This just about sums up what’s wrong with our nation’s for-profit healthcare system.
A 20 year-old man came down with appendicitis in October of this year. He posted the bill on Reddit and it has gone viral. The US Health Care system is a topic of much debate, not only in the US but around the world. A lot of countries get ‘free’ health care, so needless to say, this has stirred up a lot of conversation.
As if waking up in excruciating pain isn’t enough, this is the bill he received in the mail a couple months later. Take a look:
The original cost was over $55,000. Because the 20 year-old man was on his father’s insurance, the cost was lowered to $11,000.
Here’s a copy of the bill, courtesy of Viralnova.
6 thoughts on “Yeah, this just about sums up how screwed up our nation’s for-profit healthcare system is”
Yep, by a wide margin, other countries with universal coverage spend less.
And, another big win for the health insurance oligopoly, the ACA cut Medicare reimbursements to physicians by 24%. http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2013/12/02/doctors-facing-a-24-pay-cut-in-both-medicare-and-medicaid-reimbursements/
That effectively turns Medicare into “welfare.” The best and most experienced physicians will refuse to take patients with Medicare, because they can’t make any money.
So, where’s all that money going?
In 2009, the for-profit arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield, WellPoint, occasionally traded under $40 bucks a share. It’s more than doubled. This morning it will open north of $91.
Another victory for the lobbyists on “K Street.”
ICYMI, Liz Fowler, former WellPoint VP for Public Policy and External Affairs, likely authored the Baucus health bill. Some of us have been aware of this for a while.
Careful reading of this article will explain how WellPoint actually stepped in to help save the ACA from opponents (thereby assuring the US sanctioned give-away to the health insurance cartels) as Obomba made claims that the legislation was needed to “control,” runaway health insurance premium costs, which has not happened yet, nor is any regulation of actual health care costs addressed with the ACA.
Think Max was kind of sweet on Liz.
“Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are a flood of emotions going through all of us today as we pass this reconciliation bill which improves upon the bill the President signed 2 days ago. I would like to focus only on one part–a very important part but only one part–and that is to thank the people who have worked so hard, especially in this body, to help accomplish this result.
We all want to thank so many people. Once we start mentioning a couple or three names, we run the danger of offending people whose names are not mentioned. We all know that. There will be an appropriate time for us to make all the thanks, and I will make mine so sincerely because I am so grateful for all the hard work my staff has put into this.
I wish to single out one person, and that one person is sitting next to me. Her name is Liz Fowler. Liz Fowler is my chief health counsel. Liz Fowler has put my health care team together. Liz Fowler worked for me many years ago, left for the private sector, and then came back when she realized she could be there at the creation of health care reform because she wanted that to be, in a certain sense, her profession lifetime goal. She put together the White Paper last November–2008–the 87-page document which became the basis, the foundation, the blueprint from which almost all health care measures in all bills on both sides of the aisle came. She is an amazing person. She is a lawyer; she is a Ph.D. She is just so decent. She is always smiling, she is always working, always available to help any Senator, any staff. I thank Liz from the bottom of my heart. In many ways, she typifies, she represents all of the people who have worked so hard to make this bill such a great accomplishment.
I will have printed in the Record the names of all my professional staff. There are more than I realized, so I can’t name them all. I ask unanimous consent to have that list printed in the Record and just regret that I cannot thank everybody personally.”
The problem with the high cost of hospitalization is due in large part to “empty beds” or lack of q consistent volume.
It can be solved if hospital administrators would use modern marketing techniques. Here are but a few for consideration:
BLACK FRIDAY SALE: MIDNIGHT TO 6:00 AM
11% OFF EVERYTHING
OUR TWO-FOR SALE (buy one, get the second free)
SPECIAL ON ALL COSMETIC SURGERY
WATCH FOR REBATE COUPON ONLINE
MIX AND MATCH (LIMITED TO ONE FAMILY MEMBER)
OUR ANNUAL SPRING SALE
Pardon my “tongue-in-cheek” solution, but the problem of volume or unused facilities is real.
I neglected to provide a source for my assertion on high cost of “empty beds.” See: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2012/108.pdf
In Wisconsin, the occupancy rate is 60%. If you were a 10 unit apartment owner who only rented six units, your rental fee would almost be double compared to full occupancy. I suspect that in small rural hospitals, the number of empty beds would be higher compared to large metropolitan hospitals.
If you add the high cost of medical equipment and its limited usage (not all patients need very expensive, one of a kind, imaging equipment), you can begin to understand some of the reasons for the high cost of a hospital stay. Remember too that hospitals have to be open for business 24/7 year round. As a former accountant specializing in costs to manufacture, maximum utilization of equipment and plant are very important in containing costs.
I have no quarrel with the claim that the “add-on” cost in one’s insurance rate by insurance companies for their processing may be excessive. That has been proven in comparison with Medicare overhead rates.
For profit healthcare has ended good honest healthcare just like the for profit justice systems ended honest justice. they both now cost 2000% more.
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