Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(KHOU Houston)   Your four-hour stay at the ER will be $20,211. Would you like to use cash, check, or credit card?   ( khou.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Texas City, Galveston, emergency rooms, Texas, diagnostic tests  
•       •       •

24350 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2012 at 7:11 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



445 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-01-09 05:26:37 PM  
I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.
 
2012-01-09 05:28:22 PM  
Turn and run TURN AND RUN!
 
2012-01-09 05:34:39 PM  
Did she spend the four hours inside a gold-plated MRI machine signed by Jesus and Muhammad Ali?
 
2012-01-09 05:35:13 PM  
How 'bout an IOU?
 
2012-01-09 05:39:26 PM  
A few weeks ago I had a migraine so bad I thought I was going to die, so since it was middle of the night, my wife drove me to the ER. They took my vitals and told me to wait in the waiting room. I was laying on the hard floor in horrible pain for hours, but then it started to pass. After still not being seen after a few hours, I said "screw it, looks like I'm not going to die after all" and we went home.

I called the next day and ask them if they were going to bill me. They said yes, for the nurse taking my vitals. I can't wait to see how much this is going to be.
 
2012-01-09 05:39:38 PM  
Thanks a lot, Fartbamacare.
 
2012-01-09 05:51:32 PM  
Really it was $202.11, but since the other 9 people were illegals, they have to roll it into the first citizen they can find.
 
2012-01-09 05:52:07 PM  
99... missed a key.
 
2012-01-09 05:53:59 PM  

TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.


Pro-rated, that's only about $5 for 4 seconds.
 
2012-01-09 05:58:46 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Pro-rated, that's only about $5 for 4 seconds.

=========

SOLD!

You say "premature ejaculation".
I say "coming in 1st".

I WON! I WON!
 
2012-01-09 05:59:44 PM  
You don't get the discount if you don't have insurance. Sucks to be you. Too bad we don't have single payer and put an end to the outrageous fee structure crapola.
 
2012-01-09 06:00:28 PM  
As expected, half the commentors in the linked website are blaming illegals for everything. Granted, their use of the ER as their doctor office is a drain on the hospitals, but they're not the only cause of the problem. And for as many of them as are in the ER, there is now likely as many "real Americans" with no insurance to begin with.

Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?
 
2012-01-09 06:00:38 PM  
$20k is not at all unheard of for an ER visit. Unreasonable? Depends on what treatments she received. But it's highly likely that most Americans don't know the true cost of health care in this country. Most never look at how much their premiums really are (including what is covered by their employer). Most never see a bill beyond their deductible because they have insurance. Alternatively, some don't go to the doctor at all and only go to the hospital ER when they are sick because they have no insurance. The latter people will ignore the bill because they aren't willing or able to pay it.

People who pay Cobra, carry their own insurance, own a business, or work in the industry tend to know how much things cost.

/Also, malpractice insurance isn't cheap.
//Slashies!
///Crap, I'm bleeding. Off to the ER.
 
2012-01-09 06:01:21 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: You don't get the discount if you don't have insurance. Sucks to be you. Too bad we don't have single payer and put an end to the outrageous fee structure crapola.


Yeah, but it's only $5, and she accepts payments.
 
2012-01-09 06:08:18 PM  
The private medical industry is just all kinds of awesome, isn't it? We need more of this.
 
2012-01-09 06:14:05 PM  
It's fun to blame the illegal immigrants!

There are, what, about 12 million illegal immigrants. Unless each one is using ER on a daily basis, I don't think they're responsible for $20K in ER bills instead of $24.95
 
2012-01-09 06:21:00 PM  
A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.
 
2012-01-09 06:22:12 PM  
From the more in depth article: As recently as September, the hospital's online billing system showed Torres' balance as $4,850. The hospital's collection agency sent Torres a bill seeking the $4,850 payment, but when the hospital learned Torres was involved in an automobile wreck, it updated the online billing records to show a balance of $20,211, the filing claims.
 
2012-01-09 06:23:02 PM  

Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.


Barbaric, socialist... same thing
 
2012-01-09 06:33:10 PM  
I cannot imagine having to deal with this kind of thing.

I mean, doesn't the prospect of these crazy fees deter people from seeking treatment? Wouldn't it be a huge source of anxiety and worry at a time when you probably have enough to worry about?

I live in Canada. My roommate just snapped his arm during a wrestling practice- needed several exams/scans/x-rays. He has no private insurance and the only thing he had to pay was $40 for a sling. More importantly, the thought of insurance or payment just didn't even cross his mind. It's just not something you really even think about.

I know the US is a much more conservative country than the one I live in, but I honestly do not understand why people put up with a medical system like where hospital bills can bankrupt you.
 
2012-01-09 06:42:54 PM  
"Can you break a Gipper?"
 
2012-01-09 06:51:09 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: As expected, half the commentors in the linked website are blaming illegals for everything. Granted, their use of the ER as their doctor office is a drain on the hospitals, but they're not the only cause of the problem. And for as many of them as are in the ER, there is now likely as many "real Americans" with no insurance to begin with.

Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?


Mostly it's all the extra paper pushers in the middle needing an cut and having to turn a profit on top of that, all the third party insurers, extra malpractice insurance, insurance insurance and HMO's having to turn a profit over and above all else. It's the only explanation why U.S. health care is so much more expensive than here in Canada.
Doctors, specialists anyway at the end of the year do about as well here too. U.S. doc's make more, but get hammered more too...
It's the 18 other extra greedy little grubby hands needing to make money to justify their existence that simply are not a part of the system here.
 
2012-01-09 06:52:13 PM  

Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.


By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.
 
2012-01-09 06:54:55 PM  
We should probably just let illegals die in the streets. Then this wouldn't happen. Right?
 
2012-01-09 07:07:17 PM  

CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.


In Canada the total cost for all those visits is $0.00, and without any extra insurance at all, you'd be on the hook for the prescription meds.
Now to be fair you would pay a bit more tax here, but it works out to about what you pay for third party insurance anyway.
The other advantage is if you know that it's not gonna kill your wallet, you'll go earlier, instead of putting off until you have to go.
Costs everyone less.
 
2012-01-09 07:10:35 PM  

CitizenTed:

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.


Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.
 
2012-01-09 07:14:26 PM  

TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.


Yes I would.

stupidcelebrities.netView Full Size
 
2012-01-09 07:15:52 PM  

hitchking: I cannot imagine having to deal with this kind of thing.

I mean, doesn't the prospect of these crazy fees deter people from seeking treatment? YES Wouldn't it be a huge source of anxiety and worry at a time when you probably have enough to worry about? OMG YES

 
2012-01-09 07:16:00 PM  
Not hard to spot the people working at hospitals who are there to make sure the hosp gets paid - they are dressed in business attire and want signatures from you, even if you are half conscious.
 
2012-01-09 07:17:10 PM  
In Canada it would have been free......

3 weeks later.
 
2012-01-09 07:17:11 PM  
But it's better than Obamacare....damn socialists and their health trying to live free...how dare they.
 
2012-01-09 07:17:34 PM  
I'm sorry, you said how many jelly beans?
 
2012-01-09 07:18:09 PM  

Flint Ironstag: CitizenTed:

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whol ...


And this is why you lost your Empire.
 
2012-01-09 07:19:22 PM  
Christ. I'm going to drink the whole bottle of wine tonight.

My kid was in the ER and then admitted to the hospital this weekend. Fark it all. I swear to God the only reason I work is to stay poor.
 
2012-01-09 07:19:30 PM  
Glad I live in Canada.
 
2012-01-09 07:19:35 PM  

sno man: It's the 18 other extra greedy little grubby hands needing to make money to justify their existence that simply are not a part of the system here.


IMHO, that's pretty much the cause of most of our economic problems down here. Anything important (medicine, housing, etc) has a dozen or so people getting their little cut.
 
2012-01-09 07:19:43 PM  

CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.


That is frighteningly bad. I just don't understand why people would want to defend this system.
 
2012-01-09 07:20:12 PM  

Flint Ironstag: Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.


You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.
 
2012-01-09 07:20:35 PM  

CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.


Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.
 
2012-01-09 07:20:39 PM  

TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.


I would. Just saying.
 
2012-01-09 07:20:41 PM  

Gig103: Really it was $202.11, but since the other 9 people were illegals, they have to roll it into the first citizen they can find.


Actually, state medicare pays for the illegals. If you pay taxes, you are paying their bill. This is a good reason why everyone should have insurance, no? BTW, if your aren't a native american then you are an illegal too.
 
2012-01-09 07:20:58 PM  

kxs401: We should probably just let illegals die in the streets. Then this wouldn't happen. Right?


I don't care where they die so long as they stop reproducing like farking rabbits.
 
2012-01-09 07:21:31 PM  

weave: A few weeks ago I had a migraine so bad I thought I was going to die, so since it was middle of the night, my wife drove me to the ER. They took my vitals and told me to wait in the waiting room. I was laying on the hard floor in horrible pain for hours, but then it started to pass. After still not being seen after a few hours, I said "screw it, looks like I'm not going to die after all" and we went home.

I called the next day and ask them if they were going to bill me. They said yes, for the nurse taking my vitals. I can't wait to see how much this is going to be.


Offer to pay it in trade - say you'll come down there and take the blood pressure and heart rate of any person they point out.
 
2012-01-09 07:21:54 PM  

9beers: In Canada it would have been free......

3 weeks later.


Ahh, the ignorance. Enjoy going bankrupt to pay for basic medical care.
 
2012-01-09 07:21:58 PM  

9beers: In Canada it would have been free......

3 weeks later.


3 hours maybe, but nice try.
If you actually need care you get it.
 
2012-01-09 07:22:27 PM  

SnarfVader: $20k is not at all unheard of for an ER visit. Unreasonable? Depends on what treatments she received. But it's highly likely that most Americans don't know the true cost of health care in this country. Most never look at how much their premiums really are (including what is covered by their employer). Most never see a bill beyond their deductible because they have insurance. Alternatively, some don't go to the doctor at all and only go to the hospital ER when they are sick because they have no insurance. The latter people will ignore the bill because they aren't willing or able to pay it.

People who pay Cobra, carry their own insurance, own a business, or work in the industry tend to know how much things cost.

/Also, malpractice insurance isn't cheap.
//Slashies!
///Crap, I'm bleeding. Off to the ER.


It only cost about $9k total for two days in a birthing suite and the delivery for my second child, this was 4 years ago so there hasn't been that much inflation in medical since then. My wife didn't need any advanced imaging or a herd of doctors and nurses but she did have minor surgery and of course there was the delivery itself which has about the highest malpractice costs of any procedure. Unless you are in a surgery suite or an ICU I'm not sure how you can rack up $5k an hour. Btw I know the amounts because the stupid practice sent a doctor not covered by our plan even though the practice AND my wife's OB were covered. I told them the bill wasn't my problem since I had done everything I could to insure coverage, I'm pretty sure they resubmitted under her doctors name which is probably insurance fraud.
 
2012-01-09 07:23:00 PM  

change1211: CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

That is frighteningly bad. I just don't understand why people would wan ...


Because a) they are making big money off of our farked up system, or b) they are stupid enough to swallow the ginormous ZOMG SOSHULISM IS TEH DEVUL!!! line of bullshiat being fed to them by the a folks.
 
2012-01-09 07:23:13 PM  
Co-Pay, actual insurance payout, co-insurance payment, out of pocket. What name will the medical service providers think of next to extract payment? Healing should not be so complicated. Blood-suckers.
 
2012-01-09 07:23:38 PM  

Flint Ironstag: CitizenTed:

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whol ...



At some point, hyperinflation within the medicine-insurance complex is going to occur. Probably sooner than later, as its not a linear process. There will be a tipping point where it is too expensive for most to have any kind of insurance, so there will be dropouts, which will lead to increasing premiums on the remaining, who will then drop out, and repeat. Insurances companies (and there are not very many, actually, that make up the foundation), will simply go insolvent.

Without brutal intervention, it is going to fail spectacularly and fast.
 
2012-01-09 07:24:05 PM  
Should've taken the No Fault policy. It's required in NY, Texas, it's optional. I also take the uninsured/mexican moron policy too.
 
2012-01-09 07:24:38 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: You don't get the discount if you don't have insurance. Sucks to be you. Too bad we don't have single payer and put an end to the outrageous fee structure crapola.


Almost any hospital will give you a discount for paying cash. It saves them a ton of money on administrative costs.

/friend payed for his wife's delivery of his first baby with cash - hospital said 'oh!' and cut the bill 50%
 
2012-01-09 07:24:44 PM  

robodog: SnarfVader: $20k is not at all unheard of for an ER visit. Unreasonable? Depends on what treatments she received. But it's highly likely that most Americans don't know the true cost of health care in this country. Most never look at how much their premiums really are (including what is covered by their employer). Most never see a bill beyond their deductible because they have insurance. Alternatively, some don't go to the doctor at all and only go to the hospital ER when they are sick because they have no insurance. The latter people will ignore the bill because they aren't willing or able to pay it.

People who pay Cobra, carry their own insurance, own a business, or work in the industry tend to know how much things cost.

/Also, malpractice insurance isn't cheap.
//Slashies!
///Crap, I'm bleeding. Off to the ER.

It only cost about $9k total for two days in a birthing suite and the delivery for my second child, this was 4 years ago so there hasn't been that much inflation in medical since then. My wife didn't need any advanced imaging or a herd of doctors and nurses but she did have minor surgery and of course there was the delivery itself which has about the highest malpractice costs of any procedure. Unless you are in a surgery suite or an ICU I'm not sure how you can rack up $5k an hour. Btw I know the amounts because the stupid practice sent a doctor not covered by our plan even though the practice AND my wife's OB were covered. I told them the bill wasn't my problem since I had done everything I could to insure coverage, I'm pretty sure they resubmitted under her doctors name which is probably insurance fraud.


Only $9,000?
 
2012-01-09 07:24:58 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Flint Ironstag: Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.

You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.


Except other countries pay far lower amounts for their healthcare, even with the taxes they pay, then we do without taxes. A single payer system has a lot of inherent benefits that help make it cheaper, not to mention a hell of a lot better in many ways.

One day the US will eventually realize there's a reason the rest of the world thinks our system is stupid.
 
2012-01-09 07:24:59 PM  
Socialised healthcare at its finest!
 
2012-01-09 07:26:08 PM  

hitchking: I know the US is a much more conservative country than the one I live in, but I honestly do not understand why people put up with a medical system like where hospital bills can bankrupt you.


We Americans "put up" with it because way too many of us believe what FOX News and other conservative talking heads tell us about Canadian (and UK) Health Care . . .

. . .that it's an Evil Socialist system (that means it's exactly like the USSR, and we know that doesn't work because their government collapsed 20 years ago) where Faceless Government Bureaucrats decide you can't get routine healthcare because of byzantine regulations and shadowy Death Panels decide to have Grandma euthanized to save on her medical expenses, and you have to stand in long lines for even basic healthcare, and everybody has to pay huge, crushing taxes to afford this, and that the USA right now has the absolutely best healthcare system anywhere in the world and the entire world envies and looks up to the US so there is absolutely no reason to emulate any other country and they should be taking our lead instead because we have so much Freedom, unlike those evil "single payer" systems where nobody is free and everybody is oppressed.

Sadly, that's NOT hyperbole, that really is what many Americans believe about healthcare reform.
 
2012-01-09 07:26:25 PM  
I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.
 
2012-01-09 07:26:36 PM  

MrSid: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Yes I would.

[stupidcelebrities.net image 618x430]


I would as well.

/ I call firsts
 
2012-01-09 07:26:47 PM  
Worth every penny, I'm sure.
 
2012-01-09 07:27:45 PM  

EdNortonsTwin: Not hard to spot the people working at hospitals who are there to make sure the hosp gets paid - they are dressed in business attire and want signatures from you, even if you are half conscious.


Oh yes. Mrs. Cthulhu usually has to make an annual trip to the ER this time of year because of the flu and her diabetes- she gets ketoacidosis when she gets sick, and it turns into a life threatening condition. At the hospital we usually go to, they have this girl who goes around all the ER bays while people are you know.. being treated for emergency stuff... shoves a pile of paperwork into the patient's hand and asks for payment NOW. I've chased her off whenever she's made it to our area, but twice she's threatened to call security on me and have me escorted off the grounds. It's not like we could leave without having to pass her office, the exit is conveniently located right next to the "PAY ME" window.

I've discussed this with the the charge nurse and a couple of docs on the floor, they think it's crass but mostly just shrug, since they're contractors and not employees.
 
2012-01-09 07:27:48 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?


Texas passed malpractice reform several years ago.

She is limited to suing for $250k in a medical malpractice case. The $250k is not indexed to inflation.

As you can tell, medical care in Texas is not any cheaper because of that.
 
2012-01-09 07:27:53 PM  
Sounds about right.

Spent an hour in the ER once, thinking I was having a heart attack.

EKG, Urine Sample, and a doctor telling me "Your heart appears to be beating fast, but it isn't a heart attack" cost me 6k.

I wish I would have gotten his "Captain Obvious" autograph. That's why I'm currently enrolled in nursing... Easiest money making scheme ever. It's just an expensive guessing game.
 
2012-01-09 07:28:11 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.


The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?
 
2012-01-09 07:28:20 PM  
Several years ago: Seven stitches in finger at ER (it was late).

Cost to me: $300
Cost to my insurance: $1100

If I'd known it was going to be that much to either myself or the system I would have used duct tape. And I will next time.

Yes, our system is totally broken. And barbaric. Hoping that Obamacare is the first step toward a universal single-payer healthcare system. Kinda like Don't-ask-don't-tell was the first step toward having openly gay people serve in the military.
 
2012-01-09 07:28:25 PM  
My last visit to the ER (after vomiting profusely four times to the point where I could hardly swallow) ran to about $5K and I was only there for a couple of hours.

My last overnight stay (pericarditis) was over $10K.

Of course I have no insurance and had to plead poverty on both. I hope the proud American capitalists who oppose a single-payer system enjoy (over)paying for my medical care.
 
2012-01-09 07:28:53 PM  

change1211: Ahh, the ignorance. Enjoy going bankrupt to pay for basic medical care.


Of course I was joking but at the same time, I'm well aware of the problems with Canada's problems with providing health care as my sister lives in Windsor. She once had to wait over a month for tests for back pain so bad that she was constantly popping pain killers. After the problem was discovered, it was months before she finally had the surgery. Had she been in the US and covered by insurance, she would have been taken care of within a week. Canada's system is only better when compared to somebody here without insurance.
 
2012-01-09 07:29:03 PM  

beerdiva: From the more in depth article: As recently as September, the hospital's online billing system showed Torres' balance as $4,850. The hospital's collection agency sent Torres a bill seeking the $4,850 payment, but when the hospital learned Torres was involved in an automobile wreck, it updated the online billing records to show a balance of $20,211, the filing claims.


Exactly. I think the real story here is how the bill increased substantially once the insurance company came into play. And how so many people think "oh the insurance company is paying for it, I don't really care what the bill is!".

I am amazed that people have a hard time seeing that we are paying for it, either way you slice it. It's either directly from our pockets to the ER or filtered out of our pockets via high insurance premiums. But we pay either way!

FTFA:

Melissa Torres filed a lawsuit against Mainland Medical Center in Texas City, claiming the hospital increased its bill fivefold and made a claim against her insurance settlement.

Props for Ms Torres ~ for not blowing off the unjustified inflation just because the insurance company (not her directly) was being charged.
 
2012-01-09 07:29:33 PM  
SnarfVader 2012-01-09 06:00:38 PM

$20k is not at all unheard of for an ER visit. Unreasonable? Depends on what treatments she received.


Inside four hours, with the patient walking out at the end of said for hours, the liklihood of this being reasonable in any conceivable case is zero. I spent 72 hours in fracking cardiac ICU -- after spending six in ER -- slamming morphine the entire time like Keith Richards on bender in '75, spent a half hour in the MRI then had to go to surgery for a heart catheter and my total bill was $27k. Unless they gave her a go bag with enough dilaudid to drop an elephant daily for a year, there's no f'ing way anything near $20k is justified.
 
2012-01-09 07:29:33 PM  

SnarfVader: $20k is not at all unheard of for an ER visit. Unreasonable? Depends on what treatments she received. But it's highly likely that most Americans don't know the true cost of health care in this country. Most never look at how much their premiums really are (including what is covered by their employer). Most never see a bill beyond their deductible because they have insurance. Alternatively, some don't go to the doctor at all and only go to the hospital ER when they are sick because they have no insurance. The latter people will ignore the bill because they aren't willing or able to pay it.

People who pay Cobra, carry their own insurance, own a business, or work in the industry tend to know how much things cost.

/Also, malpractice insurance isn't cheap.
//Slashies!
///Crap, I'm bleeding. Off to the ER.


When hospitals and insurance companies do everything possible to try and hide the true cost of medical services, can you really blame people of being ignorant? I recently had a same-day surgical procedure to remove a benign tumor from a salivary gland. Total cost on the bill was around $20K, my cost was about $400 thanks to insurance. Which was fine, but what really blew me away was the line item listing a 0.5 tube of Bacitracin for $40. FORTY farkING DOLLARS for a tiny tube of ointment that I didn't even get to take with me.

And we wonder why health care is so expensive.
 
2012-01-09 07:29:49 PM  

TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.


There are, what, about 12 million illegal immigrants. Unless each one is using ER on a daily basis, I don't think they're responsible for $20K in ER bills instead of $24.95

poor schmucks tend to make lots of little schmucks
 
2012-01-09 07:30:23 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.


Want to imagine what it's like? I could be hyperbolic and say let someone kick you repeatedly in the nuts, until you're just laying on the ground moaning in pain. Then, hold off on going to see a doc until you actually start pissing blood. And if you're in a particular shiatty job, wait a few days after that, just to see if it clears up on it's own.

Now if I don't want to be hyperbolic, but instead want to give a real, personal example, I'd say this. I dropped a 20 foot long piece of channel steel on my thumb one Monday at work. It hurt so bad I ran to the head and just made it on the can before I shiat myself. After about a half hour on the toilet, I clocked out and asked one of my coworkers to help me to his car and drive me home, where I took a handful of motrin I had left over from something. I then went back to work for the rest of the week until I had reserve drill that Saturday, where I had a kindly corpsman pronouce me with a broken finger.
 
2012-01-09 07:31:15 PM  
I wonder if they hospital learned that she was filing a personal injury claim.

The Hamilton County (Tennessee) EMS will routinely charges insured persons about $300 for transportation to the hospital UNLESS they learn that the patient are pursuing a claim, in which they refuse to accept their insurance and demand to be paid over $1100. They also demand being paid up front before sending the patient any bills or records necessary for using in pursuing an personal injury claim.

Extortion, medical providers often use it!
 
2012-01-09 07:31:28 PM  
evil insurance companies! oh, wait. they are all evil.
 
2012-01-09 07:31:59 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.


You, sir, are incorrect.

blogs.ngm.comView Full Size
 
2012-01-09 07:32:00 PM  
Just tell them to pound sand, die & go to hell.

/and file banko, as needed. That's the american way.
 
2012-01-09 07:32:05 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Flint Ironstag: Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.

You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.


Healthcare in the UK and Canada is about half the US on a GDP basis and they get better results to boot. No rational person not involved in the insurance industry or medical billing can argue for the existing system, and no "but socialism" is not a rational argument.
 
2012-01-09 07:32:31 PM  

hitchking: He has no private insurance and the only thing he had to pay was $40 for a sling.


Thats somewhat cheaper but still in the ballpark of what cash only doctors are charging in the US. Health Insurance is supposed to protect you from being bankrupted from a catastrophic injury. The amount of people who scramble to the ER for boo-boos drive up costs for everyone. Though I have good heath insurance with work, i went to cash only doctors for my last physical+bloodwork and dental work and it was still cheaper than what my copay would have been had I gone through my insurance.

Its amazing the kind of care you get from a doctor that doesn't have to staff an army of admin behind him to process paperwork.
 
2012-01-09 07:32:41 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: As expected, half the commentors in the linked website are blaming illegals for everything. Granted, their use of the ER as their doctor office is a drain on the hospitals, but they're not the only cause of the problem. And for as many of them as are in the ER, there is now likely as many "real Americans" with no insurance to begin with.

Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?


My friend with the terminal brain tumors would love to talk to you. The illegals in the emergency room came up and interrupted the nurse who was talking to her and told her they were there first--which they weren't. The staff were also sending in illegals before other patients who were in more serious condition, including my friend. It got so bad a doctor on duty at the ER came out into the waiting area and told the staff my friend should be in the ER now.

It stinks. I understand medical care is a necessary but hospitals shut down from this kind of traffic.
 
2012-01-09 07:33:05 PM  
As a hospital employee here are a few charges just off the top of my head:

CT scan. $3,000
MRI $3000
Crash cart: $5000 (if they open it)
Cardiac surgical tray (it's 8 feet by 4 feet) $8000

So you could easily rack up $20k, if you were shot in the chest. routine tests? Probably not.
 
2012-01-09 07:33:15 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.


Dude, you don't know what you're talking about. We haven't gone to the barber for medical care in years.
 
2012-01-09 07:33:33 PM  

jasimo: Several years ago: Seven stitches in finger at ER (it was late).

Cost to me: $300
Cost to my insurance: $1100

If I'd known it was going to be that much to either myself or the system I would have used duct tape. And I will next time.

Yes, our system is totally broken. And barbaric. Hoping that Obamacare is the first step toward a universal single-payer healthcare system. Kinda like Don't-ask-don't-tell was the first step toward having openly gay people serve in the military.


you don't want to know what the cost would have been had you not had the insurance company to negotiate deep discounts either. it would not have been just $1100.
 
2012-01-09 07:33:34 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Flint Ironstag: Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.

You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.


Every other developed country in the world has state universal coverage (though some have parallel private systems as well), and absolutely everyone is well aware that these systems are paid for through taxes.

No one thinks it's "free" or "low cost". It's a public program paid for by taxes. You're using a strawman argument.
 
2012-01-09 07:33:38 PM  

jasimo: If I'd known it was going to be that much to either myself or the system I would have used duct tape. And I will next time.


My Nurse Practitioner tells me to use surgical adhesive. AKA Super Glue. Stings a bit, but it works great.

This helpful hint and other do-it-yourself healthcare tips brought to you by the Uninsured Citizens of America.
 
2012-01-09 07:34:45 PM  

TigerStar: Gig103: Really it was $202.11, but since the other 9 people were illegals, they have to roll it into the first citizen they can find.

Actually, state medicare pays for the illegals. If you pay taxes, you are paying their bill. This is a good reason why everyone should have insurance, no? BTW, if your aren't a native american then you are an illegal too.


You can't force people who aren't here legally to have insurance, so how does it help? And BTW, your 'native american' comment is flawed, because I'm talking with respect to the U.S. laws. I have a U.S. Passport, which makes me a citizen.
 
2012-01-09 07:35:06 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: As expected, half the commentors in the linked website are blaming illegals for everything. Granted, their use of the ER as their doctor office is a drain on the hospitals, but they're not the only cause of the problem. And for as many of them as are in the ER, there is now likely as many "real Americans" with no insurance to begin with.

Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?


My father is a neurologist, and his malpractice insurance is trivial compared to his salary. Try again.

I love how conservatives argue that people should be responsible for their actions but at the same time doctors who fark up shouldn't be held responsible for their farkups.
 
2012-01-09 07:35:20 PM  
smug canadians in here i see.


/yes i'm farking jealous!
 
2012-01-09 07:35:41 PM  

Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.


Or applying for Medicaid.
 
2012-01-09 07:36:04 PM  

stuhayes2010: As a hospital employee here are a few charges just off the top of my head:

CT scan. $3,000
MRI $3000
Crash cart: $5000 (if they open it)
Cardiac surgical tray (it's 8 feet by 4 feet) $8000

So you could easily rack up $20k, if you were shot in the chest. routine tests? Probably not.


that's funny. when I was doing billing a over a decade ago for a hospital MRIs cost $1100 I think. ctscan was equivalent. austin texas.
 
2012-01-09 07:37:06 PM  

Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.


That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.

And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?


In many cases, yes. You should look up the Constitution. And yes, I know we already do a million unconstitutional things, but that doesn't make it right.

Or just add food, housing, cars, TVs, etc all to the list of public service and goods.
 
kab
2012-01-09 07:37:16 PM  
Silly geese, this is America. If someone can't profit off your sickness or injury, you're not worth helping.
 
2012-01-09 07:37:57 PM  
my hip replacement surgery was $38K (I know this because they didn't think I had insurance when they quoted me the price) and that included 2 days hospital stay, but did not include my doctors salary, so 20K for 4 hrs, is a little on the high side

I_Am_Weasel: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Pro-rated, that's only about $5 for 4 seconds.


Give me 30 minutes worth,

would you take a 3rd party out of state check
 
2012-01-09 07:37:57 PM  

namegoeshere: jasimo: If I'd known it was going to be that much to either myself or the system I would have used duct tape. And I will next time.

My Nurse Practitioner tells me to use surgical adhesive. AKA Super Glue. Stings a bit, but it works great.

This helpful hint and other do-it-yourself healthcare tips brought to you by the Uninsured Citizens of America.


Just remember that you're supposed to pinch the cut closed and then put the glue across the cut, like the doc would put stitches. You don't just fill up the whole wound with it.
 
2012-01-09 07:37:58 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Flint Ironstag: Prescriptions here are a fixed cost, about $12. I've had antibiotics in the past and that $12 covered the entire course, maybe 2 weeks worth?
And if you are unemployed you don't even have to pay that $12.
My brother is diabetic and his insulin is free as well.
And you can ask the pharmacist what the actual cost of the drug would be outside the NHS. Some drugs are cheaper if you pay privately so if it costs less than $12 you can pay the lower cost.

The UK bit the bullet just after WWII and formed the NHS. Problem today is the US has just too many huge corporations and high earning doctors invested in the current system and who are prepared to lobby against any real reform.

The NHS is certainly not perfect, there is waste and sometimes there is a significant waiting list, hence private treatment still exists, but in my whole life I've never had a problem that the NHS didn't deal with in a reasonable time, and I can't think of anyone I know who has had a real problem either.

You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.


Per Capita health care expenditure (2008):

kff.orgView Full Size


By this, you might assume that Americans are healthier.

But you'd be wrong.

ucatlas.ucsc.eduView Full Size


[citation] (data from 2000, hence the discrepancy in per capita)
 
2012-01-09 07:38:22 PM  

Close2TheEdge:
When hospitals and insurance companies do everything possible to try and hide the true cost of medical services, can you really blame people of being ignorant? I recently had a same-day surgical procedure to remove a benign tumor from a salivary gland. Total cost on the bill was around $20K, my cost was about $400 thanks to insurance. Which was fine, but what really blew me away was the line item listing a 0.5 tube of Bacitracin for $40. FORTY farkING DOLLARS for a tiny tube of ointment that I didn't even get to take with me.

And we wonder why health care is so expensive.


I used to work for an insurance claims editing company... you would be shocked, SHOCKED if you saw the kinds of billing shenanigans going on. And this is coming from someone who expects that kind of asshattery. As long as hospitals and docs insist on trying to bilk the system, companies like my old employer will be raking in tons of cash.

/Yes, in fact I did see a bill submitted for a hysterectomy procedure. Done on a guy.
 
2012-01-09 07:38:27 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2012-01-09 07:38:41 PM  

HempHead: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?

Texas passed malpractice reform several years ago.

She is limited to suing for $250k in a medical malpractice case. The $250k is not indexed to inflation.

As you can tell, medical care in Texas is not any cheaper because of that.


When the med-mal insurance providers were pushing caps in Tennessee, about 10 years ago, claiming they need to have it pass to help doctors fight high insurance premiums, the Democratics added an amendment that required the med-mal providers to reduce their premiums to reflect the doctor reduced liability. The insurance companies had the Republican sponsors kill the bill. Sadly, the power in the state legislator shifted and bad laws have been passed.

The insurance companies are having caps put into place across the nation. This limits their liability and reduces the amount of money they have to pay out on claims. It also increases their profits as they are not reducing premiums. Their actions are profit driven. They don't give a good god damn about doctors or reducing the amount they pay in insurance.
 
2012-01-09 07:38:41 PM  
That's only $5052.75 per hour. Hell, that's cheap!
 
2012-01-09 07:38:42 PM  

MrSid: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Yes I would.

[stupidcelebrities.net image 618x430]


I could afford about 5 min. that should be enough though
 
2012-01-09 07:39:20 PM  

KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.


============

They "owned" their own home. The father worked. Apparently he made too much to qualify. He would need to quit his job. That's the farked up thing. If these people were in section 8 and on food stamps, they would have been OK. Trying to do the right thing and pull your own weight? You're farked.
 
2012-01-09 07:39:35 PM  
I recently forked over $17k for a shoulder surgery in Austin, TX. They did have to put me under, but the whole thing took 4 hours.

All went smoothly.

That's a little over $4,000 per hour; must be good to be a surgeon.

What's broken about the U.S. medical system?
 
2012-01-09 07:40:22 PM  
The cost an in insurance company would pay is a fraction of your billed out rate. I believe the system is based on the sucker principle or someone will pay the rate they are charging, or perhaps other rates are based on a percentage of billed out rate.
 
2012-01-09 07:41:21 PM  

KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.


Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?
 
2012-01-09 07:42:31 PM  
They have to pay for the illegal border hoppers who come here to plop out their anchors and other free services, and the only way they can do it is to charge legal, law abiding citizens enormous rates to compensate for the loss.
 
2012-01-09 07:42:44 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.

And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?

In many cases, yes. You should look up the Constitution. And yes, I know we already do a million unconstitutional things, but that doesn't make it right.

Or just add food, housing, cars, TVs, etc all to the list of public service and goods.


see my post above.
the one about all the extra grubby hands in your pocket.

but it's okay, many Americans don't understand simple economics.
 
2012-01-09 07:43:44 PM  

jasimo:
You, sir, are incorrect.


You, sir, don't know how to argue a point. Correlation, causation...something like that :)
 
2012-01-09 07:44:30 PM  
I'm torn between telling them you're out of work and throwing their bills away until one comes that's marked down 90%, as I did when I was out of work, and my brother-in-law's strategy of putting it on a credit card and then declaring bankruptcy. They didn't actually intend to do that, thinking that paying without even bothering to negotiate was the honorable thing to do, but it worked out nicely for them after the payments broke their backs and they were able to BK.
 
2012-01-09 07:44:57 PM  
Scenario 1:
Hospital : That will be $20,000.
Insurance company: Yeah Right. How about $2000.
Hospital: I guess.

Scenario 2:
Hospital : That will be $20,000.
Uninsured patient: I don't have $20,000. Will you accept this pocket lint?
Hospital to IRS: And we're writing off this $20,000, and this $82,000, and this ....
 
2012-01-09 07:45:04 PM  

namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.

Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?


you got to do what you got to do
 
2012-01-09 07:45:32 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.


The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

blogs.ngm.comView Full Size


Health costs per person $7200 in USA, $3000 in the UK. And our life expectancy is longer.
 
2012-01-09 07:45:51 PM  

sno man: see my post above.
the one about all the extra grubby hands in your pocket.

but it's okay, many Americans don't understand simple economics.


Our healthcare problem is just all based on overhead?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..


No seriously....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
 
2012-01-09 07:46:02 PM  

change1211: CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.


Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

That is frighteningly bad. I just don't understand why people would wan ...


because he is a retard jackhole that cant think far enough ahead to save up some money in case something should happen to him, or have space on his credit card.
 
2012-01-09 07:46:05 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: [grqphs]


Darn it, you got in before me.

USA: The "best" healthcare money can buy! (And if you don't have money, fark off and die.)
 
2012-01-09 07:46:28 PM  

change1211: CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

...

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

That is frighteningly bad. I just don't understand why people would want to defend this system


You'd be surprised at how many people rail against "ObamaCare" and all its variants. I suggested these two options, both currently available:

Option 1: Pay on average $6000/year per person and have mediocre health care coverage and does not guarantee you won't get dinged for $20K like this example. And, those who are unemployed or otherwise have no insurance would not be covered at all.

or

Option 2: Pay on average $190/year per person and have similar, but maybe slightly better health care coverage and guarantees you will not get dinged for $20K as in this example. But, even those who are unemployed or uninsured will also get the same full coverage.

There are some who would prefer Option 1 to Option 2. Option 1 is the US health care system, the most expensive per capita in the world, by close to 2x the next most expensive one (Switzerland). Option 2 is the Cuban health care system, one of the cheapest one. Life expectancy and infant mortality rates for both US and Cuba are about equal: 77 for US, 76.9 for Cuba (don't have the numbers for infant mortality off hand, I'm sure people can google it).

It's like person A has a sleek car that gets 60 mpg, goes from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, has air conditioning, six speakers, max speed of 200 mph, almost zero emissions, and cost $2000 to purchase. And person B has a dump that gets 15 mpg, 0 to 60 in 15 seconds, no air, mono radio and barely breaks 60 mph, coughs up black smoke every time the gas pedal is stepped on, and cost $20,000 to purchase. "No, I like my car. If you want a car that gets better results, go buy one. I'm going to keep this clunker."
 
2012-01-09 07:47:35 PM  

namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.

Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?


Nope. That would be about as hysterical a response as assuming it's "the child's life or homelessness!!!"

Mine was just an observation as someone who's been both broke and sick as hell, simultaneously.
 
2012-01-09 07:47:57 PM  
And this is why forcing everyone to have insurance or having single payer is needed. If you don't have insurance you're farked.

My father was a director for a large healthcare provider in Virginia. There's a very common blood test that if you've ever had ANY blood work done, you've likely had this done.

Insurance companies paid between $17 and $85 for this test, depending on the insurance company. Cost of the test, including overhead, couriers, everything, was around $7.40.

Uninsured patients were billed $250.
 
2012-01-09 07:48:11 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.


As some people have pointed out, you're wrong about the cost.

Beyond the mere cost, universal coverage under a single-payer system would also smooth out health care bills by forcing everyone to participate in a national insurance pool. People would pay reasonable premiums their entire lives instead of paying nothing and gambling when they're young or paying exorbitant premiums when they're old.

Right now my wife and I get catastrophic-type insurance through my school for about $3000/year for a 25 year old male. My parents pay roughly that number per month. That's farked up. The sooner we have a universal single payer system the better.
 
2012-01-09 07:48:50 PM  

jasimo: YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.

You, sir, are incorrect.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]



yeah.. and obamacare pays for itself. Big Joe told us we would save about 2000 each,
but all I got for it was a friendly letter saying that due to the cuts to medicare, my doctor has to add a 480$ surcharge per patient, per year.

Yeah.. paid for by sucking the money out of medicare. WIN
 
2012-01-09 07:48:58 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: sno man: see my post above.
the one about all the extra grubby hands in your pocket.

but it's okay, many Americans don't understand simple economics.

Our healthcare problem is just all based on overhead?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..


No seriously....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


okay genius, enlighten me, Americans spend twiceish more than everyone else and get less for it, because?
 
2012-01-09 07:49:14 PM  

Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.


I used to work for a British owned company here in the States and they were always so secretive about what benefits our coworkers in the UK received. Of course this made everyone more interested in finding out. While in the US, salaries averaged higher, our UK counterparts got more than twice the Holiday/Vacation days we did, the free medical coverage, and higher pension contributions. It was difficult not to be jealous.
It may have all evened out once you look at taxes but it sure didn't feel like it.
 
2012-01-09 07:49:49 PM  

9beers: change1211: Ahh, the ignorance. Enjoy going bankrupt to pay for basic medical care.

Of course I was joking but at the same time, I'm well aware of the problems with Canada's problems with providing health care as my sister lives in Windsor. She once had to wait over a month for tests for back pain so bad that she was constantly popping pain killers. After the problem was discovered, it was months before she finally had the surgery. Had she been in the US and covered by insurance, she would have been taken care of within a week. Canada's system is only better when compared to somebody here without insurance.


I'm pretty surprised her wait was that long if she was in that amount of pain, that hasn't been my experience but stranger things have happened.

What would have happened if she had been in the US and couldn't pay for insurance, that's the real problem at hand.
 
2012-01-09 07:50:01 PM  

Flint Ironstag: The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.


Yeah, and you both are really bad at making a point. See my other post. How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.
 
2012-01-09 07:50:15 PM  
I recently got strep throat and had to go to the ER (was out of town during the holidays.) They took my vitals, a woman looked at my throat, and I left with a script for penicillin. Fairly efficient for an ER, actually. Spent about an hour there.

They sent me an invoice: $750. That's just booshiat. They did nothing to earn that shiat except give me a piece of paper saying it's ok to give me antibiotics. Doesn't even include the cost of the pills themselves. It's not a bill to me, but the fact that they charge that insane amount to my insurance... man. Insurance-less people really can go bankrupt very quickly in this country. It's frightening.

/welcome to the USA
//willing to pay more taxes for the peace of mind of guaranteed health care for me, my family, and my friends
 
2012-01-09 07:50:52 PM  

jasimo: YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.

You, sir, are incorrect.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]


Looks like Mexico has the right idea.
 
2012-01-09 07:51:13 PM  

hitchking: I mean, doesn't the prospect of these crazy fees deter people from seeking treatment? Wouldn't it be a huge source of anxiety and worry at a time when you probably have enough to worry about?


Yes. Obviously.
 
2012-01-09 07:51:13 PM  

sno man:
okay genius, enlighten me, Americans spend twiceish more than everyone else and get less for it, because?


Read my other posts as a quick start
 
2012-01-09 07:52:07 PM  

fusillade762: My last visit to the ER (after vomiting profusely four times to the point where I could hardly swallow) ran to about $5K and I was only there for a couple of hours.

My last overnight stay (pericarditis) was over $10K.

Of course I have no insurance and had to plead poverty on both. I hope the proud American capitalists who oppose a single-payer system enjoy (over)paying for my medical care.


How does that work? You can just throw up your arms and say "sorry, can't pay" and they let the bill slide? Do you have to bring a pay stub or something?

I'll add my name to the list of people who can't imagine the stress of not having health care. If I thought a ten thousand dollar hospital bill awaited me I would have accidentally killed myself while trying to remove my own appendix last year.
 
2012-01-09 07:52:24 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: jasimo:
You, sir, are incorrect.

You, sir, don't know how to argue a point. Correlation, causation...something like that :)


What correlation? US health costs $7300 per person compared to $3000 in the UK.

Seems a pretty direct comparison to me. Even if the correlation to life expectancy is disputed, the excellent Japanese figure being probably due to historical diet for example, you can't argue that healthcare in the UK, with our "Free to all" health treatment costs well under half the US "Pay up sucker" system.
 
2012-01-09 07:52:56 PM  

KrustyKitten: namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.

Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?

Nope. That would be about as hysterical a response as assuming it's "the child's life or homelessness!!!"

Mine was just an observation as someone who's been both broke and sick as hell, simultaneously.


The child's life or losing the house is not at all a hysterical response. It is our reality in this country. As an uninsured parent. I would have had my child in the er and damn the consequences, but I would have done so with a possible bankruptcy in mind, depending on the diagnosis.
 
2012-01-09 07:52:59 PM  
Gracias Amiga!
 
2012-01-09 07:53:04 PM  

sno man: CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

In Canada the total cost for all those visits is $0.00, and without any ...


Now would some of the Fark GOP apologists care to explain to all of us why the American system is better than Canada's?
 
2012-01-09 07:53:22 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: sno man:
okay genius, enlighten me, Americans spend twiceish more than everyone else and get less for it, because?

Read my other posts as a quick start


So doctors in the UK or here in Canada don't have similar schooling to the US?
Nice try, next?
 
2012-01-09 07:53:37 PM  

SnarfVader: People who pay Cobra, carry their own insurance, own a business, or work in the industry tend to know how much things cost.


Yep, and those people know that insurance companies get a huge discount over people who pay in cash.

I haven't read the entire thread yet to find the person who said "you can get lower rate with the emergency room if you pay cash and negotiate". But I know that person is here. And I am going to point out that the insurance companies negotiate a rate far lower than you can dream of.
 
2012-01-09 07:53:59 PM  
Healthcare costs have always been driven by excessive hospital profits. Always.

Risk sharing via health insurance is the only reason people can afford healthcare at all.

Hospital profits have been consistently running at 200% or more of costs forever.

/over 20 years in medical economics
 
2012-01-09 07:54:18 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

Yeah, and you both are really bad at making a point. See my other post. How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.


a big problem is we artificially constrain the supply of doctors to keep their salaries abnormally high. we have capped the medicare payments to he residency programs in 1997, at the behest of the AMA, so they could get richer.

this is the only country in the world where this could be happening.
 
2012-01-09 07:54:44 PM  
My own (cool?) story, as of today. TL;DR version: being a savvy shopper doesn't help you at all.

Mrs. Anomaly gets set up by her doctor to get a hysterectomy, for a bunch of individually minor, yet collectively ugly female problems. GYN is in-network. We have a $1500/month (and I pay the full (COBRA) premium) 90/10 PPO (it's the best option for us at the moment).

Find out at surgery scheduling that the hospital (Rex in Raleigh) is out of network due to tiffs with Aetna. That would go to 70/30 (not too bad) + above-UCR balance bill (where they really get you). Hospital estimates our cost to put total bill at $5600. I get the CPTs, check Medicare's OPPS (it's technically outpatient) for that ($4000), healthcarebluebook ($5500). Talk to Aetna to make sure Mrs. Anomaly meets clinical-policy guidelines, medical-necessity, etc. All looks good. I give the go-ahead, figuring the insurer won't give us significant trouble (I'd had good experiences with them in the past, and they actually respond to my former employer's HR, though they're a self-funded plan so they ought to). I thought I'd taken care of the potential land mine (insurer low-balls UCR and we get stuck with big balance bill).

Operation happens. Not even the slightest complication. Hospital bill comes in at $25000. (Separate from gyn, anesthesiologist, yadda yadda yadda).

I wait for a couple months while it winds its way through insurance, holding my breath. Eventually Aetna pays $12500. We quickly get a bill for the other $12500.

I call and talk about their estimates, mentioning "bait and switch" a lot. First person sends account for review which comes back "it's correct, suck it". I challenge again, they kick it upstairs.

Someone else calls me and offers 35% off, $8-oddK. I reiterate my position that they'd already been paid 2.5 times and I saw no reason to pay 2.5 more times. They kick it upstairs.

Woman calls me today to offer $6800 if paid within 10 days. Talks about account in detail. Says they had no idea at estimate time IUD removal was involved. (Following up with gyn to see if this is actually true). I check the EOB, billed amount for that was $9500.

I offer to pay that full $9500 plus $6000 for the hysterectomy minus the amount they'd already been paid, being $1200-odd dollars (rounding). The woman acted like I'd just asked for phone sex, said she'd take it to "the directors" but they'd never accept it. We'll see where this goes.

Since their payment plans charge no interest I may just pay $50 a month for 40 years.

Might try a public shaming campaign, or getting some State legislators to annoy them (they're owned by UNC). I figure the bait-and-switch narrative makes for a juicy story...
 
2012-01-09 07:55:51 PM  

Cuchulane: Healthcare costs have always been driven by excessive hospital profits. Always.

Risk sharing via health insurance is the only reason people can afford healthcare at all.

Hospital profits have been consistently running at 200% or more of costs forever.

/over 20 years in medical economics


where have you been all these year?
 
2012-01-09 07:56:02 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Grand_Moff_Joseph: As expected, half the commentors in the linked website are blaming illegals for everything. Granted, their use of the ER as their doctor office is a drain on the hospitals, but they're not the only cause of the problem. And for as many of them as are in the ER, there is now likely as many "real Americans" with no insurance to begin with.

Maybe we should start by asking how much of that cost goes to pad the surgeon's pockets and cover malpractice insurance?

My friend with the terminal brain tumors would love to talk to you. The illegals in the emergency room came up and interrupted the nurse who was talking to her and told her they were there first--which they weren't. The staff were also sending in illegals before other patients who were in more serious condition, including my friend. It got so bad a doctor on duty at the ER came out into the waiting area and told the staff my friend should be in the ER now.

It stinks. I understand medical care is a necessary but hospitals shut down from this kind of traffic.


I'm not disagreeing with your situation. Your friend nearly got screwed over there, and that's not fair. And as a long time TX resident, I know how badly some hospitals have been hurt because of this problem. All I'm saying is that illegal immigrants are not the sole source of the problems, and should not be used by the general public as a whipping post for the entire healthcare system.
 
2012-01-09 07:56:35 PM  

Flint Ironstag: YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.

The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?


Strict constitutionalists in the US believes the only public service that the US government should provide is defense of the country, which means freedom to carry guns all over the damned place. Other than that, it's bootstraps all over the place, boy.
 
2012-01-09 07:56:45 PM  

Fubini: Adolf Oliver Nipples: You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.

As some people have pointed out, you're wrong about the cost.

Beyond the mere cost, universal coverage under a single-payer system would also smooth out health care bills by forcing everyone to participate in a national insurance pool. People would pay reasonable premiums their entire lives instead of paying nothing and gambling when they're young or paying exorbitant premiums when they're old.

Right now my wife and I get catastrophic-type insurance through my school for about $3000/year for a 25 year old male. My parents pay roughly that number per month. That's farked up. The sooner we have a universal single payer system the better.



Undoubtedly, the huge per capita discrepancies are the result of gross inefficiency in the system. Hospitals have to resort to bizarre pricing schemes to cover the cost of the uninsured's ER visits. A huge portion of the population are under or uninsured.

Whenever you have bizarre convoluted pricing schemes, you have waste. You have corruption. You have fraud. This all adds up.

If every ER simply let under/uninsured patients die in the parking lot, for one week, this problem would be immensely visible and soon be reformed. Of course that won't happen (and shouldn't happen), but it also shouldn't have to be that way.
 
2012-01-09 07:57:06 PM  
About 2 weeks ago, I go to the doc for my yearly sinus infection. He was nice enough not to check to see if the antibiotic he gave me interacted with the med I take for seizures.

Four days later, I have a grand mal in public. Since I can't speak my name or get my thoughts straight (even though my wife was with me), the EMTs insist on taking me to the ER. By the time we arrive, I am able to speak and have already googled the antibiotic to see if it was the likely cause.

They release me an hour later, can't wait to see what its gonna cost me for a bottle of saline and a bruise the size of a baseball on the inside of my arm because the idiots couldnt even do that right. I figure they put me through the whole thing so I couldnt sue them later if I had another seizure......who knows.

They seemed to hustle me out of there when they realzed that I wanted the fark out.

Can't wait till they narc on me to the DMV and I lose my drivers license for six months too.

/at least I have insurance
/not a cool story
 
2012-01-09 07:58:26 PM  
I would like to leave the United States and legally immigrate to a more forward thinking country. Seriously, I'm sick of this shiat. I was born and raised here and now I'm 46 and want out.

Any suggestions?
 
2012-01-09 07:58:43 PM  
That chart is also misleading, because it's over simplified. Lots of other factors in there related to life expectancy other than just how much money is spent.
 
2012-01-09 07:59:14 PM  

Fubini: As some people have pointed out, you're wrong about the cost.


I'm not wrong about the costs, seeing as how I never specified anything other than "extravagance". 8-9% of GDP is still extravagant.

And for everybody else, we have a problem here in the US and I do believe that "Obamacare" (which I support) is the best way to go right now. But I also don't describe something I paid for as "free", a common convention with our UK/Canadian brethren.
 
2012-01-09 07:59:21 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none one of which are is not addressed by single payer.


FTFY.
 
2012-01-09 07:59:51 PM  

weave: A few weeks ago I had a migraine so bad I thought I was going to die, so since it was middle of the night, my wife drove me to the ER. They took my vitals and told me to wait in the waiting room. I was laying on the hard floor in horrible pain for hours, but then it started to pass. After still not being seen after a few hours, I said "screw it, looks like I'm not going to die after all" and we went home.

I called the next day and ask them if they were going to bill me. They said yes, for the nurse taking my vitals. I can't wait to see how much this is going to be.


I believe there is a law that as long as you are making payments, no matter how little, the hospital cannot send your debt to collections. So if it's too big of a bill, send them a few bucks a month for the rest of your life.

Can some smart Farker confirm or deny that this is the law. I'm pretty sure it is, at least here in AZ.
 
2012-01-09 08:00:05 PM  

Hobodeluxe: MrSid: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Yes I would.

[stupidcelebrities.net image 618x430]

I could afford about 5 min. that should be enough though


That'll be $421.06, payable in cash please.
 
2012-01-09 08:01:20 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Our healthcare problem is just all based on overhead?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..


No seriously....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Have you ever looked into this issue, seriously? The US pays billions and billions of dollars in administrative overhead. If we had a single payer system (not necessarily socialized, just single-administrator) we would save upwards of 300 billion dollars per year. Currently administrative costs account for 31% of spending on healthcare.

Private companies take 15-20% overhead, Medicare takes 3%, and Canada takes 1%.

Our problem isn't based on overhead, but it's an obvious thing we should do.
 
2012-01-09 08:01:34 PM  

Silverstaff: hitchking: I know the US is a much more conservative country than the one I live in, but I honestly do not understand why people put up with a medical system like where hospital bills can bankrupt you.

We Americans "put up" with it because way too many of us believe what FOX News and other conservative talking heads tell us about Canadian (and UK) Health Care . . .

. . .that it's an Evil Socialist system (that means it's exactly like the USSR, and we know that doesn't work because their government collapsed 20 years ago) where Faceless Government Bureaucrats decide you can't get routine healthcare because of byzantine regulations and shadowy Death Panels decide to have Grandma euthanized to save on her medical expenses, and you have to stand in long lines for even basic healthcare, and everybody has to pay huge, crushing taxes to afford this, and that the USA right now has the absolutely best healthcare system anywhere in the world and the entire world envies and looks up to the US so there is absolutely no reason to emulate any other country and they should be taking our lead instead because we have so much Freedom, unlike those evil "single payer" systems where nobody is free and everybody is oppressed.

Sadly, that's NOT hyperbole, that really is what many Americans believe about healthcare reform.


It's because in the US system. the SHAREHOLDERS are the ones that are demanding the dividends and for their stocks to keep going higher and higher.

And all the time it's fark the customer and the employee.

And who are the SHAREHOLDERS? Bankers and other executives, who are the ones that bankroll all the corrupt politicians in the first place, All making billions from shuffling paper, not producing anything of value, and putting that money into more paper-shuffling rather than investing in providing goods and services.

They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. For the goal of dying rich.
 
2012-01-09 08:01:42 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: blah, blah blah canada


They're all fine for routine stuff. Just don't get REAL sick. For most of the population, it'll work. If they do it here, it'll be run as well as public housing, or the DMV, or unemployment, or any other fine gov't program.
 
2012-01-09 08:01:50 PM  
By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

You should pull a Ronnie Lott and just cut that off at the first joint.
 
2012-01-09 08:02:46 PM  

CanonicalNerd: Scenario 1:
Hospital : That will be $20,000.
Insurance company: Yeah Right. How about $2000.
Hospital: I guess.

Scenario 2:
Hospital : That will be $20,000.
Uninsured patient: I don't have $20,000. Will you accept this pocket lint?
Hospital to IRS: And we're writing off this $20,000, and this $82,000, and this ....


=============
YES! YES! YES!

You beat me to it. It's a scam. They claim huge loses and then demand that the state or Feds make up the diff. It's a twisted farked up broken system.

Just before my father retired and went on Medicare, he lost his health insurance. He got into a car accident coming home from work, he was 63 years old at the time. Fortunately, he had no-fault auto coverage. The hospital was told he had no-fault and given the policy number. He was in the ER for about 4 hours, was informed he had two cracked ribs, and was told to go home and make an appointment with his family doctor in a day or two. The bill for all this was over $5K. After the insurance company paid (about a 1/3 of the amount billed) the hospital sent my father a bill for the balance. I was like WTF? I called my father's lawyer and he told me not to pay it. He instructed me to send a letter to the hospital stating that if they accepted the no-fault assignment, they could not balance bill. I asked the lawyer why they sent the bill in the first place, since they must know how insurance works. His reply was that if you are stupid and pay the bill, it's a windfall for them. I also asked how it can be legal to have different fee structures according to who is paying. The lawyer didn't answer. I asked what would have happened if my father had no insurance at all. The lawyer stated that my father would have been on the hook for the entire $5K they probably would not have accepted only 1/3 as they did from the insurance company. After I sent the letter to the hospital billing office, I never heard from them again.

Nice, huh? Someone call me when the revolution starts.
 
2012-01-09 08:02:57 PM  
A few years ago the wife and I were in Canada when she developed a major sinus problem. We went to the emergency room at a major hospital on a Sunday to be told our insurance isn't good there. I asked about paying cash and the receptionist went away for a while, came back and started apologizing. She said she was sorry that they would have to have the money up front for the service and I could pay at the office - $160.00, total. I just kind of stared at her, and she took it the wrong way by explaining they couldn't take payments. I got up and asked if that was $160 Canadian - and went to the office when she said yes.

Unbelievable. When I pay a deductible for care here in the US, I feel that is the true cost of health care. Anything the Insurance company pays is profit. The premiums I pay are a gouge. For someone to fight to lower my health care costs just means I might not get gouged as much.

$160 for a visit, two doctors, (we requested a second opinion and another doctor was there in a minute), and meds. My opinion of our system did a 180 that day.
 
2012-01-09 08:03:16 PM  

Gig103: TigerStar: Gig103: Really it was $202.11, but since the other 9 people were illegals, they have to roll it into the first citizen they can find.

Actually, state medicare pays for the illegals. If you pay taxes, you are paying their bill. This is a good reason why everyone should have insurance, no? BTW, if your aren't a native american then you are an illegal too.

You can't force people who aren't here legally to have insurance, so how does it help? And BTW, your 'native american' comment is flawed, because I'm talking with respect to the U.S. laws. I have a U.S. Passport, which makes me a citizen.


That is because native americans are primitive and your people are superior, yes?
 
2012-01-09 08:03:26 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.


Because the amount of money just flowing into shareholders' pockets from all this is mind-bogglingly huge. Let's go with a part of this, the cost of pharmaceuticals.

Per theincidentaleconomist.com (a great source for hard numbers and info on health care economics), the amount the US (total) pays for drugs per year, minus the amount we'd pay if our per-capita health care expenditures were the same as the rest of the world (scaled up to reflect that we're richer), is bigger than the pharma industry's entire R&D and marketing (which is more than R&D) budgets, combined.

This tells me we could government-fund pharma R&D *at current levels*, literally give away the drugs to the world, and still (as a country) save money. (Unless actual pill manufacturing costs way more than R&D or something).
 
2012-01-09 08:03:50 PM  

o5iiawah: hitchking: He has no private insurance and the only thing he had to pay was $40 for a sling.

Thats somewhat cheaper but still in the ballpark of what cash only doctors are charging in the US. Health Insurance is supposed to protect you from being bankrupted from a catastrophic injury. The amount of people who scramble to the ER for boo-boos drive up costs for everyone. Though I have good heath insurance with work, i went to cash only doctors for my last physical+bloodwork and dental work and it was still cheaper than what my copay would have been had I gone through my insurance.

Its amazing the kind of care you get from a doctor that doesn't have to staff an army of admin behind him to process paperwork.


to be fair.. they have to write off all the people that dont pay them. I am sure if insurance companies required cash up front, then they could be cheaper too.
 
2012-01-09 08:03:50 PM  

hitchking: I mean, doesn't the prospect of these crazy fees deter people from seeking treatment? Wouldn't it be a huge source of anxiety and worry at a time when you probably have enough to worry about?


The fees do not deter people from going to the ER; people simply don't pay them, they tell the hospital to f*ck off and declare bankruptcy. Which is partly why the fees are so high, and why insurance is so goddamn expensive in the U.S., too. We *have* socialized healthcare in the United States, except before we all pay for everybody's care, the private sector middlemen bend us over and rape us in the ass, and how dare the government negotiate costs down and eliminate their cash cow.

And often people don't "go" to the ER, they're taken to the ER after an accident, a heart attack, etc. Like the lady in this article, hit by another driver. She probably told the cop who arrived on the scene that her neck hurt, he said "don't move" and called the paramedics. She didn't want to go to the ER? She shouldn't have gotten hurt. Enjoy the bill.
 
2012-01-09 08:03:57 PM  
Yay capitalism!
 
2012-01-09 08:04:03 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

Yeah, and you both are really bad at making a point. See my other post. How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.


UK NHS. Income £100billion. (About £2k per person)
Amount spent on providing healthcare: £100 billion.
Profit taken out by private hospitals, insurance companies, private ambulance services etc: Zero.

Perhaps you can provide the same figures for the US?


/Actually the NHS does have some private contractors and suppliers, but they don't have hospitals billing $80 for a $17 test.

Now can you see where that money goes? Most of it in the US goes to profit for all the private companies involved who can bill huge sums.

You can argue all you like but that does not change the fact that healthcare costs far more in the US than any other country and you have people being driven to bankruptcy, losing their homes or putting off treatment because they cannot afford it.
 
2012-01-09 08:04:17 PM  

Doppleganger871: That chart is also misleading, because it's over simplified. Lots of other factors in there related to life expectancy other than just how much money is spent.


Yeah, like how easy it is to see a doctor and get preventative care. That's the second half of the phrase "Americans pay much more for healthcare and get much less".
 
2012-01-09 08:04:35 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: And who are the SHAREHOLDERS? Bankers and other executives, who are the ones that bankroll all the corrupt politicians in the first place, All making billions from shuffling paper, not producing anything of value, and putting that money into more paper-shuffling rather than investing in providing goods and services.

They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. For the goal of dying rich.


Gee, I wish a shareholder like me was one of them. And hundreds of my coworkers who aren't millionaires and who are shareholders. Not everyone who owns stock is a rich bich.
 
2012-01-09 08:05:26 PM  
My copay for seeing my primary doctor is $35. I have to take the whole day off because of over booking and overly chatting patients. Total time about 4 hours.

ER copay. $100 and I get seen NOW! Plus the ER nurses are hotter.

Gee I wonder which one I'll use?
 
2012-01-09 08:06:05 PM  
MrSid: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Yes I would.


jaipals.comView Full Size


I'd paid for that also.
 
2012-01-09 08:06:50 PM  

namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.

Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?

Nope. That would be about as hysterical a response as assuming it's "the child's life or homelessness!!!"

Mine was just an observation as someone who's been both broke and sick as hell, simultaneously.

The child's life or losing the house is not at all a hysterical response. It is our reality in this country. As an uninsured parent. I would have had my child in the er and damn the consequences, but I would have done so with a possible bankruptcy in mind, depending on the diagnosis.


==============

Unless your state has a bankruptcy homestead exemption, you would have lost your house.
 
2012-01-09 08:07:34 PM  

MrSid: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Yes I would.

[stupidcelebrities.net image 618x430]


summon the ESPN multi-dimension/angle cam
 
2012-01-09 08:07:52 PM  

Ficoce: A few years ago the wife and I were in Canada when she developed a major sinus problem. We went to the emergency room at a major hospital on a Sunday to be told our insurance isn't good there. I asked about paying cash and the receptionist went away for a while, came back and started apologizing. She said she was sorry that they would have to have the money up front for the service and I could pay at the office - $160.00, total. I just kind of stared at her, and she took it the wrong way by explaining they couldn't take payments. I got up and asked if that was $160 Canadian - and went to the office when she said yes.

Unbelievable. When I pay a deductible for care here in the US, I feel that is the true cost of health care. Anything the Insurance company pays is profit. The premiums I pay are a gouge. For someone to fight to lower my health care costs just means I might not get gouged as much.

$160 for a visit, two doctors, (we requested a second opinion and another doctor was there in a minute), and meds. My opinion of our system did a 180 that day.


You can thank the rest of the Canadians for their contribution to your discounted costs.
 
2012-01-09 08:08:06 PM  

miss diminutive: fusillade762: My last visit to the ER (after vomiting profusely four times to the point where I could hardly swallow) ran to about $5K and I was only there for a couple of hours.

My last overnight stay (pericarditis) was over $10K.

Of course I have no insurance and had to plead poverty on both. I hope the proud American capitalists who oppose a single-payer system enjoy (over)paying for my medical care.

How does that work? You can just throw up your arms and say "sorry, can't pay" and they let the bill slide? Do you have to bring a pay stub or something?


Pretty much. Though I think they do their own research to see if you're employed or have a fat bank account somewhere.

Of course that's just the hospital. It doesn't include the bills from the ambulance company or the imaging service.
 
2012-01-09 08:08:18 PM  
Ctrl F: urgent care, no results found.


STOP GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM FOR THINGS THAT ARE NOT EMERGENCIES!

Dammit people, urgent care exists for a reason!
 
2012-01-09 08:08:24 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.

And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?

In many cases, yes. You should look up the Constitution. And yes, I know we already do a million unconstitutional things, but that doesn't make it right.

Or just add food, housing, cars, TVs, etc all to the list of public service and goods.


Well, first off, single payer won't have competing and conflicting payment and billing schemes that eat up a sizable amount of work at hospitals. Second, there won't be the 18 - 22% premium going to administrative costs (read: profits) of the insurance company (not the hospital). Medicare has a 3% administrative cost. Most for-profit insurance companies have greater than 15%. ObamaCare requires that the insurance companies work to ensure at least 85% of the premiums paid into the insurance go towards the medical service, so of course it would be just 15% for admin costs.
 
2012-01-09 08:08:27 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: Fubini: Adolf Oliver Nipples: You know what the worst thing about this whole situation is? The criticism from UK and Canada residents who talk about how they get their health are "for free", as if the taxes they pay at the levels they pay don't count. If you actually count expenditures for health care the costs are likewise extravagant. Someone has to pay for it, it's not "free" or "low cost" for everybody.

Eventually we will have to accept this reality here in the United States, and that's OK. But don't be fooled, US citizens. They get you coming or they get you going. TANSTAAFL.

As some people have pointed out, you're wrong about the cost.

Beyond the mere cost, universal coverage under a single-payer system would also smooth out health care bills by forcing everyone to participate in a national insurance pool. People would pay reasonable premiums their entire lives instead of paying nothing and gambling when they're young or paying exorbitant premiums when they're old.

Right now my wife and I get catastrophic-type insurance through my school for about $3000/year for a 25 year old male. My parents pay roughly that number per month. That's farked up. The sooner we have a universal single payer system the better.


Undoubtedly, the huge per capita discrepancies are the result of gross inefficiency in the system. Hospitals have to resort to bizarre pricing schemes to cover the cost of the uninsured's ER visits. A huge portion of the population are under or uninsured.


from what I understand, that isn't necessarily true. in austin where a not for profit runs the one where all the uninsured gravitate towards and several hospitals in the moderate and affluent areas as well it is actually a money maker once they take into account the money made from those people who are admitted.

in any event I'm not sure for profit hospital systems run downtown hospitals with huge indigent ER populations.
 
2012-01-09 08:09:28 PM  

Fissile: namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: namegoeshere: KrustyKitten: Fissile: I know a family where the father lost his job and lost his health care coverage. After a few months he did find another job but at lower pay and no health insurance. This family could not afford to pick up the entire tab for health insurance. Their oldest daughter developed sharp chest pains and the family begged her not to go to the ER. They reasoned that since she was a minor, the hospital would come after them for the money, and they would lose their house. A few months later, when the girl turned 18, her friends drove her to the ER, she told the people at the admissions desk that she was homeless. As it turned out, she did not have a serious condition. Nice, huh. In America you get to chose between saving your child's life or becoming homeless.

Or applying for Medicaid.

Do you know what the income cutoff for medicaid is? Pretty farking low. So are you advising people to quit their jobs and go on welfare so that they can be eligable for medicaid and still eat and have a roof over their heads?

Nope. That would be about as hysterical a response as assuming it's "the child's life or homelessness!!!"

Mine was just an observation as someone who's been both broke and sick as hell, simultaneously.

The child's life or losing the house is not at all a hysterical response. It is our reality in this country. As an uninsured parent. I would have had my child in the er and damn the consequences, but I would have done so with a possible bankruptcy in mind, depending on the diagnosis.

==============

Unless your state has a bankruptcy homestead exemption, you would have lost your house.


Exactly.
 
2012-01-09 08:09:47 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: I'm not wrong about the costs, seeing as how I never specified anything other than "extravagance". 8-9% of GDP is still extravagant.

And for everybody else, we have a problem here in the US and I do believe that "Obamacare" (which I support) is the best way to go right now. But I also don't describe something I paid for as "free", a common convention with our UK/Canadian brethren.


Sorry, I was just reiterating that a single-payer option is far more efficient than what we have now. I don't know how these numbers translate into dollars, but as I pointed out above to another poster it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect 1-3% overhead in a publicly administrated single-payer system. For comparison, private companies in the US take 15-20% overhead.
 
2012-01-09 08:10:53 PM  

sno man: No seriously....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

okay genius, enlighten me, Americans spend twiceish more than everyone else and get less for it, because?


because ford focus will cost you 34,000$ ?
 
2012-01-09 08:11:00 PM  

dericwater:
Option 1: Pay on average $6000/year per person and have mediocre health care coverage and does not guarantee you won't get dinged for $20K like this example. And, those who are unemployed or otherwise have no insurance would not be covered at all.

or

Option 2: Pay on average $190/year per person and have similar, but maybe slightly better health care coverage and guarantees you will not get dinged for $20K as in this example. But, even those who are unemployed or uninsured will also get the same full coverage.

There are some who would prefer Option 1 to Option 2. Option 1 is the US health care system, the most expensive per capita in the world, by close to 2x the next most expensive one (Switzerland). Option 2 is the Cuban health care system, one of the cheapest one. Life expectancy and infant mortality rates for both US and Cuba are about equal: 77 for US, 76.9 for Cuba (don't have the numbers for infant mortality off hand, I'm sure people can google it).


smh

Do you think you're comparing apples and apples? The US spent $2.5 TRILLION in 2009 (just did a quick search, don't know the latest). That's $8100 per person in the US. Do you think you can wave your magic wand and get the same thing for $190? Do you think that Cuba is going to lead the world in medical breakthroughs?

I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.
 
2012-01-09 08:11:10 PM  

change1211: I'm pretty surprised her wait was that long if she was in that amount of pain, that hasn't been my experience but stranger things have happened.


Because they considered her pain manageable, she was low on the priority list. The pills helped quite a bit but she didn't care for having to go through her day doped up on drugs. Canada does a good job with health care but there are some cracks that people can slip through.
 
2012-01-09 08:11:43 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: It's fun to blame the illegal immigrants!

There are, what, about 12 million illegal immigrants. Unless each one is using ER on a daily basis, I don't think they're responsible for $20K in ER bills instead of $24.95


we actually see alot of them, and we cant bill them because they wont give us proper addresses and furthermore we cant hold it to them because it doesnt matter because it wont hurt their credit because they have none. Usually illegals use us for their primary care i get at least 3-4 a night. Now so far as cost id say most of us would be very happy to see a single payer system i cant speak for everyone, work for a non profit hospital but we have to make up costs or we go out too we have been purchasing alot of the surrounding hospitals like healthpark as they were about to go under, they became an outpatient surgery center for us

However this particular hospital bill in question 20k is abolutely rediuculous of course I have seen one 300k bill but most of them were handled through charity that was given from the hospital to the pt basically they got a new limb from us but ive not ever seen an account with 20k from ONE visit but you do have those people who come habitially, instead of using our clinics that are open 7 days a week from 8am to 9pm and we advertise this EVERYWHERE better to owe 100 bucks than 1k, and end up owing the hospital 20-50k for non emergent visits.
 
2012-01-09 08:11:54 PM  

dericwater: ObamaCare requires that the insurance companies work to ensure at least 85% of the premiums paid into the insurance go towards the medical service, so of course it would be just 15% for admin costs.


Which means in order to inflate their 15%, the insurance companies have to inflate the other 85%. It's a noble effort, but it doesn't do anything except provide an incentive to increase costs.
 
2012-01-09 08:12:11 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: Whenever you have bizarre convoluted pricing schemes, you have waste. You have corruption. You have fraud. This all adds up.


It also, incidentally, means adding free-market-iness to the system doesn't help. It's impossible to determine what the price of anything actually is. I thought I was a reasonably savvy shopper, and still got burned (csb upthread).
 
2012-01-09 08:12:14 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: And this is why forcing everyone to have insurance or having single payer is needed. If you don't have insurance you're farked.

My father was a director for a large healthcare provider in Virginia. There's a very common blood test that if you've ever had ANY blood work done, you've likely had this done.

Insurance companies paid between $17 and $85 for this test, depending on the insurance company. Cost of the test, including overhead, couriers, everything, was around $7.40.

Uninsured patients were billed $250.


See I look at this same situation and go in a different direction. I don't think that the solution to price gouging by healthcare providers is to make these poor and underemployed people buy an insurance policy from a for-profit company. Even if they manage to scrounge up the premium costs, they won't be able to afford the deductibles, co-pays, or uncovered costs. They are just being made to purchase a healthcare financing option they can't afford to use. What should have been done was to expand medicare/medicaid in order to help those in need. The expanded coverage wouldn't necessarily need to be free either. But at least these people would have better access to healthcare and some added governmental protection.
 
2012-01-09 08:12:20 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

Yeah, and you both are really bad at making a point. See my other post. How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.


Single payer doesn't affect how long a doctor spends in school or what that education costs. What it does do is lessen the need for that doctor (or hospital) to have an army of admin staff to deal with dozens of insurance companies with different billing formulas, and even more staff to deal with negotiating purchase contracts with medical product suppliers. Reducing the required levels of support staffing and utilizing economy of scale in purchasing are big factors in bringing the overhead costs down and allowing medical professionals to treat patients based on medical need rather than comparative levels of coverage/cost or paperwork.
 
2012-01-09 08:13:26 PM  

Doppleganger871: Ficoce: A few years ago the wife and I were in Canada when she developed a major sinus problem. We went to the emergency room at a major hospital on a Sunday to be told our insurance isn't good there. I asked about paying cash and the receptionist went away for a while, came back and started apologizing. She said she was sorry that they would have to have the money up front for the service and I could pay at the office - $160.00, total. I just kind of stared at her, and she took it the wrong way by explaining they couldn't take payments. I got up and asked if that was $160 Canadian - and went to the office when she said yes.

Unbelievable. When I pay a deductible for care here in the US, I feel that is the true cost of health care. Anything the Insurance company pays is profit. The premiums I pay are a gouge. For someone to fight to lower my health care costs just means I might not get gouged as much.

$160 for a visit, two doctors, (we requested a second opinion and another doctor was there in a minute), and meds. My opinion of our system did a 180 that day.

You can thank the rest of the Canadians for their contribution to your discounted costs.


No discount, took longer for them to figure the price than it took to be seen. We had to pay at cost. Not saying you Canuks don't pay too much in taxes for it - but we paid cost. Sorry about that.
 
2012-01-09 08:13:26 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.


When people are wrong, they have a tendency to retreat into predictable avenues of fallacious argumentation. This one is known typically as the "strawman".
 
2012-01-09 08:15:42 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: $8100 per person in the US. Do you think you can wave your magic wand and get the same thing for $190? Do you think that Cuba is going to lead the world in medical breakthroughs?


Well, see upthread about pharma. For that we could take on the entire current R&D cost (thereby not sacrificing the tiniest bit of bootstrappy innovativeiness) and still save a lot of money
 
2012-01-09 08:16:34 PM  

Doppleganger871: Ficoce: A few years ago the wife and I were in Canada when she developed a major sinus problem. We went to the emergency room at a major hospital on a Sunday to be told our insurance isn't good there. I asked about paying cash and the receptionist went away for a while, came back and started apologizing. She said she was sorry that they would have to have the money up front for the service and I could pay at the office - $160.00, total. I just kind of stared at her, and she took it the wrong way by explaining they couldn't take payments. I got up and asked if that was $160 Canadian - and went to the office when she said yes.

Unbelievable. When I pay a deductible for care here in the US, I feel that is the true cost of health care. Anything the Insurance company pays is profit. The premiums I pay are a gouge. For someone to fight to lower my health care costs just means I might not get gouged as much.

$160 for a visit, two doctors, (we requested a second opinion and another doctor was there in a minute), and meds. My opinion of our system did a 180 that day.

You can thank the rest of the Canadians for their contribution to your discounted costs.


I suspect that that $160 is actually the real cost of that treatment. It is only in the US where they take the real cost and multiply it by ten before billion the patient or insurance company.
 
2012-01-09 08:17:17 PM  

TommyymmoT: I_Am_Weasel: TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.

Pro-rated, that's only about $5 for 4 seconds.
=========

SOLD!

You say "premature ejaculation".
I say "coming in 1st".

I WON! I WON!


I would like to purchase the best two minutes of my life, please.
 
2012-01-09 08:17:23 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Thanks a lot, Fartbamacare.


Its funny cuz it never happened.. tard...
 
2012-01-09 08:17:44 PM  

beerdiva: om the more in depth article: As recently as September, the hospital's online billing system showed Torres' balance as $4,850. The hospital's collection agency sent Torres a bill seeking the $4,850 payment, but when the hospital learned Torres was involved in an automobile wreck, it updated the online billing records to show a balance of $20,211, the filing claims.


I think a good case could be made that the hospitals actions amount to felony fraud. Since they originally billed her for $4850 and then tried when they found she had the money to jack $15,631 out of her or else they were going to sue her and wreck her credit rating. That's fraud pure and simple. Someone at the hospital should serve time for that.
 
2012-01-09 08:17:44 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: It's fun to blame the illegal immigrants!

There are, what, about 12 million illegal immigrants. Unless each one is using ER on a daily basis, I don't think they're responsible for $20K in ER bills instead of $24.95


Those bullet and stab wounds cost a lot. Here in California all motorists now pay an extra $5 for every traffic ticket to offset the cost of helicopter flights becuase trauma rooms had to close, because those with bullet and stab wounds couldn't afford to pay. It's a vicious cluster.
 
2012-01-09 08:17:55 PM  
I see that

sno man: YouFarkingIdiot: sno man:
okay genius, enlighten me, Americans spend twiceish more than everyone else and get less for it, because?

Read my other posts as a quick start

So doctors in the UK or here in Canada don't have similar schooling to the US?
Nice try, next?


Read my others posts. Nice try, next?
 
2012-01-09 08:18:11 PM  

CitizenTed: And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.


Well, yeah. The US health care system needs to be focused more on health outcomes rather than running up bills. As long as it's only focus is reimburse for time and materials your finger nail is an opportunity for profit, not something to fix.

Extremities have poor blood flow. They take a long time to heal. Go see an acupuncturist.
 
2012-01-09 08:19:27 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: YouFarkingIdiot: I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.

When people are wrong, they have a tendency to retreat into predictable avenues of fallacious argumentation. This one is known typically as the "strawman".


when people don't understand basic math or economics, they tend to come up with arguments like the example I made. This thread is full of people making such arguments.
 
2012-01-09 08:19:32 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot:
Do you think you're comparing apples and apples? The US spent $2.5 TRILLION in 2009 (just did a quick search, don't know the latest). That's $8100 per person in the US. Do you think you can wave your magic wand and get the same thing for $190? Do you think that Cuba is going to lead the world in medical breakthroughs?

I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.


And how much of that $2.5t is taken out in profit by the various companies involved along the way?
 
2012-01-09 08:19:42 PM  

TheDirtyNacho: Per Capita health care expenditure (2008):

www.kff.org

By this, you might assume that Americans are healthier.

But you'd be wrong.

ucatlas.ucsc.edu

[citation] (data from 2000, hence the discrepancy in per capita)


Can you put together a chart that includes obesity stats? I want to see if we spend more and live less because we're all fatties.

/fatty
 
2012-01-09 08:20:10 PM  

jasimo: YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.

You, sir, are incorrect.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]


American Exceptionalism: How to spend farktastically huge sums across different fields (military, education, healthcare) and still manage to have jack shiat of beneficial real value to it.
 
2012-01-09 08:20:18 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Do you think you're comparing apples and apples? The US spent $2.5 TRILLION in 2009 (just did a quick search, don't know the latest). That's $8100 per person in the US. Do you think you can wave your magic wand and get the same thing for $190? Do you think that Cuba is going to lead the world in medical breakthroughs?

I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.


Your argument would make sense, EXCEPT we know that patient outcomes in the US are worse than in lots of other countries. You apparently didn't even read the post you were responding to- the whole point was that life expectancy in Cuba is equivalent to life expectancy in the US and Cuba pays orders of magnitude less on their health care system than we do.

It might be the case that we have world-class health researchers here in the US, but we have an entire government agency that is solely responsible for funding those people (the NIH - National Institutes of Health). That research money isn't coming out of your average taxpayer's insurance premium. The NIH is funded with billions upon billions of dollars, they don't need to nickle and dime Joe sixpack.

When you compare apples to apples (health outcomes and life expectancy) the US does very poorly compared to the first-world.
 
2012-01-09 08:20:37 PM  

Doppleganger871: Ficoce: A few years ago the wife and I were in Canada when she developed a major sinus problem. We went to the emergency room at a major hospital on a Sunday to be told our insurance isn't good there. I asked about paying cash and the receptionist went away for a while, came back and started apologizing. She said she was sorry that they would have to have the money up front for the service and I could pay at the office - $160.00, total. I just kind of stared at her, and she took it the wrong way by explaining they couldn't take payments. I got up and asked if that was $160 Canadian - and went to the office when she said yes.

Unbelievable. When I pay a deductible for care here in the US, I feel that is the true cost of health care. Anything the Insurance company pays is profit. The premiums I pay are a gouge. For someone to fight to lower my health care costs just means I might not get gouged as much.

$160 for a visit, two doctors, (we requested a second opinion and another doctor was there in a minute), and meds. My opinion of our system did a 180 that day.

You can thank the rest of the Canadians for their contribution to your discounted costs.


And you're welcome.
Spit balling here, but what maybe 5 mins with each doc, some nurse time, a couple of mins with the triage nurse... maybe 20 mins face time altogether tops, for $160.00 is probably just about what that actually cost. See that's the difference, here in Canuckistan all the people that actually do the work get paid. But the system is set up to basically break even. We don't NEED to charge extra so someone that has no interest in you getting better or not can profit.
 
2012-01-09 08:20:49 PM  

CitizenTed: Flint Ironstag: A while ago I was unemployed and happened to badly sprain my ankle. After a couple of days it was getting no better with rest and ice so I went to the ER and was checked out and had a couple of x-rays.

Of course since I live in the socialist Great Britain so all it cost me was the price of the latte I got from the vending machine while waiting. And I only had to wait about twenty five minutes. My local ER (A+E here) is brand new and they had all the high tech stuff like the x-rays being digital and on a PC rather than the old big film ones.

I really just cannot imagine having to worry about health insurance. We have private treatment and private insurance here, but as an option should you choose to have it. Just seems so.... barbaric.

By contrast: I have a messed up fingernail. I am employed and have health insurance but its coverage its a complicated mess of rules, ratios, percentages, limitations and deductibles. I gotta admit: I can't understand half of it. It makes no sense.

So anyway, my fingernail got so messed up that it looked like it was going to rot off my finger. So I went to my doctor. He put me on antibiotics. That all cost me about $230 (after insurance). The nail didn't get better so I was sent to a hand specialist in a plastic surgery clinic. She put me on stronger antibiotics and had me return for a few visits. That cost me about $300 (after insurance). The antibiotics didn't work so they took several cultures across several more visits. They cost me about $200 (after insurance). Now, they think maybe it's a fungus so I'm painting anti-fungal on my nail every day. Still not healed, still not sure what's wrong, but I'm out over $700. For a fingernail. And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.


My family has insurance that clearly states it will cover 100% of delivery costs. My baby is over a year old and we still get a letter from collections agencies every few months. A few hours on the phone with the hospital and insurance and they swear up and down that the problem is fixed.

Even with "good" insurance our system is farked.
 
2012-01-09 08:21:17 PM  
TheDirtyNacho: Flint Ironstag: CitizenTed:

At some point, hyperinflation within the medicine-insurance complex is going to occur. Probably sooner than later, as its not a linear process. There will be a tipping point where it is too expensive for most to have any kind of insurance, so there will be dropouts, which will lead to increasing premiums on the remaining, who will then drop out, and repeat. Insurances companies (and there are not very many, actually, that make up the foundation), will simply go insolvent.

Without brutal intervention, it is going to fail spectacularly and fast.


The worst part is the infrastructure we are going to loose as a result; Hospitals closing, clinics closing and various specialty labs. All that built up infrastructure gone, farking sad. Single payer healthcare now.
 
2012-01-09 08:22:19 PM  

Doppleganger871: That chart is also misleading, because it's over simplified. Lots of other factors in there related to life expectancy other than just how much money is spent.


True. But even if you take the age expectancy out, we're still paying 2-3 times what other industrialized countries are paying (and we're seeing the doctor less often).

That's fine if we're all getting great care and everyone's covered. But we're not x 2. In fact, dozens/hundreds of people are going bankrupt every day because of medical problems, poor people use ERs as their primary medical care, people skip going to the doctor when they should because of costs, etc., etc., etc.
 
2012-01-09 08:22:28 PM  

Flint Ironstag:
And making people pay for a public service is "unconstitutional" Does that apply to the Police? The Army? Schools? Roads?


THIS!!!! 1000 times THIS
 
2012-01-09 08:22:48 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

Yeah, and you both are really bad at making a point. See my other post. How does magically paying from one source make it so that a doctor doesn't spend 16 years in post-secondary schools and come out with hundreds of thousands in debt? How does it make million dollar state of the art machines any less expensive? In Germany, I can go to a Apotheke (drug store) and the pharmacist has the ability to give me all kinds of medication that ONLY a doctor can give me here in the US. How much do you think the pharmacist with 4 years of post-grad makes compared to the doctor with 8-12 years + residency? Do you see how the problem is not single payer? It's a million other things, none of which are addressed by single payer.


How about we just take another country's health care system wholesale and bring it over to the US? Everything, from apothekes to 8-12 year + residency doctors to whatever. Just copy-paste another country's system to the US. Then all those million other things will be completely addressed.

The bottom line is this: the US pay twice as much, per capita, as the next highest paying country. Yet we get worse results than 36 other countries in terms of standard metrics: life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. If you get that kind of service, from say, an accountant or a massage therapist, wouldn't you go hunt around for an alternative? Why aren't we hunting around for an alternative?

And, given that every countries' health care system is fully available for anyone else to investigate, it's not like we have to completely reinvent the wheel here to have a working health care system. Just look for the best practices and make something resembling that. All other first-world governments seem to manage to make it work. What is inherent in our government (other than the GOP mantra that "government is the problem, not the solution") that makes it impossible to work?
 
2012-01-09 08:22:59 PM  

Delay: CitizenTed: And I'm a brave, patriotic, insured worker of America. I can't imagine what it'd be like if I wasn't insured.

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Universal single payer. NOW.

Well, yeah. The US health care system needs to be focused more on health outcomes rather than running up bills. As long as it's only focus is reimburse for time and materials your finger nail is an opportunity for profit, not something to fix.

Extremities have poor blood flow. They take a long time to heal. Go see an acupuncturist.


it needs to be focused on increasing the supply of providers, standardization, increasing access, increasing efficiency in administration, rationing, and stopping inflation in its tracks. you can only do it with single payer.
 
2012-01-09 08:23:30 PM  

Death_Poot: Can't wait till they narc on me to the DMV and I lose my drivers license for six months too.


I certainly hope so. Last thing we need is someone spazzing out on the freeway while they're driving. Just think of the devastation you would cause.
 
2012-01-09 08:23:37 PM  
Hell, just go get your windshield replaced and tell them that your going to pay cash. The price is waaaaaaay less than the price your insurance company would end up paying. It's absurd.
 
2012-01-09 08:25:11 PM  

Doppleganger871: jasimo: YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.

You, sir, are incorrect.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]

Looks like Mexico has the right idea.


Cuba's not listed there. Annual per capita health care cost is around $190. Life expectancy is just below the US's at 76.9 (2005 data, I believe). You can't even get a six-pack of viagra for $190.
 
2012-01-09 08:25:47 PM  
I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.
 
2012-01-09 08:27:33 PM  

Flint Ironstag: And how much of that $2.5t is taken out in profit by the various companies involved along the way?


Who are the companies along the way? Do they include the people who invent and manufacture state-of-the-art healthcare devices? Are they the ones who keep your boner going for 4 hours? How about the doctors who start their careers in their mid-to-late 30's instead of the rest of the world who starts in their early 20s (the same ones with lots of debt). How much profit should they make?

Oh, and how much is "taken out" by your standards?

And yes, I still think US healthcare is a farking mess. I was in the hospital overnight last month. No diagnostics at all. Bad stomach bug so they gave me anti-nausea, antibiotics, pain medication and fluids. So far they are charging over $10k. And it looks like my part of it will be over $2k coontil I fight it). The system is farked. Single payer does not fix the root cause.
 
2012-01-09 08:27:34 PM  

weave: A few weeks ago I had a migraine so bad I thought I was going to die, so since it was middle of the night, my wife drove me to the ER. They took my vitals and told me to wait in the waiting room. I was laying on the hard floor in horrible pain for hours, but then it started to pass. After still not being seen after a few hours, I said "screw it, looks like I'm not going to die after all" and we went home.

I called the next day and ask them if they were going to bill me. They said yes, for the nurse taking my vitals. I can't wait to see how much this is going to be.


I had a similar experience with a kidney stone which shifted just as the doc, a personal friend, introduced me to the ER nurse, who is also the county coroner. The pain was instantly gone, and the doc told me that they couldn't charge me if I signed a form refusing medical treatment. I figure that that little bit of information was worth ~$1K at least.
 
2012-01-09 08:28:51 PM  
Collections agencies. ER's should use them. Raising our bills to pay for the scofflaws is theft.

/no different from universal health care
//life liberty and property!
 
2012-01-09 08:28:59 PM  
"I certainly hope so. Last thing we need is someone spazzing out on the freeway while they're driving. Just think of the devastation you would cause."

If it were a recurring thing, I'd agree. First one I had in years, havent had one since. So, I think it's out of line in this case...........................your opinion may vary
 
2012-01-09 08:29:08 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: LouDobbsAwaaaay: YouFarkingIdiot: I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.

When people are wrong, they have a tendency to retreat into predictable avenues of fallacious argumentation. This one is known typically as the "strawman".

when people don't understand basic math or economics, they tend to come up with arguments like the example I made. This thread is full of people making such arguments.


It's funny how you're acting superior when clearly you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're reasoning about this issue on a grade-school level.

The basic math has been spelled out for you several times: people in Cuba and the US receive about the same quality of healthcare, when measured as patient outcomes. Cuba pays 10x less for their care than we do.

When you pay for medical procedures you're not subsidizing medical research and the first-class medical establishment we have in this country. Even if you do, the fraction of your bill going to fund those people is minuscule compared to overhead and corporate profits.

For comparison: the NIH (research funding arm of the US govt' for healthcare) was funded with 31 billion dollars last year while in 2007 the US spent 2.7 TRILLION dollars on healthcare. Since you can do the math I'm sure you realize that's equal to 2700 billion dollars. There are private research arms out there for sure, but they're not being funded anywhere near the levels you seem to be suggesting.
 
2012-01-09 08:29:09 PM  
You Cuba worshipers enjoy your single payer fantasy. I'm off to watch the national championship.
 
2012-01-09 08:30:03 PM  

Flint Ironstag: YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.


The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]

Health costs per person $7200 in USA, $3000 in the UK. And our life expectancy is longer.


And you make the assumption that he who spends the most money should have the higher life expectancy. Why? Life expectancy and spending can be inversely linked. The US is full of fat people that soak up health care while alive and die early.
 
2012-01-09 08:30:40 PM  

CthulhuCalling:

Oh yes. Mrs. Cthulhu usually has to make an annual trip to the ER this time of year because of the flu and her diabetes- she gets ketoacidosis when she gets sick, and it turns into a life threatening condition. At the hospital we usually go to, they have this girl who goes around all the ER bays while people are you know.. being treated for emergency stuff... shoves a pile of paperwork into the patient's hand and asks for payment NOW. I've chased her off whenever she's made it to our area, but twice she's threatened to call security on me and have me escorted off the grounds. It's not like we could leave without having to pass her office, the exit is conveniently located right next to the "PAY ME" window.



The ER I've gone to now twice *locks you in* until you've gone through their payment office. I had to wait half an hour the first time for someone to become available when my insurance had no deductible for ER visits, and 100% coverage, so I didn't owe anything, and they had that on my paperwork I had to sign when I came in with chest pain. (EKG, nitro, sign this) Annoyed me so much that I deliberately didn't follow the huge EXIT THIS WAY signs the second time.
 
2012-01-09 08:30:44 PM  
To me it is morally indefensible to profit from denying someone medical attention. I feel that at the Federal level, we should legislate that all medical insurance companies are required to operate as non-profit corporations. All profits MUST be plowed back into rate reductions, care improvements, and anything else that will benefit the patients, not to line the pockets of the stockholders, top management, and consultants.

Hospitals must also plow their profits into facilities improvements, meeting reasonable staffing levels, and other patient centered areas.

Now the doctors can run their offices as for profit, I have no problem with that.
 
2012-01-09 08:30:58 PM  

TigerStar: That is because native americans are primitive and your people are superior, yes?


I didn't say that. I said the scope of my comment regarding legality is that of U.S. citizenship.
 
2012-01-09 08:31:48 PM  

9beers: change1211: Ahh, the ignorance. Enjoy going bankrupt to pay for basic medical care.

Of course I was joking but at the same time, I'm well aware of the problems with Canada's problems with providing health care as my sister lives in Windsor. She once had to wait over a month for tests for back pain so bad that she was constantly popping pain killers. After the problem was discovered, it was months before she finally had the surgery. Had she been in the US and covered by insurance, she would have been taken care of within a week. Canada's system is only better when compared to somebody here without insurance.


Nah, I had a foreman who had to wait 9 months to get surgery for his arm and I live in a major metropolitan area. He had Kaiser insurance, they kept saying "there are no specialists available." Not all of us, even with insurance, get medical care right away either. So if that's the case, why not make it cheaper as well?
 
2012-01-09 08:31:51 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: Sadly, that's NOT hyperbole, that really is what many Americans believe about healthcare reform.

It's because in the US system. the SHAREHOLDERS are the ones that are demanding the dividends and for their stocks to keep going higher and higher.

And all the time it's fark the customer and the employee.


Golly, it sounds like you have the answer. Just start up your own insurance company and don't pay out evil dividends. Everyone will shop your wares, and you will put all insurance companies out of business. No trillion dollar health takeover needed.
 
2012-01-09 08:32:18 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: You don't get the discount if you don't have insurance. Sucks to be you. Too bad we don't have single payer and put an end to the outrageous fee structure crapola.


Exactly! Let's put the people who buy $50 hammers and $2,000 toilet seats in charge of it. THAT will get costs down!
 
2012-01-09 08:32:32 PM  
When I was a kid, I remember all the big health insurance companies were not for profit. I also remember a lot of hospitals were public or run as not for profits.

It was a crime to allow these firms to become for profits as now, they have to produce revenue for shareholders on people's health, something that shouldn't be a profit center.

Since enabling legislation was required for these moves; how did they do it? Why I'm glad you asked. We have turned into a country where our lawmakers are for sale to the highest bidder. Whats worse, most of us don't seem to mind.

These kind of staggering bills happen to other people, not us. And when they do happen to us, nobody else really gives a shiat because it hasn't happened to them.

Your elected officials are not looking out for you. The Health Care Industry lobbyists certainly aren't; they're too busy funneling cash to your elected officials to enable they clients, health care providers and insurers, to make ever more almighty dollars.
 
2012-01-09 08:32:34 PM  

TommyymmoT: I wouldn't spend $20k for a 4 hour stay inside Olivia Wilde, no less the ER.


Her real last name is Cockburn. Do you really want to play with fire?
 
2012-01-09 08:32:39 PM  

nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.


Again, here in Canada, the whole process of having a kid is FREE (caps for the trolls, nothing is free, blah blah we covered that already) other than if you want a copy of the ultrasound (sonogram) picture. (typically $20.00)...
 
2012-01-09 08:32:55 PM  

stuhayes2010: As a hospital employee here are a few charges just off the top of my head:

CT scan. $3,000
MRI $3000
Crash cart: $5000 (if they open it)
Cardiac surgical tray (it's 8 feet by 4 feet) $8000

So you could easily rack up $20k, if you were shot in the chest. routine tests? Probably not.


------

I would assume that those are all "insurance" and/or ER rates. Two weeks ago, I had an MRI to help diagnose a herniated disk in my neck. The "if you have insurance" price was $1500. Since I don't have insurance, I paid $500 cash. (this was at a private MRI clinic)

I just got back from a surgical procedure a few hours ago. (epidural cortisone injection) I spent 4 hours in the surgery wing of a hospital in a wealthy Seattle suburb where all the Microsoft Millionaires live. Here are the resources used:

-prep room
- prep nurse

- OR suite
- OR nurse
- anesthesiologist
- surgeon
- surgical x-ray machine & injected dye
- lots of awesome drugs

Here are my actual cash costs:

$500 - surgeon
$800 - everything else
 
2012-01-09 08:32:57 PM  

Tank_Fuzzbutt: I would like to leave the United States and legally immigrate to a more forward thinking country. Seriously, I'm sick of this shiat. I was born and raised here and now I'm 46 and want out.

Any suggestions?


Can I tag along?
 
2012-01-09 08:33:11 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: You Cuba worshipers enjoy your single payer fantasy. I'm off to watch the national championship.


It's not that we love Cuba, it's that a single-payer system is inherently more efficient, to the tune of $300 billion dollars of savings per year.

We can still have world class health companies in the US without our insurance companies. I've never heard anyone describe our health insurance system as world class, and they don't contribute to our livelihood at all.
 
2012-01-09 08:33:44 PM  

Fubini:
It's funny how you're acting superior when clearly you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're reasoning about this issue on a grade-school level.

The basic math has been spelled out for you several times: people in Cuba and the US receive about the same quality of healthcare, when measured as patient outcomes. Cuba pays 10x less for their care than we do.


Good lord you single celled amoeba. If the $190 number is correct, Cuba pays 2.3% of what we pay. That's about 1/45th. Do you understand how that's not comparing apples to apples? Do you understand standards of living, currency valuations, or anything remotely related to your argument?
 
2012-01-09 08:35:10 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.


We can take care of the unconstitutional part. Just handle it like free speech, where an individual can say what they like, but a large corporation can buy enough free speech in the form of attack ads to influence the direction democracy leads us all. Have single-payer as an option, but allow individuals to pay about ten or twenty million bucks into a flex account that slows them to get top-notch care in the private, luxurious "spaspital" of their choice.
 
2012-01-09 08:37:13 PM  

nevirus: I recently got strep throat and had to go to the ER (was out of town during the holidays.) They took my vitals, a woman looked at my throat, and I left with a script for penicillin. Fairly efficient for an ER, actually. Spent about an hour there.

They sent me an invoice: $750. That's just booshiat. They did nothing to earn that shiat except give me a piece of paper saying it's ok to give me antibiotics. Doesn't even include the cost of the pills themselves. It's not a bill to me, but the fact that they charge that insane amount to my insurance... man. Insurance-less people really can go bankrupt very quickly in this country. It's frightening.

/welcome to the USA
//willing to pay more taxes for the peace of mind of guaranteed health care for me, my family, and my friends


Something similar happened to me. Running at the inlaws (out of state ) and I had some allergic reaction. Tough to breath, chest was red, lasted more than 45 min and a shower didn't help. Took some benadryl and it didn't seem to work so I drove to the er. An hour in the er and I was feeling better but figured the doc may have some insight. Never saw a doc just a physicians assistant. Got charged for a doc, got charged for a diagnostic machine that misread my BP and heart rate, got told it might be allergies and I should see my doc for 500 bones. My insurance did end up paying 90% but what pisses me off is that they didn't give a fark that I was being charged for treatment I didn't get.
 
2012-01-09 08:38:38 PM  

Flint Ironstag: YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag:
The NHS is certainly not "free", in the same was the Police or schools are not "free"
But I believe the cost per citizen in the UK is far lower than the US, so we are getting healthcare for far less money, even including the taxes we pay.

That doesn't change the underlying costs. I swear that people who think Single Payer is THE solution to our healthcare woes just can't grasp basic math. How does single payer lower costs? The doctors are still going to post-secondary school for 12-16 years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Either you pay them or you don't get doctors anymore. The fancy state-of-the-art machines that detect cancer much earlier than previously thought and save a life (OR eek out the last 6 months of someones life even when they have an extremely poor quality of life, but we can't let Nana go) cost millions. Saying "I'm going to pay you $50 to save my life" doesn't work except in a fantasy.


The chart that Jasimo posted says otherwise.

[blogs.ngm.com image 640x926]

Health costs per person $7200 in USA, $3000 in the UK. And our life expectancy is longer.


Jasimo your graph is out of date. The national average is over $8000 and Mexico now has universal coverage.
 
2012-01-09 08:39:47 PM  
"And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it."

although he was wrong about single payer not lowering costs (it will lower costs through lower administrative burdens) in our current system it might not be the panacea it has been in other places. first off, everywhere else in the world, save a few places, have experienced medical inflation that has well outpaced CPI even with single payer. while their numbers look great to us, they have most of them shiatting the bed because they have grown enormously as well.

and even if we do get single payer we have to deal with something the rest of the world doesn't have to, the enormously powerful hospital, pharma, and doctors lobbies and our especially f*cked up campaign finance system, that will do everything they can to continue breaking this country even with single payer. inflation is the key to everything and they won't want the gravy train to end. single payer will just be the first step. Hell, the hospital lobby is the group that struck the deal with obama to kill public option.

I'm not saying that single payer isn't important. but the reason it is vital to me is it is the only thing that has a hope of containing inflation someday. it is not an end in itself. if it wasn't for the severe inflation we've seen since the 1970's we wouldn't even have had the crisis (cost) that has made our current system untenable in the first place. inflation will kill everything in time if we let it.
 
2012-01-09 08:39:56 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: And how much of that $2.5t is taken out in profit by the various companies involved along the way?

Who are the companies along the way? Do they include the people who invent and manufacture state-of-the-art healthcare devices? Are they the ones who keep your boner going for 4 hours? How about the doctors who start their careers in their mid-to-late 30's instead of the rest of the world who starts in their early 20s (the same ones with lots of debt). How much profit should they make?

Oh, and how much is "taken out" by your standards?

And yes, I still think US healthcare is a farking mess. I was in the hospital overnight last month. No diagnostics at all. Bad stomach bug so they gave me anti-nausea, antibiotics, pain medication and fluids. So far they are charging over $10k. And it looks like my part of it will be over $2k coontil I fight it). The system is farked. Single payer does not fix the root cause.


The UK also has hugely successful drug research field. Viagra was actually discovered in the UK for example, though in a US owned company. But the UK figure includes spending on drugs, R+D etc.

No matter how much is "taken out" in the UK figure it is still well under half the cost per person than the US spend. 1%? 50% Who cares? We still pay less than half the US pays and get a good service. We can see a doctor any time we want, 24/7, without having to even give a thought to any consideration other than "How do I feel?"

A huge part of that is the single payer system. No one is billed inflated prices because no one would benefit. No one has to be employed to keep track of the cost of treatment to a patient because that doesn't matter to anyone. No one has to be employed to chase people for payment because no one has to pay.

Even if the cost in the US averaged out the same the NHS way would still be vastly better. No need to ever worry about insurance.

Feel ill? Have an accident?
Go to your doctor or hospital.
Get treated.
The end.

Simple.

The fact that it actually works out far cheaper is a bonus.
 
2012-01-09 08:40:26 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Flint Ironstag: And how much of that $2.5t is taken out in profit by the various companies involved along the way?

Who are the companies along the way? Do they include the people who invent and manufacture state-of-the-art healthcare devices? Are they the ones who keep your boner going for 4 hours? How about the doctors who start their careers in their mid-to-late 30's instead of the rest of the world who starts in their early 20s (the same ones with lots of debt). How much profit should they make?

Oh, and how much is "taken out" by your standards?

And yes, I still think US healthcare is a farking mess. I was in the hospital overnight last month. No diagnostics at all. Bad stomach bug so they gave me anti-nausea, antibiotics, pain medication and fluids. So far they are charging over $10k. And it looks like my part of it will be over $2k coontil I fight it). The system is farked. Single payer does not fix the root cause.


Again, What is this root cause of which you speak?, having to pay for the innovation (that is also happening elsewhere) or the doctors (similarly trained elsewhere) or the for profit model of hospital, HMO, insurance, more insurance, and so on, (that is not...)
 
2012-01-09 08:40:46 PM  

sno man: nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.

Again, here in Canada, the whole process of having a kid is FREE (caps for the trolls, nothing is free, blah blah we covered that already) other than if you want a copy of the ultrasound (sonogram) picture. (typically $20.00)...


sno man: nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.

Again, here in Canada, the whole process of having a kid is FREE (caps for the trolls, nothing is free, blah blah we covered that already) other than if you want a copy of the ultrasound (sonogram) picture. (typically $20.00)...


I'd make some smart comment about how I pay a lot less in taxes than you do, but I live in New York City...in New York State...so...I probably don't.
 
2012-01-09 08:41:18 PM  

o5iiawah: hitchking: He has no private insurance and the only thing he had to pay was $40 for a sling.

Thats somewhat cheaper but still in the ballpark of what cash only doctors are charging in the US. Health Insurance is supposed to protect you from being bankrupted from a catastrophic injury. The amount of people who scramble to the ER for boo-boos drive up costs for everyone. Though I have good heath insurance with work, i went to cash only doctors for my last physical+bloodwork and dental work and it was still cheaper than what my copay would have been had I gone through my insurance.

Its amazing the kind of care you get from a doctor that doesn't have to staff an army of admin behind him to process paperwork.


See I don't buy the whole boo-boo's drive up ER costs line. WTF would the doctors do if there weren't minor cases flowing through the ER? They'd sit around and not have any patients to treat/money coming in. Thus its actually good people misuse the ER to an extent. You can leave those people in the waiting room, treat the actual emergencies and then get to them during downtimes. It's really quite efficient if done right. Emergencies happen sporadically.

The real problem is all of the non doctor/non-nursing staff. Get rid of that waste by getting rid of all the crap associated with billing, etc. and things would be much cheaper.
 
2012-01-09 08:41:27 PM  

MarkEC: And you make the assumption that he who spends the most money should have the higher life expectancy. Why? Life expectancy and spending can be inversely linked. The US is full of fat people that soak up health care while alive and die early.


That's part of it for sure, but how many 20 - 30 year old Americans go that entire span never seeing a doctor outside of an emergency? Don't you think it effects our life expectancy when young Americans are financially locked out of routine medical care simply from the fear of what treatment may cost?

The young people I associate with view the doctor's office as a form of Russain Roulette, stupid unless absolutely necessary. These aren't stupid people, they're graduate engineering students. They're simply acknowledging the fact that at this point in their life a single medical issue could wreck them financially, so they'd rather go along happily until something catastrophic happens and deal with the consequences later.
 
2012-01-09 08:42:32 PM  

sno man: nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.

Again, here in Canada, the whole process of having a kid is FREE (caps for the trolls, nothing is free, blah blah we covered that already) other than if you want a copy of the ultrasound (sonogram) picture. (typically $20.00)...


============

When I was born, my father worked a blue collar job that provided health insurance. Recently I asked my mother how much it cost them out of pocket when I was born. Well, she knew the answer because she still has the bills! Total out of pocket costs for doctor and hospital came to slightly less than $100. In today's money, it would be around $500-$600 dollars. Not cheap for a working class guy but doable. Today? A blue collar job like my father had would probably pay much less in real terms with no benefits. They would need to apply for some kind of assistance.
 
2012-01-09 08:43:26 PM  

nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.


if you have a hemophiliac baby it could cost you a couple million all together. did you get the blood test?
 
2012-01-09 08:43:34 PM  
Gaseous Anomaly:
We have a $1500/month (and I pay the full (COBRA) premium) 90/10 PPO (it's the best option for us at the moment).

$18000/year and they still tried to screw you for over $10,000? I'd like to see ANYONE's bullshiat right-wing justification for that. Hell, you're probably lucky they didn't drop her for "pre-existing uterus" as soon as they got the bill. But I guess people recovering from major surgery have nothing better to do than argue with gigantic corporations in order to receive the service they have paid for.

Fissile:
They "owned" their own home. The father worked. Apparently he made too much to qualify. He would need to quit his job. That's the farked up thing. If these people were in section 8 and on food stamps, they would have been OK. Trying to do the right thing and pull your own weight? You're farked.


By squeezing blood from such stones are fortunes made.

PS: 15-22% federal income tax, 5-9% provincial income tax, plus $600/year Ontario Health Premium. Walking out of the hospital with a new baby and never seeing a bill? Truly farking priceless.
 
2012-01-09 08:43:57 PM  

nonvideas: I've yet to rack up any major medical bills, but Mrs. nonvideas is 8 months pregnant and I know they're just around the corner. We have decent insurance - nothing fantastic, but could be a lot worse. Any one have any ideas what we're in for, total out of pocket, assuming everything goes swimmingly?

What really gets my goat about medical billing is that it takes them 4 months to bill you for a visit, and they expect payment in 7 days. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, folks.


It should be spelled out by your insurance.
 
2012-01-09 08:44:23 PM  
At bottom, here's the question:

Would you be in favor of paying a little more in taxes in order for the US to join the rest of the industrialized world in providing universal healthcare?
 
2012-01-09 08:44:32 PM  

susler: When I was a kid, I remember all the big health insurance companies were not for profit. I also remember a lot of hospitals were public or run as not for profits.

It was a crime to allow these firms to become for profits as now, they have to produce revenue for shareholders on people's health, something that shouldn't be a profit center.

Since enabling legislation was required for these moves; how did they do it? Why I'm glad you asked. We have turned into a country where our lawmakers are for sale to the highest bidder. Whats worse, most of us don't seem to mind.

These kind of staggering bills happen to other people, not us. And when they do happen to us, nobody else really gives a shiat because it hasn't happened to them.

Your elected officials are not looking out for you. The Health Care Industry lobbyists certainly aren't; they're too busy funneling cash to your elected officials to enable they clients, health care providers and insurers, to make ever more almighty dollars.


A lot hospital systems are non-profit, the problem is they still have CEO's and their cronies (family members etc.) making bank. For example (taken from a few years ago):

" Health giant UPMC paid more than $10 million last year to companies and individuals with ties to its directors and high-ranking executives, newly released tax records show.

The payments include more than $3 million in salaries and contracts to relatives of UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff, who earned $5.16 million in fiscal 2009."

So even the non-profits (which many are) are corrupt as hell and the personal piggy banks of those at the top.
 
2012-01-09 08:44:36 PM  

MarkEC:
And you make the assumption that he who spends the most money should have the higher life expectancy. Why? Life expectancy and spending can be inversely linked. The US is full of fat people that soak up health care while alive and die early.


The exact point I made when suggesting the excellent Japanese figure was probably due to traditional diet rather than healthcare.

I've seen reports that with young Japanese eating Mcdonalds in a big way their health is declining.
 
2012-01-09 08:44:56 PM  
Wow, this is the most f*cked up thing I've seen in a while. Because it looks like the hospital actually is out to screw the lady for no reason.

As recently as September, the hospital's online billing system showed Torres' balance as $4,850. The hospital's collection agency sent Torres a bill seeking the $4,850 payment, but when the hospital learned Torres was involved in an automobile wreck, it updated the online billing records to show a balance of $20,211, the filing claims.

I've been in the ER for a few hours, and $5,000 is not unreasonable for the tests they'd do for a car wreck. This lady got a $30K settlement after the car accident--and it was then that her bill mysteriously went to over $20K and the hospital didn't put a claim in on the settlement. They just want a chunk of the money, looks like.

Story here: Link (new window)
 
2012-01-09 08:45:45 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: CitizenTed:

Our system is farked. Beyond farked. It's clusterfarked.

Agreed!

Universal single payer. NOW.

And no. Universal single payer does nothing to lower costs. It does nothing to enforce personal responsibility or accountability. Oh, and then there's that pesky unconstitutional aspect of it.


...Did you just say that people should suffer to punish them for getting sick?

/What the hell?
 
2012-01-09 08:45:47 PM  

The_Homeless_Guy: susler: When I was a kid, I remember all the big health insurance companies were not for profit. I also remember a lot of hospitals were public or run as not for profits.

It was a crime to allow these firms to become for profits as now, they have to produce revenue for shareholders on people's health, something that shouldn't be a profit center.

Since enabling legislation was required for these moves; how did they do it? Why I'm glad you asked. We have turned into a country where our lawmakers are for sale to the highest bidder. Whats worse, most of us don't seem to mind.

These kind of staggering bills happen to other people, not us. And when they do happen to us, nobody else really gives a shiat because it hasn't happened to them.

Your elected officials are not looking out for you. The Health Care Industry lobbyists certainly aren't; they're too busy funneling cash to your elected officials to enable they clients, health care providers and insurers, to make ever more almighty dollars.

A lot hospital systems are non-profit, the problem is they still have CEO's and their cronies (family members etc.) making bank. For example (taken from a few years ago):

" Health giant UPMC paid more than $10 million last year to companies and individuals with ties to its directors and high-ranking executives, newly released tax records show.

The payments include more than $3 million in salaries and contracts to relatives of UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff, who earned $5.16 million in fiscal 2009."

So even the non-profits (which many are) are corrupt as hell and the personal piggy banks of those at the top.


Article in question:

Link (new window)
 
2012-01-09 08:46:08 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: dericwater: ObamaCare requires that the insurance companies work to ensure at least 85% of the premiums paid into the insurance go towards the medical service, so of course it would be just 15% for admin costs.

Which means in order to inflate their 15%, the insurance companies have to inflate the other 85%. It's a noble effort, but it doesn't do anything except provide an incentive to increase costs.


I think the ObamaCare bill does have specific hooks to prevent padding to increase costs so the the 15% is of a larger absolute amount. I could be wrong.

/Never did read the 2000 page legislation
 
2012-01-09 08:46:47 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: I bet you people also think that if we had single payer for cars, we'd all be able to buy brand new, modern BMWs and Lexuses for $1000 a pop.


It's hilarious that you're comparing the US healthcare system to a BMW or Lexus.

I bet people like you also think if your insurance company buys you a 1988 Toyota Tercel for $500,000, but then only charges you the $50,000 deductible, then you got a half million dollar super car for only $50,000.
 
2012-01-09 08:47:04 PM  
Why is it the dumbest people in a society defend the very things that are keeping them enslaved?

Even Paul Krugman has publicly stated what we economists have been saying for years, that the USA is becoming a modern feudalistic society where we vast majority of it's citizenry work all their lives just to cover (in many cases not even that) the basic necessities like food, health, and shelter, and nothing fancy by any means. Yes, you can have everything you want but if you miss one payment you're out on the street or if you get sick we get to keep your life's savings to maybe make you better, no guarantees.

It's really a disgusting society you guys have here, and yet you keep on holding to the idea of American exceptionalism that was true in the 1940-1950s but now it is just a faded memory. No one really sees the USA as a mecca for advancement, or prosperity anymore, I obviously mean for the average individual not the disgustingly mega rich you are so keen on protecting and worshiping because....I don't have the foggiest, I guess Americans are dumb, maybe because of your poor educational system, but that's another story.
 
2012-01-09 08:47:21 PM  

nevirus: I recently got strep throat and had to go to the ER (was out of town during the holidays.) They took my vitals, a woman looked at my throat, and I left with a script for penicillin. Fairly efficient for an ER, actually. Spent about an hour there.

They sent me an invoice: $750. That's just booshiat. They did nothing to earn that shiat except give me a piece of paper saying it's ok to give me antibiotics. Doesn't even include the cost of the pills themselves. It's not a bill to me, but the fact that they charge that insane amount to my insurance... man. Insurance-less people really can go bankrupt very quickly in this country. It's frightening.

/welcome to the USA
//willing to pay more taxes for the peace of mind of guaranteed health care for me, my family, and my friends



And your insurance paid it? No wonder they charge it, then.
 
2012-01-09 08:47:44 PM  

YouFarkingIdiot: Fubini:
It's funny how you're acting superior when clearly you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're reasoning about this issue on a grade-school level.

The basic math has been spelled out for you several times: people in Cuba and the US receive about the same quality of healthcare, when measured as patient outcomes. Cuba pays 10x less for their care than we do.

Good lord you single celled amoeba. If the $190 number is correct, Cuba pays 2.3% of what we pay. That's about 1/45th. Do you understand how that's not comparing apples to apples? Do you understand standards of living, currency valuations, or anything remotely related to your argument?


You're right, I was thinking our yearly cost was $1800, when I think upthread I saw it as $7900. I don't know where the former figure came from.

I'm not sure where standard of living or how currencies are valued comes into play here. Are you saying that doctors in Cuba are uncomfortable with their wage or what? Are you saying that people in Cuba are not happy with their level of health care?

Perhaps you're just an ignorant jerk who can't accept that a third world communist country has a better health system than our own? You do know that there are rich Americans now going to Cuba for elective health care because it's so much cheaper there, right? I highly doubt such a thing would be happening regularly if all those rich Americans were going to Joe's Chop & Sew in a garage.

Cuba has a world class health care system and they pay a fraction of what we pay. Unless you're willing to be intellectually honest with yourself and reason your position on it's merits then you've got no place in this discussion. Begone.
 
2012-01-09 08:50:01 PM  
Doppleganger871:
Grand_Moff_Joseph: blah, blah blah canada

They're all fine for routine stuff. Just don't get REAL sick. For most of the population, it'll work. If they do it here, it'll be run as well as public housing, or the DMV, or unemployment, or any other fine gov't program.


Funny... everyone I've ever known who got "real sick" has had amazing treatment here. My mom was in surgery for breast cancer within a week of detection. A family friend with what I can only describe as "WTF cancer of the everything" is still alive (and not penniless) years after diagnosis, and a dozen or so surgeries later, an ordeal I can only assume would bankrupt any American who'd had any money to begin with.

Of course those are just anecdotes, but I don't personally have any stories about people dying in waiting rooms or anything like that. I'm sure some of the bootstrappers here could dig some up, maybe along with some photos of feces-stained cots supposedly taken in Mississauga (but actually taken in DR Congo).
 
2012-01-09 08:50:14 PM  
Got laid off from my old job at the end of September, where I was paying $520/mo for an awesome family health care plan on CIGNA. My COBRA Continuation coverage for the same plan was $1420, and I had to postmark by end of December if I wanted to keep it. So, I mailed it in and now have 45 days to pay for October, November, December and January, as well as February.

However, I started a new job in early December, and will be on a new healthcare plan on February 1. Essentially, I am praying that nothing goes wrong with anyone in my brood until Feb 1; if something does, I will have to pay over $5600 IN HEALTHCARE PREMIUMS ALONE.
 
2012-01-09 08:50:28 PM  
It's always the dumbest guy in the thread dragging the conversation into the idiot zone. Every damn thread.