star in france
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concerns. sharyl: in france, there is a rising rock star of the political right. a 26-year old with a political pedigree that some might call extreme. but for marion le pen, the issues of migrants and terrorism have combined to ignite a career and more than a little controversy. scott thuman has our story. scott: don't let the adoring
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photogenic smile fool you. you're looking at one of france's -- or more accurately europe's -- most controversial figures. and no topic has made marion marechal-le pen more talked about than immigration. marion: there are security consequences. radical islam has emerged. terrorism is one of the more radical drifts. it's just the beginning. in this situation, our parties are lead to come to power, i hope. we are lead to completely change the migration policy implemented by the european elites. scott: the power she spoke of when sitting down to talk with us in paris is the rising right in france and a party called the national front. she believes france should slow, if not, stop allowing a mass migration that she claims is posing a threat. critics say that's hateful, that we should be more accepting of immigrants. when people say the way you
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respond to that? marion: it's a fertile ground for radical islam. i would like to remind that france is the europe's leading exporter of isis soldiers. that underlines a malaise. don't bury your head in the sand. the areas with the higher immigration rates are the areas with a strong insecurity. this immigration policy has failed. scott: in some respects, le pen has become the face of the movement, winning her seat in parliament at age 22 and gaining steam ever since. no stranger to this spotlight, she was literally the poster child during her famous family's political runs. her grandfather, jean-marie, and aunt, marine, now president of the national front, are also considered polarizing. the young le pen is striking a new chord for her harsh stance against a growing muslim population, abortion, and gay marriage. her sentiments are being noticed far from france. she has drawn attention -- and praise -- from others -- like sarah palin, who calls le pen a political crush, full of
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continent that needs both." le pen's popularity, while relatively small here in paris, is hard to ignore in other regions, where supporters say it's not just her tough talk, but her undeniable charisma, that has their movement gaining momentum. critics in the capital city call her rise concerning. >> we have spectacular results in favor is hard to ignore in other of the far right which is radically anti-islam, anti-muslim, and anti-so-called immigrants, which is her word for immigrants. scott: one political analyst says her success would have been on a manageable -- unimaginable a few years ago. >>the rising voice of the right is creating a new wave of discontent over borders and she
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>> the politicians are complicit or blinded by the reality because of the political correctness. some associations are standing as the advocates of the jihad. they don't make integration efforts. a large part of muslims express sympathy toward radical islam. and this particular islam isn't compatible neither with democracy nor with the values of the republic, particularly in terms of women's rights, as it's already been shown. scott: that notion, of a french republic on the rise, drove the national front to a win and then a loss in elections last december. but the new party status has created a huge springboard for a presidential bid by her aunt next year. and who knows after that. would you like to be president one day? marion: of course, of course. but i have no career strategy. scott: you don't think about that?
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minister or president. it's not my goal. i go where the people need me. scott: instead she says she's just one of the little soldiers for her aunt in the 2017 election. and, while their party may benefit politically from the migration crisis, several poltical experts told us, they feel the national front has peaked. sharyl: having met her, do you think it is her message or also her charisma? scott: her name already carries a lot of weight. when you sit down with her, the real testament to her political power is that she has that so-called "it factor." despite having extreme stances by today's standards, she has the ability to draw in supporters, galvanize, and enthuse them. it is an intangible that, frankly, a lot of politicians would pay for. it will be interesting to see how far that carries her. sharyl: yes, it will. thanks so much, scott. still ahead on "full measure" -- it's been decades since the military draft has been part of the national debate, but it's back for a new generation and
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sharyl: the draft or "conscription" to compel service
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many young american men. even though it ended 43 years ago, under the law, young men are still required to register for the draft in case it needs to be revived. now, there's new debate over whether the so-called selective service should be less selective. should women be required to register, too? the call of duty could be a consequence of equal rights on the battlefield. sec. carter: we cannot afford to -- this means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will be able to meet the nation and ways they have not been able to before. sharyl: in december, defense secretary ashton carter opened every single corner of the military to women, without exception. secretary carter: they'll be able to serve as army rangers and green berets, navy seals, marine corps infantry, air force parajumpers, and everything else
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sharyl: carter's speech opened a door to women -- and a new controversy. sen. mccaskill: part of me believes that asking women to register as we ask men to register would maybe, possibly, open up more recruits as women . sharyl: senator claire mccaskill raised the issue at a senate armed services committee hearing earlier this month, diving into a decades-old debate, newly framed in gender equality. >> it's my personal view that every american who is physically qualified should register for the draft. army gen. mark milley: senator, i think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft. sharyl: the question went straight to the republican contenders to be next commander-in-chief. martha raddatz: many of you have young daughters. senator rubio, should young women be required to sign up for selective service in case of a national emergency? sen. rubio: first, let me say there are already women today serving in roles that are like combat. i do believe that selective service should be opened up for both men and women, in case a draft is ever instituted. martha: do you believe young women should sign up for selective service, be required to sign up? jeb bush: i do. sharyl: ted cruz went hard in the opposite direction. sen. cruz: the idea that we would draft our daughters to
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military and put them in close combat, i think is wrong, it is . sharyl: hillary clinton had reservations. >> the idea of having one -- everyone register concerns me. sharyl: that is different than 2007. >> i do think women should register. i do think it is fair to call upon every young american. sharyl: bernie sanders did not register for the draft, but filed as a conscientious objector. in 1940, germany was in control of most of europe, the battle of britain was underway, and the u.s. was feeling pressure to enter the war. president roosevelt launched the first draft in peacetime. >> serial number 158. sharyl: world war ii ended, but the draft remained -- almost unnoticed, until the vietnam
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pres. johnson: i have today ordered to vietnam the airmobile division and certain other forces, which raise our fighting strength to from 75,000 men to 125,000 men almost immediately. sharyl: the draft created its own conflict on the homefront. most of the men fighting in vietnam were volunteers. but of those drafted, many came from poor or middle class families. there were accusations that many deferrals were granted to the sons of the rich and well-connected. in 1969, the draft became a lottery. and it was must-see tv. >> september 14. sharyl: by 1973, direct u.s. military action in vietnam ended and so did the draft. today, the director of the selective service agency, lawrence romo, keeps those same capsules and glass jar in his office.
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understand that freedom is not free, they understand the importance of registration. sharyl: it's romo's job to make sure 18-year-old men still sign up. he says the agency is equipped to on-ramp women. it would need at least six months notice. dir. romo: the thing is, we've learned with world war i, world war ii, whenever you have a big national emergency you can never say never. sharyl: but wars are run by generals and politicians. no one ever asks the young people who will fight. we thought we would, asking a group of high school students -- young men and women -- if women should be required to register. >> i think it's definitely going to be a shock for most women, no doubt, but i do think, in terms of establishing an equal and fair chance for everyone, it's necessary. >> under the current system, if there is a draft and young men are required to, then young women should also be required to. >> if a woman truly cares about her country and she wants to show how much of a supporter she is, she will go, no question asked. >> we shouldn't be allowed to pick and choose where we should
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i am a strong believer in woman's rights and woman's equality, so if we want equal pay, we should have the same responsibilities as men do when it comes to serving our country. sharyl: but the larger question many people are asking -- should anyone be required to register for a draft just in case? >> i honestly don't think the draft is a good thing because i think it infringes on our rights. but i think registraton is necessary as an insurance policy for our contry because we do -- country because we do still have to have that security. >> i don't think that military service should be coerced by the government. >> i have a plan for my life and military is not a part of it, but like ben, i do plan on serving my country in another way. sharyl: the national opinion is split. a recent rasmussen poll reported 52% of women oppose registering
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feel women should sign up. ahead on "full measure" --
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sharyl: the favorite color of the federal government appears to be red. after six years of decline the
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$544 billion. that's a much the government is spending more than it actually has. that is according to the congressional budget office. where, might you ask, could the government save money? oklahoma congressman steve russell offers a few ripe targets from 2015. we "follow the money" in his waste watch report. congressman steve russell outlines some $75 billion in his latest waste watch report. the 20 pages are filled with examples of questionable government spending. the agriculture department served up $250,000 tax dollars to a wisconsin cheese manufacturer to help expand the sales of meat-infused string cheese. the report says there was no good reason why one company of 89 wisconsin cheese manufacturers got the government money. russell says it is up to private industry, not the government to promote the product. and if you need help washing down that government-subsidized cheese spending, how about a little alcohol? the agriculture department put $250,000 tax dollars on tap for
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and market its extra-potent moonshine. $35,000 spent to help brew up solar-powered beer in michigan. and all together in 2015, the agriculture department provided more than $4.6 million in taxpayer-funded grants to 41 different wineries, distilleries, and breweries, according to the report. and under the heading of art, which is open to interpretation, a state department program provided bags of air, blank cd's, and livestock bones to people in mongolia to raise awareness about pollution. it cost $300,000 tax dollars and russell's review of the interactive art installation is a thumbs down on wasteful spending. rep. russell: there is just not this urgency to focus needed dollars on where the needs are the greatest. there's a lot of good ideas and nice-to-haves and then there's some crazy stuff that gets
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sharyl: congressman russell says the $75 billion he says was wasted could have replaced half of the united states air craft carrier fleet with the newest model and put 18 brand new f-35's on every deck. how about putting some back and the taxpayers pocket? coming up next week on "full measure" -- a federal research study on extremely premature babies raises questions about using humans for experiments, especially the defenseless. even their own parents say they had no idea about the dangers. the incredible story next week on "full measure." thank you for watching. i'm sharyl attkisson. until next time, we'll be searching for more stories that
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