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The cost of shopping for health insurance (Jud Burkett - The Spectrum via Associated Press) When I wrote a story last week about Congress quietly closing health reform’s Consumer Assistance Program, Wonkblog readers and health-care economists alike quickly seized on one crucial detail: the program’s price tag. Thirty-five states received a total of $30 million to help consumers find affordable coverage, answer health insurance queries and appeal denied claims. I led the story with Texas, which received a $2.8 million grant and, with it, hired nine employees who have handled about 6,000 phone calls. Do the math, and the federal government has spent $466 on each call that the Texas Consumer Health Assistance Program has handled. A number of Wonkblog readers, like Mazzi455, were none too impressed: