Opinion: Every state needs a database with all health insurance claims, not just some

States that invest in a database of all health insurance claims reap many benefits.
Understanding health care costs and quality isn't easy. State databases that include insurance claims from all payers can help. Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

California spends approximately $367 billion a year on health care. That’s more than the gross domestic product of South Africa or Denmark. It’s more than the state spends on six years of K-12 education, or 23 years of transportation. In other words, it’s a lot. Many say it’s too much.

When you don’t really know where the money is going, or what value it is generating, how can you determine where to save money? That’s a key question for California policymakers. To answer it, the state is taking another look at developing an

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