What does health care “cost?” As the political season heats up, competing proposals grab headlines, and candidates cite the costs of various programs. But defining the cost of health care isn’t as simple as measuring insurance premiums and payments to hospitals and doctors. Elements of cost calculations include opportunities lost to spend the money elsewhere, societal benefits from improvements in individual and public health, the value of unpaid caregiving and more. Melissa Ahern, a health economist and associate professor of health policy, can discuss these and other topics related to the cost of health care. Contact Ahern at ahernm@wsu.edu or 509.358.7982.