Some great journalism on the front pages of the state’s newspapers this morning.
The News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer begins what promises to be a compelling — and shocking — five-part series on how much money hospitals are making. Here are just two of the bullet points:
* They’ve made their money largely from employer-sponsored health insurance, often inflating prices on drugs and procedures – sometimes to three, four or 10 times over costs. North Carolina hospital costs are more than 10 percent higher than the national average for Aetna, said Jarvis Leigh, a network vice president.
* They’ve hiked their fees each year, leaving many patients with crippling debt. Some hospitals have sued thousands of patients, while others have turned to collection agencies to pursue debtors.
Fayetteville Observer — The paper always pays close attention to the No. 1 industry in town — the military. Right now, it is paying close attention to complaints that the Army isn’t taking care of its own. Good stuff.
Burlington Times-News and the Hickory Daily Record – Stories focusing on the pros and cons of the marriage amendment — plus a FAQs — dominate the front pages. It’s the hottest issue on the primary ballot and deserving of such coverage.