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(Time)   Snake bite causes $89,000 hospital bill. It would have been less but the snake demanded a private room   (healthland.time.com) divider line 157
    More: Asinine, North Carolina, hospitals, uncompensated care, medical bills, Mooresville, emergency rooms  
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6327 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2014 at 8:26 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-31 08:31:31 AM  
Universal single-payer.

NOW!
 
2014-01-31 08:31:33 AM  
following the introduction of the American Care Act

Really, Time?
 
2014-01-31 08:32:26 AM  
It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.
 
2014-01-31 08:32:44 AM  
Boo, hisssssss
 
2014-01-31 08:34:11 AM  
If I got that bill, they would have to tack on another $89,000 for the ensuing cardiac arrest and the intensive care that would be needed.
 
2014-01-31 08:36:40 AM  
"You can keep your snake insurance"!!
 
2014-01-31 08:38:35 AM  
I got a medical bill that seemed too high, so I asked for an itemized bill to be sent. It's been three goddamn months and they can't send me a bill for services *they already performed* and *have already billed me for*.

Now I'm trying to figure out the estimated cost of a future procedure, and it's a total clusterf**k. Three separate providers need to be contacted as well as the hospital, and while the doctors can give a fairly straight answer, the hospital is a nightmare. Everything they say is entirely contingent and full of weasel words, I still do not have a good idea about what services they might actually end up billing me for.

The general attitude among doctors is that health and care should always be the first priority. What happens when that care costs my family $2000 out of pocket? What about $5000? What about $80,000? Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, some people do everything in their power to make sure that medical billing is an impenetrable secret.

I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks. I understand that stuff costs money, and medical grade stuff is inordinately expensive, but when you can't even give me a ballpark figure on how much a procedure costs, or justify your bill for three months after the fact, you have lost all my trust and respect. The single greatest thing we could do for healthcare in this country is to legally require that patients be given a price quote prior to an operation with a +10% upper bound on what they'll eventually be charged.
 
2014-01-31 08:40:43 AM  
$89,000 for one bottle of malt liquor???3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-01-31 08:45:14 AM  
Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.
 
2014-01-31 08:46:43 AM  

Fubini: I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks


I am.
 
2014-01-31 08:47:43 AM  

MayoSlather: It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.

 
2014-01-31 08:47:55 AM  
So..  No political slant to this article at all..


The couple visited the emergency room in August to receive treatment. The sticker shock comes as Americans continue to battle high health care costs following the introduction of the American Care Act

What does Obamacare have to do with this?

The article mentions this happened in the August.  So that's either some serious back billing by the hospital, or this issue all took place before ACA.

 
2014-01-31 08:48:18 AM  

MayoSlather: It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.


I pray to God this is sarcasm.
 
2014-01-31 08:49:50 AM  

Fubini: I got a medical bill that seemed too high, so I asked for an itemized bill to be sent. It's been three goddamn months and they can't send me a bill for services *they already performed* and *have already billed me for*.

Now I'm trying to figure out the estimated cost of a future procedure, and it's a total clusterf**k. Three separate providers need to be contacted as well as the hospital, and while the doctors can give a fairly straight answer, the hospital is a nightmare. Everything they say is entirely contingent and full of weasel words, I still do not have a good idea about what services they might actually end up billing me for.

The general attitude among doctors is that health and care should always be the first priority. What happens when that care costs my family $2000 out of pocket? What about $5000? What about $80,000? Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, some people do everything in their power to make sure that medical billing is an impenetrable secret.

I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks. I understand that stuff costs money, and medical grade stuff is inordinately expensive, but when you can't even give me a ballpark figure on how much a procedure costs, or justify your bill for three months after the fact, you have lost all my trust and respect. The single greatest thing we could do for healthcare in this country is to legally require that patients be given a price quote prior to an operation with a +10% upper bound on what they'll eventually be charged.


amen to all this
 
2014-01-31 08:49:59 AM  

RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.


Right, but that's still an example of the stupidity involved in health care pricing. That magical $89,000 number that no one pays? It's to prevent the insurance companies from trying to fark them. It's also the reason that even CASH patients can't get any clue what it's actually going to cost them.
 
2014-01-31 08:50:08 AM  

RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.


I would pay 5400 to not have to die an agonizing death and kiss everyone in the ICU on the lips when I walked out of there.
 
2014-01-31 08:50:54 AM  
...they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay...


Yeah but let's claim it was more than 25times that to make headlines.
 
2014-01-31 08:51:15 AM  
Translation: We knew they had insurance, so we charged as much as possible, knowing that the patient wouldn't really care.
 
2014-01-31 08:53:17 AM  

RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.


Hospitals bill insurance companies way too much for procedures because customers won't care.

Insurance companies will charge too much to cover their costs.

Customers will complain to insurance companies because that is the cost that they see, not the overcharged hospital bill.

So while customers (and more recently the Government on behalf of the people) complain to insurance companies, the hospitals are free to over charge without being criticised.

Of course there could be more to it than that. Maybe hospitals aren't overcharging, or they have to charge more since the medicines that they use are protected by patents.

The patents allow drug companies to charge a premium for their medicines, and they use the profits to pay off elected officials in the form of campaign contributions and lobbyists to ensure the law favors them.

There is more to it than, "That is what insurance is for."
 
2014-01-31 08:53:50 AM  
[Tonto] "Kemosabe, doctor say, you going to die."
 
2014-01-31 08:54:18 AM  
At some point everyone decided that what they do merits them becoming millionaires. We need doctors. I respect doctors. But let's be real. I grew up in the 1970s. My dad worked in a factory. We had a decent house in a decent neighborhood of a small town and in the same neighborhood lived several of the town's doctors. Their houses maybe were just a little nicer, but more or less the same. Maybe they had a more expensive car or they had a small boat or they took fancier vacations, but they weren't millionaires and they still lived pretty well.

Now, the same town, more or less the same population, more or less the same number of doctors, and the younger doctors all live in mcMansions in new, never-before-done-in-our-town gated communities.

It's kind of absurd. And I know it's not all them. It's also hospitals that have to pay dividends to shareholders and that's a big part of the problem, too. But we do have a problem with outlandish expectations of how we should live nowadays.
 
2014-01-31 08:55:02 AM  
Land of the free to STFU because Capitalism. Welcome to the nightmare of your own, superawesome, creation.

Thanks Osama!
 
2014-01-31 08:55:23 AM  

Fubini: got a medical bill that seemed too high, so I asked for an itemized bill to be sent. It's been three goddamn months and they can't send me a bill for services *they already performed* and *have already billed me for*.


Why would any hospital would want to send an itemized bill? So, you can learn that they ridiculously overcharged five hundred dollars for giving you two ibuprofen pills and then you can argue down the cost? That's how they make their money. By overcharging beyond scary amounts of money for things that should cost a few dollars. How this is legal, I don't know. The medical lobby?
 
2014-01-31 08:56:55 AM  
Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.
 
2014-01-31 08:59:09 AM  

Fubini: I got a medical bill that seemed too high, so I asked for an itemized bill to be sent. It's been three goddamn months and they can't send me a bill for services *they already performed* and *have already billed me for*.

Now I'm trying to figure out the estimated cost of a future procedure, and it's a total clusterf**k. Three separate providers need to be contacted as well as the hospital, and while the doctors can give a fairly straight answer, the hospital is a nightmare. Everything they say is entirely contingent and full of weasel words, I still do not have a good idea about what services they might actually end up billing me for.

The general attitude among doctors is that health and care should always be the first priority. What happens when that care costs my family $2000 out of pocket? What about $5000? What about $80,000? Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, some people do everything in their power to make sure that medical billing is an impenetrable secret.

I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks. I understand that stuff costs money, and medical grade stuff is inordinately expensive, but when you can't even give me a ballpark figure on how much a procedure costs, or justify your bill for three months after the fact, you have lost all my trust and respect. The single greatest thing we could do for healthcare in this country is to legally require that patients be given a price quote prior to an operation with a +10% upper bound on what they'll eventually be charged.


I like your style. Do you have a newsletter?
 
2014-01-31 08:59:11 AM  

Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.


As it has been for the last 30 years or so. I'm pretty fed up, myself.
 
2014-01-31 09:00:13 AM  
 
2014-01-31 09:01:20 AM  

Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.


I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.
 
2014-01-31 09:01:44 AM  
Typically, when I'm bitten by a venomous snake of going into cardiac arrest, I shop around for the best prices. Living in Virginia, I try to visit hospitals in North Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland and negotiate fees. Once I negotiate the best price, I collapse in front of the triage nurse and allow treatment. It's a little time consuming, but I feel I'm getting the best deal in the end.
 
2014-01-31 09:02:25 AM  
This is why, if I am ever diagnosed with cancer, I'm going to go find a quiet body of water that is 60F or less and soak in it for a few hours with a bottle of whiskey, even though (thanks Obamacaare), I have insurance. The CO-PAY for 12 hours was over $5,000! I have no idea about what to do if I am in a car wreck (or get bitten by a snake). I just hope I drop dead of a massive heart attack on my lunch hour like my grandfather.
 
2014-01-31 09:02:55 AM  

uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.



Well you don't even live in the United States, so when you start paying for it then feel free to mouth off.
 
2014-01-31 09:04:10 AM  

Sybarite: following the introduction of the American Care Act

Really, Time?


The best part is that the bite/visit took place last summer, before marketplaces and all the other parts of the AFFORDABLE care act actually took effect.
 
2014-01-31 09:05:02 AM  

DubtodaIll: $89,000 for one bottle of malt liquor???


HAIL COBRA!
 
2014-01-31 09:05:31 AM  

Cold_Sassy: MayoSlather: It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.

I pray to God this is sarcasm.


God is in your favor today my child.
 
2014-01-31 09:05:37 AM  

vonmatrices: There is more to it than, "That is what insurance is for."


Greek: Right, but that's still an example of the stupidity involved in health care pricing. That magical $89,000 number that no one pays? It's to prevent the insurance companies from trying to fark them. It's also the reason that even CASH patients can't get any clue what it's actually going to cost them.


I completely agree, and that's a very reasonable argument to have.  That's what the article should be about.  Not a deliberate attempt to get page views with a misleading headline.
 
2014-01-31 09:07:14 AM  
If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation.

I don't see this changing anytime soon since the same insurance companies and government agencies are still running things.
 
2014-01-31 09:08:50 AM  

uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


it's more a combo oligarchy/cleptocracy...
 
2014-01-31 09:09:26 AM  

Fubini: The general attitude among doctors is that health and care should always be the first priority. What happens when that care costs my family $2000 out of pocket? What about $5000? What about $80,000? Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, some people do everything in their power to make sure that medical billing is an impenetrable secret.


I'm not an expert, but I don't think it's your doctor's fault that he or she doesn't have the slightest idea what anything costs.

For the most part, i'ts not because the doctors don't care. If doctors spent the time to figure out how billing worked, they'd never have time to actually see patients. To find out costs, doctors would have to deal with exactly the same people you're dealing with -- the people who can't give you the straight cost of anything, and who give answers that are wrong far more than they're right. Billing rates are negotiated between insurance companies and the billing departments, and every single person who touches them from beginning to end participates in a giant clusterfarks of greed, bureaucracy, greed, incompetence, and more greed.  It's just a god damned mess.
 
2014-01-31 09:10:36 AM  

mekki: Fubini: got a medical bill that seemed too high, so I asked for an itemized bill to be sent. It's been three goddamn months and they can't send me a bill for services *they already performed* and *have already billed me for*.

Why would any hospital would want to send an itemized bill? So, you can learn that they ridiculously overcharged five hundred dollars for giving you two ibuprofen pills and then you can argue down the cost? That's how they make their money. By overcharging beyond scary amounts of money for things that should cost a few dollars. How this is legal, I don't know. The medical lobby?


Inelastic demand without regulation.
 
2014-01-31 09:11:38 AM  
The billed cost for my daughter's delivery and (mostly) her subsequent week-long stay in the ICU out of an abundance of caution was $85,000.

The final cost was $800. I have no idea how that happened.

minoridiot: If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation.

I don't see this changing anytime soon since the same insurance companies and government agencies are still running things.


Exactly, the ACA is a huge boon to the insurance companies and government agencies that have set up this ridiculous system in the first place.
 
2014-01-31 09:17:15 AM  

uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


Insert John Boehner proclaiming the US has the best health care system in the world
 
2014-01-31 09:18:58 AM  

The Larch: Fubini: The general attitude among doctors is that health and care should always be the first priority. What happens when that care costs my family $2000 out of pocket? What about $5000? What about $80,000? Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment. Meanwhile, some people do everything in their power to make sure that medical billing is an impenetrable secret.

I'm not an expert, but I don't think it's your doctor's fault that he or she doesn't have the slightest idea what anything costs.

For the most part, i'ts not because the doctors don't care. If doctors spent the time to figure out how billing worked, they'd never have time to actually see patients. To find out costs, doctors would have to deal with exactly the same people you're dealing with -- the people who can't give you the straight cost of anything, and who give answers that are wrong far more than they're right. Billing rates are negotiated between insurance companies and the billing departments, and every single person who touches them from beginning to end participates in a giant clusterfarks of greed, bureaucracy, greed, incompetence, and more greed.  It's just a god damned mess.


Giving their marketing divisions the force of law was a great idea though. If you don't think so you must a crypto-monarchist with half built serf pens waiting in your back yard.
 
2014-01-31 09:20:30 AM  

vudukungfu: Fubini: I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks

I am.


I've worked in the industry for 34 years.  I tend to agree with you.
 
2014-01-31 09:21:14 AM  

vudukungfu: Fubini: I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks

I am.


Me too.

Had a few mrsa infections last year. $1500 for a 15 minute lancing and 2 prescriptions. First day I waited about 8 hours and 6 the second before I was finally seen. 2nd infection was the same, only 1 day and 6 hours. 5th infection was surgery, 3 days in isolation, iv antibiotics, and $15000.

Nothing the doctors did I couldn't do. Before you surgery guys chime in, I wouldn't have needed the surgery if it wouldn't cost $500 to see a doc to get antibiotics.

Infections 3, 4, & 6-9 I lanced myself and used antibiotics from friends/family (luckily I found the same kind I was being prescribed).

When I was 21 my dumbass punched a wall and got a cracked bone in my hand. Didn't initially go to the hospital cause I thought I could manage. 1am I went cause my left hand was swollen all to hell. 3am I finally see a doc who eventually misread the xray and accused me of trying to get pain pills. I went off on the guy...I don't even like pain pill BTW...and an older doc walked by, glanced at the xray, and said you don't see those two cracks right there, turned to me and said you must be in pain. Yep, but I'm just here for some kind of brace or wrapping, I don't want any pills if necessary. About 10 minutes later the old doc returned with a brace and a vicodin prescription. $3500.
 
2014-01-31 09:24:10 AM  

skeevy420: vudukungfu: Fubini: I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks

I am.

Me too.

Had a few mrsa infections last year. $1500 for a 15 minute lancing and 2 prescriptions. First day I waited about 8 hours and 6 the second before I was finally seen. 2nd infection was the same, only 1 day and 6 hours. 5th infection was surgery, 3 days in isolation, iv antibiotics, and $15000.

Nothing the doctors did I couldn't do. Before you surgery guys chime in, I wouldn't have needed the surgery if it wouldn't cost $500 to see a doc to get antibiotics.

Infections 3, 4, & 6-9 I lanced myself and used antibiotics from friends/family (luckily I found the same kind I was being prescribed).

When I was 21 my dumbass punched a wall and got a cracked bone in my hand. Didn't initially go to the hospital cause I thought I could manage. 1am I went cause my left hand was swollen all to hell. 3am I finally see a doc who eventually misread the xray and accused me of trying to get pain pills. I went off on the guy...I don't even like pain pill BTW...and an older doc walked by, glanced at the xray, and said you don't see those two cracks right there, turned to me and said you must be in pain. Yep, but I'm just here for some kind of brace or wrapping, I don't want any pills if necessary. About 10 minutes later the old doc returned with a brace and a vicodin prescription. $3500.


You're going to the wrong doc-in-a-box. Got the telltale Lyme disease rash last summer and I think the visit will cost me $100. The pills were maybe $80.
 
2014-01-31 09:25:59 AM  
Fubini:
I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks. I understand that stuff costs money, and medical grade stuff is inordinately expensive, but when you can't even give me a ballpark figure on how much a procedure costs, or justify your bill for three months after the fact, you have lost all my trust and respect. The single greatest thing we could do for healthcare in this country is to legally require that patients be given a price quote prior to an operation with a +10% upper bound on what they'll eventually be charged.

I would agree with one small caveat: I really don't think it is the doctors.   It is mostly the insurance providers, with hospitals on board to so they can get paid.  Insurance providers are incentivized to make the process as byzantine as possible to protect their profits ; the more difficult it is to actually find out where the money is going, the better for them.  The problem is healthcare is a product that everyone needs at some point in their lives, so they also have no incentive to really compete, and it is very a regional business.  You generally end up at hospital 20 miles within your home if you live in a metro area, 100 miles or so in a rural area.  This means hospitals aren't competing with each other very much, and the barriers for entry are very high.  There is no "Costco" of healthcare to come in and undercut the local stores.  The effect is what you experienced,
 
2014-01-31 09:28:10 AM  
My question when I read TFA was - what kind of snake?  For the price tag on those anti-venom vials, I wondered if they were keeping a farkin' cobra as a pet.  But the linked report said the dude was bitten outside, where he felt a "bee sting," then saw fang marks.  My guesses would be a small rattler, moccasin or copperhead, based on that location.

/when something bites me outside, I don't leave whatever it was to guesswork
 
2014-01-31 09:32:58 AM  

Fubini: Healthcare is expensive enough that lots of people seriously have to consider the trade off between quality of life and the cost of treatment.


Um, good? It's unfortunate that this extends down to (for some people) whether or not to get a broken leg fixed, but this, to a degree, is how it needs to be. Frankly, I don't want to be paying for someone's brain-dead grandma to stay on $50,000/day life support, but this happens EVERY DAY, since the family knows that Medicare is picking up the tab. You can be damn sure that if the family had to pay for it, it would be time for Grandma to go, and they'd be right, since her quality of life is basically zero. We, has humans, need to get over this whole "every second of everyone's life is valuable" nonsense.

Fun fact: Regardless of other health issues, dialysis treatment for ESRD/585.6 patients costs $150,000/person/year. NIH estimates that there are 20 MILLION people receiving these treatments, the MAJORITY of which are on some form of Medicare/Medicaid. How many of these people would still be receiving treatments if they had to pay for it themselves, I wonder? Again, I'm not talking about 54-year-old Joe, with a job and health insurance and a family and two kids, I'm talking about  97-year-old Great Uncle James, the majority of whose weekly activity comes in the form of being wheeled into a clinic and hooked up to a machine.

I'm not saying healthcare in this country isn't completely farked- it is. I'm not saying Insurance companies aren't greedy, obfuscating organizations- they are. What I'm saying is, with costs what they are, we really need to reevaluate when it's no longer worth keeping someone alive relative to their quality of life.

/I get what you're saying, and I'm not talking about trauma care, obviously
 
2014-01-31 09:34:41 AM  

vonmatrices: Hospitals bill insurance companies way too much for procedures because customers won't care.


While that is partly true and a holdback from the olden days where employer-based health insurance actually covered just about everything, insurance companies are now dealing not with individually owned hospitals, but large corporations made up of a "network" of different hospitals.

This actually gives them more leverage to say "we will pay X amount, or X percent of the list price for these procedures."  Just as they already do with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The hospital simply jacks up the "list" price so that the pre-negotiated percentage the insurance company pays covers the actual costs.  Unfortunately the patient does not get this discount for their co-pay.  Unless you negotiate it somehow and if you really push the issue, you CAN bring your end of the cost down.
 
2014-01-31 09:36:29 AM  

Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


Well you don't even live in the United States, so when you start paying for it then feel free to mouth off.


I do pay for it, you muppet. With taxes, and getting billed.

Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man, I also get bills for hospital visits, doctor appointments, medications - it's just that the yearly total amount is capped over here (Doctor appointment is ~$30, but my monthly meds are ~ $450 - each Payment makes the next payment get a reduction, till It's no charge - But it's NEVAR FREE!!)
 
2014-01-31 09:37:09 AM  
"Cost them a whopping $89,000. The Charlotte Observer The four vials of anti-venom medication Ferguson received reportedly cost about $20,000 each. Ferguson and his wife Laura researched the price of the medicine and found its retail price was between $750 and $12,000 per vial. Medicare, they reportedly found, would have paid about $9,460 for the total treatment Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000,

It sounds like buying a rug from a merchant in Cairo - the sticker price has almost no correlation with how much money will eventually change hands, except in this case if you have to haggle on your own you'll die before a price is agreed on.
 
2014-01-31 09:40:31 AM  
singlepayernow.net
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.
 
2014-01-31 09:41:02 AM  
No kidding? Lol, this racket between the government, medical, and insurance has been blatantly going on for years; the ACA is just a new spin to add to the coffers.

Most hospitals are non-profit business that receive funding from city, state, and federal governments - in other words we fund them.

Most businesses set price points by what the market will bear, the profit determined by how low they can get the wholesale below the retail. How do you figure the wholesale cost when the funding comes from outside? You don't, you just charge what the market will bear and try to figure out ways to invest all that profit to keep non-profit status. Hospitals and insurance partner together to charge as much as they can, while making the customer feel they got a bargain. If the customer knows a business pays next to nothing for raw material, will they pay more? Nope.

We don't see the true cost of a hospital visit. I think what they do is figure out what the overhead is for the various procedures, or products, and this dollar amount is what we are charged for in our deductible and co-pays. Instead of thinking about this like we usually do, we get a big bill, insurance cuts it way down, and we pay a percentage - think that we pay for the total service when we go to the doctor and insurance premiums are just theft. For example in the article the original bill was $89,000, cut down to 20 grand by insurance, with the customer paying $5400 out of pocket. I think the true cost with reasonable profit was $5400. All the rest of the tens of thousands just went in peoples pockets.

Wife and I went to Canada where our insurance doesn't work and she went to the emergency room of a large hospital with a sinus infection. We had to pay out of pocket for the whole thing. The hospital figured the cost for the procedures needed and that's what we paid - $160. That's what it cost and that's what we paid.

Now, I'm sure I'll get flamed with responses like, "but that's not the cost, think of all the doctors and expensive equipment involved!" Yeah, well, remember all the funding the hospitals get?

Think about this; when you take your car in for alignment the computerized machine they use can cost over a hundred thousand+. The mechanic has years of training and experience, the guy at the counter gets paid, and someone has to pay for the TV and couch you hang out on while the guy working on your car uses $50,000 worth of hand tools to make your car drive straight. If this procedure cost over a hundred bucks, you would be pissed. What if they handed you a bill for $9 grand? You would be running to the lawyer. The guy at the counter might say, "Hey look, we really should charge $100,000 for your alignment, but we're cutting you a break." Would you fall for that?

Yet with medical, you're damn happy to pay the thousands. We are a democracy, so we go to our reps - and they make it legal to rip us off.
 
2014-01-31 09:42:39 AM  

Target Builder: "Cost them a whopping $89,000. The Charlotte Observer The four vials of anti-venom medication Ferguson received reportedly cost about $20,000 each. Ferguson and his wife Laura researched the price of the medicine and found its retail price was between $750 and $12,000 per vial. Medicare, they reportedly found, would have paid about $9,460 for the total treatment Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000,

It sounds like buying a rug from a merchant in Cairo - the sticker price has almost no correlation with how much money will eventually change hands, except in this case if you have to haggle on your own you'll die before a price is agreed on.


Yeah. Getting a price on healthcare should NOT look like this...

i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-01-31 09:42:46 AM  

orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.


Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.
 
2014-01-31 09:44:45 AM  

uttertosh: Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man, I also get bills for hospital visits, doctor appointments, medications - it's just that the yearly total amount is capped over here (Doctor appointment is ~$30, but my monthly meds are ~ $450 - each Payment makes the next payment get a reduction, till It's no charge - But it's NEVAR FREE!!)


If you lived in America all that would  be about the same but you'd also pay 400+ dollars a month for health insurance.
 
2014-01-31 09:45:00 AM  

Johnson: vonmatrices: Hospitals bill insurance companies way too much for procedures because customers won't care.

While that is partly true and a holdback from the olden days where employer-based health insurance actually covered just about everything, insurance companies are now dealing not with individually owned hospitals, but large corporations made up of a "network" of different hospitals.

This actually gives them more leverage to say "we will pay X amount, or X percent of the list price for these procedures."  Just as they already do with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The hospital simply jacks up the "list" price so that the pre-negotiated percentage the insurance company pays covers the actual costs.  Unfortunately the patient does not get this discount for their co-pay.  Unless you negotiate it somehow and if you really push the issue, you CAN bring your end of the cost down.


The end result of consolidation in any industry is that the large consolidated partners gets to argue over fees, services, and such, and any price discrepancy or quality issues get passed onto the customers.  Since the customers have very little option with regards to alternate service (due to consolidation), and individually don't have much swap over a large organization, they will end up getting affected.  When the one organization that is supposed to work on behalf of the people tries to do anything (AKA - Government), everyone cries "Socialism" and nothing happens.
 
2014-01-31 09:45:04 AM  
"Hospitals only collect a small percentage of our charges, or 'list prices.' We are required to give Medicare one level of discount from list price, Medicaid another, and private insurers negotiate for still others. ... If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation. ... Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients."

That is a really farking stupid system that gives an especially epic screwing to the uninsured.
 
2014-01-31 09:47:07 AM  

uttertosh: Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


Well you don't even live in the United States, so when you start paying for it then feel free to mouth off.

I do pay for it, you muppet. With taxes, and getting billed.

Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man, I also get bills for hospital visits, doctor appointments, medications - it's just that the yearly total amount is capped over here (Doctor appointment is ~$30, but my monthly meds are ~ $450 - each Payment makes the next payment get a reduction, till It's no charge - But it's NEVAR FREE!!)


Your profile says you live in Sweden.  Do you or do you not?
 
2014-01-31 09:47:27 AM  

MayoSlather: It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.


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

Done in 3.  Alternately, they could have got their John Galt, gone to medical school, and treated themselves.
 
2014-01-31 09:53:06 AM  

give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!


Jawohl, mien Furhrer!
 
2014-01-31 09:54:47 AM  

Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


Well you don't even live in the United States, so when you start paying for it then feel free to mouth off.

I do pay for it, you muppet. With taxes, and getting billed.

Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man, I also get bills for hospital visits, doctor appointments, medications - it's just that the yearly total amount is capped over here (Doctor appointment is ~$30, but my monthly meds are ~ $450 - each Payment makes the next payment get a reduction, till It's no charge - But it's NEVAR FREE!!)

Your profile says you live in Sweden.  Do you or do you not?


I live in Sweden. Yes.

Headso: If you lived in America all that would be about the same but you'd also pay 400+ dollars a month for health insurance.


pretty retarded sounding to me - especially with what the article is about
 
2014-01-31 09:56:03 AM  

uttertosh: Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Cold_Sassy: uttertosh: Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.

I know, right? It's like some kind of dystopian communistist nightmare y'all are living in.


Well you don't even live in the United States, so when you start paying for it then feel free to mouth off.

I do pay for it, you muppet. With taxes, and getting billed.

Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man, I also get bills for hospital visits, doctor appointments, medications - it's just that the yearly total amount is capped over here (Doctor appointment is ~$30, but my monthly meds are ~ $450 - each Payment makes the next payment get a reduction, till It's no charge - But it's NEVAR FREE!!)

Your profile says you live in Sweden.  Do you or do you not?

I live in Sweden. Yes.

Headso: If you lived in America all that would be about the same but you'd also pay 400+ dollars a month for health insurance.

pretty retarded sounding to me - especially with what the article is about


Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.
 
2014-01-31 09:58:42 AM  

YixilTesiphon: skeevy420: vudukungfu: Fubini: I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks

I am.

Me too.

Had a few mrsa infections last year. $1500 for a 15 minute lancing and 2 prescriptions. First day I waited about 8 hours and 6 the second before I was finally seen. 2nd infection was the same, only 1 day and 6 hours. 5th infection was surgery, 3 days in isolation, iv antibiotics, and $15000.

Nothing the doctors did I couldn't do. Before you surgery guys chime in, I wouldn't have needed the surgery if it wouldn't cost $500 to see a doc to get antibiotics.

Infections 3, 4, & 6-9 I lanced myself and used antibiotics from friends/family (luckily I found the same kind I was being prescribed).

When I was 21 my dumbass punched a wall and got a cracked bone in my hand. Didn't initially go to the hospital cause I thought I could manage. 1am I went cause my left hand was swollen all to hell. 3am I finally see a doc who eventually misread the xray and accused me of trying to get pain pills. I went off on the guy...I don't even like pain pill BTW...and an older doc walked by, glanced at the xray, and said you don't see those two cracks right there, turned to me and said you must be in pain. Yep, but I'm just here for some kind of brace or wrapping, I don't want any pills if necessary. About 10 minutes later the old doc returned with a brace and a vicodin prescription. $3500.

You're going to the wrong doc-in-a-box. Got the telltale Lyme disease rash last summer and I think the visit will cost me $100. The pills were maybe $80.


Pills were only $4 a pop and not included above. Those figures were the rounded down ER bills. St. Joseph's Mercy in Hot Springs, AR....just giving the heads up.

Up until recently I made too much for govt insurance but not enough to afford it on my own. Never been a big deal till the past 6 months with a mrsa infection popping up every 3 weeks like clockwork.

I've done and am doing everything recommended to do and the just keep on coming. Recurring staph sucks.
 
2014-01-31 09:59:24 AM  

zimbomba63: give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!

Jawohl, mien Furhrer!



Raus! SCHNELL! SCHNELL!
 
2014-01-31 10:00:06 AM  

uttertosh: Headso: If you lived in America all that would be about the same but you'd also pay 400+ dollars a month for health insurance.

pretty retarded sounding to me - especially with what the article is about


yeah if you had an accident it would be even more but I was referring to your tax rate and your chronic condition
 
2014-01-31 10:00:57 AM  
CSB

Had to get carted from one hospital to another in 2012. The ambulance company sends me a bill for $750.00 for the trip. I already had my deductible and co-pay met so I called the insurance company to ask what was up. The ambulance company never billed them for the ride so I called the ambulance company. It was as easy as that. I gave them the insurance information so they could bill the insurance company. Here's the kicker. The lady on the phone said that since the insurance company was paying the bill it would now be $1276.77.

CSB/
 
2014-01-31 10:01:01 AM  
YixilTesiphon:

Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.

That depends if you include state, payroll, medicare, ss, and property taxes into that number. I'm not sure what other taxes uttertosh pays but different tax systems fund those through other revenue streams.

That said, the sales tax rates in Sweden would probably cause a lot of Americans to go into cardiac arrest at the supermarket checkout.
 
2014-01-31 10:01:12 AM  

YixilTesiphon: Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.


I have no idea what that means. Are you saying that one's wage must be high in order to compensate for that high a tax?
 
2014-01-31 10:02:25 AM  

RyansPrivates: Fubini:
I am not above saying that the medical industry as a whole is a bunch of crooks. I understand that stuff costs money, and medical grade stuff is inordinately expensive, but when you can't even give me a ballpark figure on how much a procedure costs, or justify your bill for three months after the fact, you have lost all my trust and respect. The single greatest thing we could do for healthcare in this country is to legally require that patients be given a price quote prior to an operation with a +10% upper bound on what they'll eventually be charged.

I would agree with one small caveat: I really don't think it is the doctors.   It is mostly the insurance providers, with hospitals on board to so they can get paid.  Insurance providers are incentivized to make the process as byzantine as possible to protect their profits ; the more difficult it is to actually find out where the money is going, the better for them.  The problem is healthcare is a product that everyone needs at some point in their lives, so they also have no incentive to really compete, and it is very a regional business.  You generally end up at hospital 20 miles within your home if you live in a metro area, 100 miles or so in a rural area.  This means hospitals aren't competing with each other very much, and the barriers for entry are very high.  There is no "Costco" of healthcare to come in and undercut the local stores.  The effect is what you experienced,


I work in a doctor's office. It used to be a private practice, so you better believe the Doctors/owners know how billing works. The doctors will always play ignorant about prices and billing because people give them the benefit of the doubt because, lifesavers.
In fact if you pay attention, you'll notice that many if not most of the people in charge of hospitals and insurance companies are MDs.
 
2014-01-31 10:02:51 AM  

Target Builder: That said, the sales tax rates in Sweden would probably cause a lot of Americans to go into cardiac arrest at the supermarket checkout.


Don't forget the Gasoline prices!!
 
2014-01-31 10:03:37 AM  

WTFDYW: CSB

Had to get carted from one hospital to another in 2012. The ambulance company sends me a bill for $750.00 for the trip. I already had my deductible and co-pay met so I called the insurance company to ask what was up. The ambulance company never billed them for the ride so I called the ambulance company. It was as easy as that. I gave them the insurance information so they could bill the insurance company. Here's the kicker. The lady on the phone said that since the insurance company was paying the bill it would now be $1276.77.

CSB/


See my posts above. My prices listed were after the 20% no insurance discount.
 
2014-01-31 10:05:47 AM  

grinding_journalist: Fun fact: Regardless of other health issues, dialysis treatment for ESRD/585.6 patients costs $150,000/person/year. NIH estimates that there are 20 MILLION people receiving these treatments, the MAJORITY of which are on some form of Medicare/Medicaid. How many of these people would still be receiving treatments if they had to pay for it themselves, I wonder? Again, I'm not talking about 54-year-old Joe, with a job and health insurance and a family and two kids, I'm talking about  97-year-old Great Uncle James, the majority of whose weekly activity comes in the form of being wheeled into a clinic and hooked up to a machine.


Twenty million people on dialysis times $150,000 per year for dialysis works out to the United States spending $3.0 TRILLION per year on dialysis.  That's 7% more than $2.8 trillion total dollars spend on health care in the United States in 2012.

Your fun fact is not just not a fact, it's not even in spitting distance of the possibility of being a fact.
 
2014-01-31 10:07:29 AM  

uttertosh: YixilTesiphon: Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.

I have no idea what that means. Are you saying that one's wage must be high in order to compensate for that high a tax?


No, but the income tax you pay the national government depends on your income, this is for a single person in 2013:
b-i.forbesimg.com
I'm saying that you have to have a high wage to fit into the bracket where you get taxed anything like 32%.

Every state has a different (in a few cases, like Texas, none) income tax, and as others have mentioned there's property, sales, etc taxes at local and state levels.
 
2014-01-31 10:08:24 AM  

DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.


Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.
 
2014-01-31 10:11:36 AM  

YixilTesiphon: Every state has a different (in a few cases, like Texas, none) income tax, and as others have mentioned there's property, sales, etc taxes at local and state levels.


And everything has service fees and if you violate some rule fines are very high. You can't even have your kid play sports these days without dropping a couple hundred in fees.
 
2014-01-31 10:13:04 AM  

orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.


Hmm, you're right.  We should construct a system that programs people to be selfless and act for the betterment of society and not for their own selfish gains.  If only there was a long standing system that could be in place to help teach people to do that.
 
2014-01-31 10:13:09 AM  
That's what Jesus would want.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-31 10:15:08 AM  

orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.


None of the centuries where toilet paper is common are all that bad.
 
2014-01-31 10:15:09 AM  

YixilTesiphon: uttertosh: YixilTesiphon: Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.

I have no idea what that means. Are you saying that one's wage must be high in order to compensate for that high a tax?

No, but the income tax you pay the national government depends on your income, this is for a single person in 2013:
[b-i.forbesimg.com image 583x269]
I'm saying that you have to have a high wage to fit into the bracket where you get taxed anything like 32%.

Every state has a different (in a few cases, like Texas, none) income tax, and as others have mentioned there's property, sales, etc taxes at local and state levels.


If we're talking about just federal income taxes, nobody pays a net 32%. Fire your accountant if that happens to you.  You're probably getting screwed in a lot more ways than you realize.

But if you take all your taxes -- payroll taxes, state income taxes, local property taxes, sales taxes, various fees, etc., -- it's not hard to get to 32%.

With that said, I have absolutely no idea what uttertosh  meant when he said, "Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man".  That just doesn't make any type of sense.
 
2014-01-31 10:15:18 AM  

uttertosh: YixilTesiphon: Well, you have to make an awful lot of money to have a net tax rate of 32% unless you live in California or New York.

I have no idea what that means. Are you saying that one's wage must be high in order to compensate for that high a tax?


All the states have different state income tax rates depending on how much they wan to spend and how they balance out sales tax, property tax (a percentage of your home value), and income tax. So a lot of people just look at the Federal Income Tax Rate, while ignoring State Taxes and Medicare and Social Security Payments (which also come out of your paycheck but aren't, strictly, taxes).

The Federal Income Tax rates are based off your income after it is adjusted for a whole heap of exemptions, deductions and allowances. For example you can deduct any mortgage interest from your income for the purpose of calculating how much tax you pay, and if you have a kid in daycare you can deduct a credit from the total tax bill.

The top Federal Income Tax rate is 39.6% and only applies to payroll income over $406,750, so to have an total tax rate of 32% you would have to have an annual income from their job somewhere in the region of a million bucks and have minimal deductions.
 
2014-01-31 10:16:20 AM  

gshepnyc: At some point everyone decided that what they do merits them becoming millionaires. We need doctors. I respect doctors. But let's be real. I grew up in the 1970s. My dad worked in a factory. We had a decent house in a decent neighborhood of a small town and in the same neighborhood lived several of the town's doctors. Their houses maybe were just a little nicer, but more or less the same. Maybe they had a more expensive car or they had a small boat or they took fancier vacations, but they weren't millionaires and they still lived pretty well.

Now, the same town, more or less the same population, more or less the same number of doctors, and the younger doctors all live in mcMansions in new, never-before-done-in-our-town gated communities.

It's kind of absurd. And I know it's not all them. It's also hospitals that have to pay dividends to shareholders and that's a big part of the problem, too. But we do have a problem with outlandish expectations of how we should live nowadays.


What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.
 
2014-01-31 10:20:12 AM  

YixilTesiphon: The billed cost for my daughter's delivery and (mostly) her subsequent week-long stay in the ICU out of an abundance of caution was $85,000.

The final cost was $800. I have no idea how that happened.

minoridiot: If we did not start with the list prices we have, we would not end up with enough revenue to remain in operation.

I don't see this changing anytime soon since the same insurance companies and government agencies are still running things.

Exactly, the ACA is a huge boon to the insurance companies and government agencies that have set up this ridiculous system in the first place.


Yeah, but, Obama said you can keep your snake, if you like it.
 
2014-01-31 10:20:45 AM  

The Larch: Your fun fact is not just not a fact, it's not even in spitting distance of the possibility of being a fact.


What part are you questioning? You'll note, if you reread my post more carefully, the words "estimate", and "majority".

These terms encompass the following: There are "up to" 20 million people receiving these treatments. It could be less. It almost certainly is, based on the way they collect data.

That the majority of them are on some form of Medicare/medicaid does not mean that 100% of the costs of the care of the entire 20 million are being passed on to the government. IIRC, it's about 54% of that patient pool on some form of MC/MC, and the ones on Care still have to pay (most of the time) a portion themselves.

The $150k is the billed rate- the government health programs pay far, far less than that, as a service provider to Medicare/Medicaid patients knows all too well.

You'll notice (or maybe you didn't) that I never cited a total cost, and for good reason. The math isn't as simple as this times this equals this, there are a huge number of mitigating factors that bring down the total cost figure.While this may lessen the impact of the numbers to a small degree, my point was how ridiculously overinflated costs for end-of-life care have gotten, and we need to be able to let go when quality of life nears zero.

/spent 6 years doing billing for a vascular surgery practice, I've seen the numbers from patients from all walks of life and situations
//does not anymore, since the whole industry is detestable
 
2014-01-31 10:22:17 AM  
fish hook in the thumb last summer cost me $4,200.  Which actually pissed me off.  By the time I got the final bill, I had to pay $100 and my insurance company wrote them a check for $483.  I never understood why insurance companies can get away with paying 10% of a bill while the uninsured will be driven to bankruptcy and not given an inch.
 
2014-01-31 10:24:25 AM  

Too Pretty For Prison: fish hook in the thumb last summer cost me $4,200.  Which actually pissed me off.  By the time I got the final bill, I had to pay $100 and my insurance company wrote them a check for $483.  I never understood why insurance companies can get away with paying 10% of a bill while the uninsured will be driven to bankruptcy and not given an inch.


Because they raise that price to skim more money off Medicare/Medicaid.  Seriously, just about every insurance company gets discounts, but government assistance pays full price.

But who cares, as long as the rich get richer, the poor get farked, and the middle class stay scared enough to work those shiatty jobs.
 
2014-01-31 10:24:48 AM  

Too Pretty For Prison: fish hook in the thumb last summer cost me $4,200.  Which actually pissed me off.  By the time I got the final bill, I had to pay $100 and my insurance company wrote them a check for $483.  I never understood why insurance companies can get away with paying 10% of a bill while the uninsured will be driven to bankruptcy and not given an inch.


skreened.com
 
2014-01-31 10:25:32 AM  
That's why you wait for happy hour, guys.

guinnesspours.net
 
2014-01-31 10:28:32 AM  

zimbomba63: gshepnyc: At some point everyone decided that what they do merits them becoming millionaires. We need doctors. I respect doctors. But let's be real. I grew up in the 1970s. My dad worked in a factory. We had a decent house in a decent neighborhood of a small town and in the same neighborhood lived several of the town's doctors. Their houses maybe were just a little nicer, but more or less the same. Maybe they had a more expensive car or they had a small boat or they took fancier vacations, but they weren't millionaires and they still lived pretty well.

Now, the same town, more or less the same population, more or less the same number of doctors, and the younger doctors all live in mcMansions in new, never-before-done-in-our-town gated communities.

It's kind of absurd. And I know it's not all them. It's also hospitals that have to pay dividends to shareholders and that's a big part of the problem, too. But we do have a problem with outlandish expectations of how we should live nowadays.

What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.


Funnily enough, that's how it works in most of the developed world.  Of course, medical school doesn't involve going into debt a quarter million in the rest of the developed world, nor is class disparity anywhere near as extreme...
 
2014-01-31 10:29:01 AM  

grinding_journalist: What part are you questioning? You'll note, if you reread my post more carefully, the words "estimate", and "majority".

These terms encompass the following: There are "up to" 20 million people receiving these treatments. It could be less. It almost certainly is, based on the way they collect data...The $150k is the billed rate- the government health programs pay far, far less than that, as a service provider to Medicare/Medicaid patients knows all too well.


Well, then, why didn't you just say "as many as 50 gazilliion people might have super AIDS, and each case may be billed for up to 37 tetra-billion dollars a year."  It would have been just as factual as  your bullshiat.

Look, if you want to spread flat out lies and pretend like they're truths because careful parsing shows that you didn't actually didn't make any claims at all, go for it. It's a free country.  But don't whine like a little baby when you get called on it.
 
2014-01-31 10:32:15 AM  

orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.


And teachers should be paid minimum wage, because they're doing it for the children.
 
2014-01-31 10:32:20 AM  

zimbomba63: What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.


No one is saying they shouldn't be better off, but the question is just how much better off they should be. According to the BLS the MEDIAN "physicians and surgeons" wage is $187,000 per year.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm

The median wage in the US is sitting at something like $34K. The median wage for college educated people is something like $55K. The median wage for people with doctorates (not doctors) is about $84K per year.

Is the median doctor really worth 2.2 times more than the median doctorate?

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

What about engineers? Chemical engineers make a median wage of $90K. Computer scientists and engineers make a median wage of $84K. Mechanical engineers make a median wage of $78K.

Is the median doctor really worth twice as much as the median engineer?

http://www.mtu.edu/engineering/outreach/welcome/salary/

No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need? They make exorbitant amounts more than average college educated people, even the traditionally high-paying occupations. They make way more than average people with doctoral degrees, who usually have about as much time invested in their education as a doctor would (median time to graduation is typically another 4.5-5.5 years depending on field of study).
 
2014-01-31 10:33:43 AM  
zimbomba63:What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

This would be a better argument if medical schools didn't gate the number of applicants, artificially restricting the number of people available to be doctors.
 
2014-01-31 10:36:28 AM  

Fubini: No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need?


Also, bear in mind that the median doctor isn't a neurosurgeon who works wonders. The median doctor sees the same types of patients over and over and over all day. It's not a particularly creative or demanding process.
 
2014-01-31 10:37:17 AM  

give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!


How would that have reduced the cost? It would have just changed who pays. Your argument makes no sense.
 
2014-01-31 10:39:32 AM  
The underlying problem is healthcare is not a market.  Everybody is either spending someone else's money or they're doing everything they can to try to avoid paying what they're supposed to (eg. insurance companies trying to deny benefits).

What I find shocking is how people have come to accept these kinds of hospital pricing discrepancies as par for the course.  People would be livid if a car dealership charged between $9,000 and $90,000 for the same vehicle depending on who's paying.  Why are they not similarly angry with hospitals?  Because by and large, they're spending someone else's money.  Once a procedure is sufficiently expensive that your particular out-of-pocket deductible is met, you don't really care whether the hospital charges your insurance company $20k and while it charges the insurance company of the guy in the room next to yours only $10k for the same procedure.

Laws forcing hospitals to post up-front prices for common procedures is perhaps a step in the right direction but I'm too cynical to think that it'll make much difference.
 
2014-01-31 10:39:46 AM  

DubtodaIll: orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.

Hmm, you're right.  We should construct a system that programs people to be selfless and act for the betterment of society and not for their own selfish gains.  If only there was a long standing system that could be in place to help teach people to do that.


They just have to watch the ants and the bees.  Work until you die.  There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing.  You live only to serve the hive.  There's your "program".
 
2014-01-31 10:40:23 AM  

Fubini: Fubini: No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need?

Also, bear in mind that the median doctor isn't a neurosurgeon who works wonders. The median doctor sees the same types of patients over and over and over all day. It's not a particularly creative or demanding process.


Also, don't miss this gem on the BLS page for physicians:

"Wages for physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations. According to the Medical Group Management Association's Physician Compensation and Production Survey, median total compensation for physicians varied with their type of practice. In 2012, physicians practicing primary care received total median annual compensation of $220,942 and physicians practicing in medical specialties received total median annual compensation of $396,233."

That means the guy you see when you have the sniffles has a median income of $221K, and the specialist you see has a median income just shy of $400K.
 
2014-01-31 10:43:49 AM  

The Larch: Well, then, why didn't you just say "as many as 50 gazilliion people might have super AIDS, and each case may be billed for up to 37 tetra-billion dollars a year."  It would have been just as factual as  your bullshiat.


Aside from the fact that super aids is fictional and ESRD is real, and tetra billion isn't a real number while 150,000 is, then yes. (I can be obtuse too!) And the reality is, some of those people ARE costing the government $150,000/yr for that care, and some are costing much, much more than that.

You keep intentionally missing my point. My point, again, as I've said twice now, isn't the number itself, it's the fact that humans can't get over the idea that life has to be extended as far as possible at all costs, and that's just flat out wrong. Would it weaken my argument to say that those costs were only $50,000/year? $10,000? No, because my point remains the same, and you seem to be having trouble grasping this.

You undoubtedly want to miss this point again, and that's fine, but explaining it three times is enough for me.
 
2014-01-31 10:47:49 AM  
www.totalwine.com www.drinkswap.com img2.timeinc.net
 
2014-01-31 10:50:59 AM  

zimbomba63: DubtodaIll: orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.

Hmm, you're right.  We should construct a system that programs people to be selfless and act for the betterment of society and not for their own selfish gains.  If only there was a long standing system that could be in place to help teach people to do that.

They just have to watch the ants and the bees.  Work until you die.  There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing.  You live only to serve the hive.  There's your "program".


I was thinking more about religion, which ends up giving you happiness just for serving it.  But yeah, lets look at bees instead.
 
2014-01-31 10:55:38 AM  

Fubini: zimbomba63: What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

No one is saying they shouldn't be better off, but the question is just how much better off they should be. According to the BLS the MEDIAN "physicians and surgeons" wage is $187,000 per year.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm

The median wage in the US is sitting at something like $34K. The median wage for college educated people is something like $55K. The median wage for people with doctorates (not doctors) is about $84K per year.

Is the median doctor really worth 2.2 times more than the median doctorate?

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

What about engineers? Chemical engineers make a median wage of $90K. Computer scientists and engineers make a median wage of $84K. Mechanical engineers make a median wage of $78K.

Is the median doctor really worth twice as much as the median engineer?

http://www.mtu.edu/engineering/outreach/welcome/salary/

No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need? They make exorbitant amounts more than average college educated people, even the traditionally high-paying occupations. They make way more than average people with doctoral degrees, who usually have about as much time invested in their education as a doctor would (median time to graduation is typically another 4.5-5.5 years depending on field of study).


Is that $187,000, before or after malpractice insurance?  The story, there's always more to it.
 
2014-01-31 11:07:32 AM  

Russad: zimbomba63:What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

This would be a better argument if medical schools didn't gate the number of applicants, artificially restricting the number of people available to be doctors.


You're right, throw open the gates.  "Hey, you!  You want to be a doctor?  "Huh, ah...OK!"  "Well, come on in, this won't take long."
 
2014-01-31 11:09:34 AM  
Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients."

It's a good thing that, under Obamacare, ALL care provided is now compensated. But please, go right ahead and continue farking that chicken.
 
2014-01-31 11:11:22 AM  

WorkingInParadise: [Tonto] "Kemosabe, doctor say, you going to die."


Took me a minute to remember the first part of that joke, laff...
 
2014-01-31 11:13:52 AM  

WorkingInParadise: [Tonto] "Kemosabe, doctor say, you going to die."


+5
 
2014-01-31 11:14:08 AM  
You're not just paying for the single dose of antivenin, you're also paying for the doses the hospital bought to have on hand which went unused and have expired.  Know what happens when they can't cover the costs of those losses?  They will no longer offer it.  You also have to add in the cost of the expertise to administer it.  Like the timing belt I just bought for $100 but cost me $1000 to have installed.  And, that's just the corner mechanic, I'm sure an MD would be a much higher premium.  But, still, it does sound like an inflated bill that the hospital hoped the insurance company would cover, that kind of stuff goes on all the time in a for-profit business.
 
2014-01-31 11:16:06 AM  

The My Little Pony Killer: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients."

It's a good thing that, under Obamacare, ALL care provided is now compensated. But please, go right ahead and continue farking that chicken.


You DO know that there will be people who do NOT get insurance and just pay the fine (tax), don't you? The cost of their care will have to come from somewhere which is why we need a single payer set up.
 
2014-01-31 11:16:24 AM  

DubtodaIll: zimbomba63: DubtodaIll: orclover: DubtodaIll: orclover: [singlepayernow.net image 240x240]
Single Payer, its what Jesus would want you farking idiots.

Jesus would have doctors treat the sick for the glory of God not for the money.

Baby steps.

Hey remember when the Hippocratic oath actually meant something?  I hear they dont even do that any more.   Health Care Professional should be a calling, not a get rich job.  Same with Cops and Firemen.  These three groups should be our super hero's, a title that commands respect just for their sacrifice should be Doctor.  Instead its a guy that hands out scrips for boner pills and painkillers.  Legal drug dealers who you pray doesn't accidentally kill you during surgery.

If not for all the porn I would really really hate this century.

Hmm, you're right.  We should construct a system that programs people to be selfless and act for the betterment of society and not for their own selfish gains.  If only there was a long standing system that could be in place to help teach people to do that.

They just have to watch the ants and the bees.  Work until you die.  There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing.  You live only to serve the hive.  There's your "program".

I was thinking more about religion, which ends up giving you happiness just for serving it.  But yeah, lets look at bees instead.


Wait, where am I?  This is fark, and we're going to hold the religious life up as our model?  I must have been in a coma and missed a lot.  Anyway, I'm a atheist, I'm going to need something else.
 
2014-01-31 11:17:11 AM  

grinding_journalist: You undoubtedly want to miss this point again, and that's fine, but explaining it three times is enough for me.


You seem to be under the mistaken impression that posting untruths as "facts" somehow helps you to get your point across.

It doesn't help that your point is that people who can't afford medical care should just hurry up and die already so that's there's more money for the rest of us, but I've argued with a sociopath already three times today, and that's enough for me as well.
 
2014-01-31 11:18:29 AM  

zimbomba63: They just have to watch the ants and the bees. Work until you die. There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing. You live only to serve the hive. There's your "program".


It works for 20% of society, why wouldnt it work for the rest?
 
2014-01-31 11:18:43 AM  

RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.


Absolutely right.  Bogus reporting.
 
kab
2014-01-31 11:20:07 AM  
This incredibly selfish couple needs to gather some empathy for the insurance companies that are barely keeping the lights on while providing reasonable costs to everyone.
 
2014-01-31 11:20:58 AM  

orclover: zimbomba63: They just have to watch the ants and the bees. Work until you die. There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing. You live only to serve the hive. There's your "program".

It works for 20% of society, why wouldnt it work for the rest?


Which 20% would that be, pray tell?
 
2014-01-31 11:30:21 AM  
"The doctor said you're going to die."
 
2014-01-31 11:33:47 AM  

MayoSlather: It's their own fault for not utilizing the free market and shopping around for hospitals to get the best price. Hard to feel sorry for dumbasses that probably just went to the first hospital they found.


7/10

got some bites (no pun intended)
 
2014-01-31 11:38:25 AM  
Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients."

and this is how the middle and upper classes already subsidize the poor.  the wealth was already being transferred pre-obamacare.
 
2014-01-31 11:40:17 AM  

give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!


Nope.
 
2014-01-31 11:42:24 AM  
A man in Cary foolishly picked up a young copperhead when his dog spotted it, and he was bitten on the thumb. Once the hospital was done treating the bite, he was hit with a bill for $35,000 that his insurance refused to cover. This was before ACA was law as well, so these high prices have nothing to do with that.
 
2014-01-31 11:49:44 AM  

BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.

Absolutely right.  Bogus reporting.


Where did the little over $14,600 come from? It'll take the snakebite people 3 years to pay this back if insurance premiums are $400/mo, while the insurance company invests these premiums. Even if every bit of the premium these people pay goes to medical care, the insurance company still makes cash off investments. It's like a 401K plan you build for retirement, but you won't get any of the interest and only that principle you can prove you need. Retire and want to buy a fancy new car? Sorry, you can only buy the base model, but we allow substituting a generic fancy used car. But the car we want only costs $5400! Nope - it's really $20,000 and there's nothing you can say about it. Feel lucky you didn't have to pay $89,000 we're doing you a favor.
 
2014-01-31 11:50:23 AM  
$500 per stitch in emergency rooms. So, $89k sounds about right for a snake bite.

/Nope, nothing farked up about our medical system in this country
 
2014-01-31 11:57:52 AM  

Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.

Absolutely right.  Bogus reporting.

Where did the little over $14,600 come from? It'll take the snakebite people 3 years to pay this back if insurance premiums are $400/mo, while the insurance company invests these premiums. Even if every bit of the premium these people pay goes to medical care, the insurance company still makes cash off investments. It's like a 401K plan you build for retirement, but you won't get any of the interest and only that principle you can prove you need. Retire and want to buy a fancy new car? Sorry, you can only buy the base model, but we allow substituting a generic fancy used car. But the car we want only costs $5400! Nope - it's really $20,000 and there's nothing you can say about it. Feel lucky you didn't have to pay $89,000 we're doing you a favor.


Not sure what you are talking about.   What 14,600?
 
2014-01-31 12:03:12 PM  

Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.


We have a winner.  When you consider the size of the population of the middle class vs. the wealthy, it makes sense why we don't have single payer. If we had single payer, then the wealthy would be picking up a much larger share of the current "uncompensated care" through higher taxes (or, we just print, mo' money).

The way it is now, the middle and upper classes overpay for hospital by similar amounts per capita. Two differences though:  That $5000 OOP bill to cover deductibles equals one helluva lot higer percentage of our anual income than the wealthy. And, there are a lot more of us than them, so, yes, we carry the burden.
 
2014-01-31 12:07:10 PM  

zimbomba63: orclover: zimbomba63: They just have to watch the ants and the bees. Work until you die. There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing. You live only to serve the hive. There's your "program".

It works for 20% of society, why wouldnt it work for the rest?

Which 20% would that be, pray tell?


The ones making <$10 an hour obviously.
 
2014-01-31 12:08:27 PM  

zimbomba63: Russad: zimbomba63:What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

This would be a better argument if medical schools didn't gate the number of applicants, artificially restricting the number of people available to be doctors.

You're right, throw open the gates.  "Hey, you!  You want to be a doctor?  "Huh, ah...OK!"  "Well, come on in, this won't take long."


This would be a better response if you didn't have to pass board examinations to practice medicine.
 
2014-01-31 12:23:52 PM  
Basically, Obama couldn't get single payer so he released the ACA which is problematic, at best, so people would get sick of it and demand single payer.
 
2014-01-31 12:24:09 PM  

WTFDYW: CSB


I never understood how that can be legal, that they have a different price for cash but charge your insurance more. I just ran into this with a chiropractor. She wouldn't tell me exactly how much my insurance would be billed, but as my insurance doesn't cover a lot toward chiropractor, I just paid the cash value anyway...as it would have cost me more to wait for the insurance to be billed and then pay the difference. Easier to budget with a straight up number.

Not sure how that benefits me if I had to go to the hospital. Pretty lame.

A cost should be a cost. I understand the mentality of "Well then we have to wait to be paid by the insurance company, wah wah" but still. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me. :\
 
2014-01-31 12:44:05 PM  
On a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, I went to the ER with crippling abdominal pain. After being taken back to a room (within about 20 minutes), I was examined, tentatively diagnosed with a serious infection, and whacked up with morphine. I was there for 10 hours, received four doses of pain meds, countless IV solution, 2 courses each of IV antibiotics, and a CAT scan. I went home that night in much better shape with an Rx for two different high-powered antibiotics. The next morning, my family doctor called to see how I was doing- The ER automatically sent the records to my own doctor.

How much was I billed? Nothing. I handed them my Nova Scotia health card. How high are my taxes? About the same as comparable cities in the Northeastern US. Oh- and the two Rx for antibiotics cost a total of $40.

Single payer is the way, folks. Delivering health care should not be a for-profit business. Thank goodness I don't live in the US any more.
 
2014-01-31 12:45:42 PM  

give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!


You didn't even bother reading the article before you demanded your free stuff.
 
2014-01-31 01:00:11 PM  

BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.

Absolutely right.  Bogus reporting.

Where did the little over $14,600 come from? It'll take the snakebite people 3 years to pay this back if insurance premiums are $400/mo, while the insurance company invests these premiums. Even if every bit of the premium these people pay goes to medical care, the insurance company still makes cash off investments. It's like a 401K plan you build for retirement, but you won't get any of the interest and only that principle you can prove you need. Retire and want to buy a fancy new car? Sorry, you can only buy the base model, but we allow substituting a generic fancy used car. But the car we want only costs $5400! Nope - it's really $20,000 and there's nothing you can say about it. Feel lucky you didn't have to pay $89,000 we're doing you a favor.

Not sure what you are talking about.   What 14,600?


That's what the bill was; little over $20K. Sure, the people only had to pay $5600 cash, but they've been paying medical insurance to pay for the rest. 20,000 - 5600 = 14,600, for years now. Medical insurance is a loan you pay forward on - these guys bought "health" for $5600 down and roughly $400/mo for three years.

I've been paying forward my medical loan for 32 years at an average expense of $388/month. This means the insurance companies are now stock trading almost $150,000 of my money. Because of the time value of money, they have probably turned this into a half million - of which I will see none of even if I get sick or injured. If I do get sick or injured, my deduct and co-pay will cover the actual cost of medical care, while the hospital tries to gouge the insurance company of the principle and interest my account holds.
 
2014-01-31 01:01:12 PM  

MarshWoman: Thank goodness I don't live in the US any more.


So we agree?
 
2014-01-31 01:04:55 PM  

Headso: Our costs for providing uncompensated care are partially covered by higher bills for other patients.


In other words the middle class pretty much carry the burden of the uninsured and under-insured.


They also carry the cost of underpayments from Medicare and Medicaid... which has a greater cost shift than uninsured. But you are intellectually honest so I believe you simply forgot to mention that part.
 
2014-01-31 01:12:44 PM  

trappedspirit: MarshWoman: Thank goodness I don't live in the US any more.

So we agree?


Yes, we do. Efficient health care delivery ranks: Canada- 17th,  USA- 46th right after Iran, but ahead of Serbia.
http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst/most-efficient-h ea lth-care-countries
 
2014-01-31 01:21:26 PM  

The Larch: With that said, I have absolutely no idea what uttertosh meant when he said, "Even although I'm taxed 32% as a single man". That just doesn't make any type of sense.


Sorry.

Single, not married, no dependants, live alone. As one of those guys, I pay 32% of my income to the tax man.

It's at just under a half million Kronor ($75,000) a year of earnings, that the tax band goes up to 52%

YixilTesiphon: No, but the income tax you pay the national government depends on your income, this is for a single person in 2013:
b-i.forbesimg.com
I'm saying that you have to have a high wage to fit into the bracket where you get taxed anything like 32%.


Cool, but not over here ;-) Heh, I wish!!!!
 
2014-01-31 01:25:50 PM  

Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA:  Though their Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reduced the bill to a little over $20,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, and they only ended up paying about $5,400 to cover their deductible and co-pay, the couple said they were shocked by the price of treatment.

Then it didn't cost them $89,000, did it?  That's how insurance works.

Absolutely right.  Bogus reporting.

Where did the little over $14,600 come from? It'll take the snakebite people 3 years to pay this back if insurance premiums are $400/mo, while the insurance company invests these premiums. Even if every bit of the premium these people pay goes to medical care, the insurance company still makes cash off investments. It's like a 401K plan you build for retirement, but you won't get any of the interest and only that principle you can prove you need. Retire and want to buy a fancy new car? Sorry, you can only buy the base model, but we allow substituting a generic fancy used car. But the car we want only costs $5400! Nope - it's really $20,000 and there's nothing you can say about it. Feel lucky you didn't have to pay $89,000 we're doing you a favor.

Not sure what you are talking about.   What 14,600?

That's what the bill was; little over $20K. Sure, the people only had to pay $5600 cash, but they've been paying medical insurance to pay for the rest. 20,000 - 5600 = 14,600, for years now. Medical insurance is a loan you pay forward on - these guys bought "health" for $5600 down and roughly $400/mo for three years.

I've been paying forward my medical loan for 32 years at an average expense of $388/month. This means the insurance companies are now stock trading almost $150,000 of my money. Because of the time value of money, they have probably turned this into a half million - of which I will see none of even if I get sick or injured. If I do get sick or injured, my deduct a ...


Ah, I see what you are saying, but insurance isn't free, one is paying a smaller amount to protect against a finance destroying larger amount.  And your calculation is making the assumption that they did not get any other benefits from their insurance.  The same with your "loan"  you've never got any benefit from your insurance in 32 years?
 
2014-01-31 01:28:13 PM  

MarshWoman: Single payer is the way, folks. Delivering health care should not be a for-profit business.


Delivering life sustaining food should not be a for-profit business.
Providing warm, dry places to live should not be a for-profit business.
Distributing party saving alcohol should not be a for-profit business.

I kinda like this sitting back and deciding what I should get for free.  It's nice.
 
2014-01-31 01:36:38 PM  
trappedspirit:  I kinda like this sitting back and deciding what I should get for free.  It's nice.

Don't be a dick. Our health care isn't free, it's paid for with taxes. In the US, there is no "free enterprise" for health care. You can't really price comparison shop among doctors, specialists and hospitals. Comparing that to real estate and supermarkets, where you can comparison shop is just silly. Also, in any of those businesses you mentioned, artificially inflating and rigging prices is against the law. But you knew that already, didn't you? Troll.
 
2014-01-31 02:12:10 PM  

BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA....

Ah, I see what you are saying, but insurance isn't free, one is paying a smaller amount to protect against a finance destroying larger amount.  And your calculation is making the assumption that they did not get any other benefits from their insurance.  The same with your "loan"  you've never got any benefit from your insurance in 32 years?

Nope, no benefit I haven't paid for on top of my insurance. Let me give you a real like example: 4 months ago I went in for a checkup. No problems, just been 5 years since my last one. I paid $20 for my visit, with insurance. I timed it and I spent 4 minutes with the nurse taking vitals, almost 7 minutes with the doctor. $20/11min=$1.81/minute. I paid cash for insured medical care at a rate of over 100 bucks an hour. The clinic billed my insurance company for the max amount both agreed on.

Sure, what happens if something catastrophic happens? I'd first have to know what the true wholesale cost of my illness is compared to the retail value they will try to bill. The insurance company will know. They are holding my money as collateral, and hope they don't have to use it. There's always the cap, and preexisting that they've used in the past. Not with ACA, so everyone's premiums will go up and hopefully cover when people really need it - the less they have to take out of the original principle and interest, the better.

I hate to biatch and moan without giving a solution, here it is. People pay medical insurance throughout their working years while the insurance companies use the principle to earn interest - basically like they do now. The difference being the medical community sets a standard non-profit rate per procedure, and the insurance company must give back the principle at a customers retirement, so that it can be used for long term care. If sudden death occurs the money can be passed on to a relative's medical account.

Right now we pay taxes to the government, who subsidize the non-profit medical community. They can cut us a break and still make a profit with no change to taxes or average quality of care. The insurance company can keep the interest it makes, and since the medical costs will be lower, they can look at the bills they do have to pay like interest a bank pays me when I take out a CD. To keep people from scamming the system, there would still need to be a deduct and co-pay, but it would be affordable. The government would still get their tax money, medical and insurance would still make a profit - But then I could say I get some kind of benefit out of all this money I've paid. Not the best benefit, but something. I don't mind paying for peace of mind, but hate getting raped for it.
 
2014-01-31 02:40:10 PM  

zimbomba63: Fubini: zimbomba63: What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

No one is saying they shouldn't be better off, but the question is just how much better off they should be. According to the BLS the MEDIAN "physicians and surgeons" wage is $187,000 per year.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm

The median wage in the US is sitting at something like $34K. The median wage for college educated people is something like $55K. The median wage for people with doctorates (not doctors) is about $84K per year.

Is the median doctor really worth 2.2 times more than the median doctorate?

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

What about engineers? Chemical engineers make a median wage of $90K. Computer scientists and engineers make a median wage of $84K. Mechanical engineers make a median wage of $78K.

Is the median doctor really worth twice as much as the median engineer?

http://www.mtu.edu/engineering/outreach/welcome/salary/

No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need? They make exorbitant amounts more than average college educated people, even the traditionally high-paying occupations. They make way more than average people with doctoral degrees, who usually have about as much time invested in their education as a doctor would (median time to graduation is typically another 4.5-5.5 years depending on field of study).

Is that $187,000, before or after malpractice insurance?  The story, there's always more to it.


Good question.  I would also say that 187k is a lot of money (upper middle class), but not enough to make you "rich".  For someone to someone to become an MD it is ~8 years of schooling (4 years + 4 years of med school) + 2 years of residiency (about 45k a year, which pays for the basics).  If you are very specialized, you may have additional residency/fellowship requirements, of course those folks get higher salaries.

Compare an MD with an "investment banker", who has an MBA, pulls in 6 figures right off the bat and only has 6 years of school to pay off.  I don't mind if a physician can have a comfortable living when he/she is helping out the sick.  I'll put it this way, at least when a doctor sticks something up your ass, they are actually trying to help you out, unlike the aforementioned investment banker who just wants to see if there is more cash to be had that way....
 
2014-01-31 03:01:37 PM  
My wife's ex husband was in a terrible motorcycle accident. They flew him to the hospital on a helicopter.Insurance refused to cover most of the charge for the ride because the helicopter service wasn't a preferred provider. My wife was billed $18000 for a 7 minute flight. Had the provide been preferred her deductible on that flight was something like $1000. How the hell can someone who us dying on the side if the road choose what service us used to fly then to the hospital?

 In all, his treatment cost somewhere over $3 million dollars.Insurance covered most of it, but she still got bills of not covered service of over $300,000. She did her best to pay them, depleting a majority of their life savings, but she's a teacher and there want a chance in hell that she could pay $300,000. So eventually she paid what she could and finally told them that was it. To this day it bothers her that she was unable to cover the entire amount, but how can any service expect a customer to cover bills of that size? It isn't possibly, they know it isn't possible. I have no sympathy for hospitals and doctors when it comes to getting stiffed. You cannot price your services (services that aren't for the most part optional) being the ability if people to party and then complain about not getting paid.

  Healthcare costs are out of control. I went to the era few weeks ago, I had a gall bladder attack. I spent two hours in the ER and they did a sonogram. The bill came to $5000. $5k for two hours of care, its insane. My copay was $500. I'll pay it although it will take me a while. I'm disabled due to a workplace accident and even though I receive medicare along with my disability the cost of medical care is just about it of reach. I had to have my GSL bladder removed last week at A cost of almost $27,000. My copay under medicare was $1,300. You might be thinking that $1,800 isn't bad for a copay, but my monthly Social Security benefit is $1,500 a month. It will take me close to two years to pay of the hospital. The point is, how in the hell can people be expected to pay these kind of amounts? When medicare was setup, why was a $1,300  deductible considered to be a good idea? It should have been pretty obvious to the designed of yet plan that most people using this service Erik never be able to pay these kinds if bills, do is it any surprise that hospitals end up eating so much?

  Situ for the rant, its been one if those days.
 
2014-01-31 03:09:25 PM  

Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA....Ah, I see what you are saying, but insurance isn't free, one is paying a smaller amount to protect against a finance destroying larger amount.  And your calculation is making the assumption that they did not get any other benefits from their insurance.  The same with your "loan"  you've never got any benefit from your insurance in 32 years?

Nope, no benefit I haven't paid for on top of my insurance. Let me give you a real like example: 4 months ago I went in for a checkup. No problems, just been 5 years since my last one. I paid $20 for my visit, with insurance. I timed it and I spent 4 minutes with the nurse taking vitals, almost 7 minutes with the doctor. $20/11min=$1.81/minute. I paid cash for insured medical care at a rate of over 100 bucks an hour. The clinic billed my insurance company for the max amount both agreed on.

Sure, what happens if something catastrophic happens? I'd first have to know what the true wholesale cost of my illness is compared to the retail value they will try to bill. The insurance company will know. They are holding my money as collateral, and hope they don't have to use it. There's always the cap, and preexisting that they've used in the past. Not with ACA, so everyone's premiums will go up and hopefully cover when people really need it - the less they have to take out of the original principle and interest, the better.

I hate to biatch and moan without giving a solution, here it is. People pay medical insurance throughout their working years while the insurance companies use the principle to earn interest - basically like they do now. The difference being the medical community sets a standard non-profit rate per procedure, and the insurance company must give back the principle at a customers retirement, so that it can be used for long term care. If sudden death occurs the money can be pa ...


I am not sure how computing an hourly rate based upon your copay figures into this, since it is how much your insurance benefit saves you over no insurance.  Were blood and urine tests also done?   Since you are 50+ish  are you going to get colonoscoped?  My annual checkup, which I pay nothing for, because it is part of their wellness program,  includes blood and uring lab work,  EKG  and chest xray (every other  year).  The colonoscope with anesthesia is $20 copay.

If you had some very expensive illness the only thing that really matters in calculating the benefit is how much you saved over not having the insurance.  Even if the insurance company had an agreement with a hospital so that a $50,000 charge only cost them $15,000.  the fact that without insurance you would have received a bill for the "retail" amount.

Insurance is not fun to pay, and there's always the tendency to feel you are not getting your money's worth (I am not in the insuracne biz, and my rates piss me off), but having worked and saved for the nicer things, it's easier to get upset over an expensive bill than over losing my house and a significant part of my life's savings from a catastrophic medical expenses.
 
2014-01-31 03:15:54 PM  

Target Builder: That said, the sales tax rates in Sweden would probably cause a lot of Americans to go into cardiac arrest at the supermarket checkout.


If you add in the costs of health insurance, health care, AND taxes Americans pay, the Swedish taxes look rather low / attractive.

and if you add in how  effective Swedish hospitals and doctors are compared to their American counterparts, the Swedish taxes look like an absolute bargain.
 
2014-01-31 03:18:17 PM  

RedPhoenix122: Too Pretty For Prison: fish hook in the thumb last summer cost me $4,200.  Which actually pissed me off.  By the time I got the final bill, I had to pay $100 and my insurance company wrote them a check for $483.  I never understood why insurance companies can get away with paying 10% of a bill while the uninsured will be driven to bankruptcy and not given an inch.

Because they raise that price to skim more money off Medicare/Medicaid.  Seriously, just about every insurance company gets discounts, but government assistance pays full price.

But who cares, as long as the rich get richer, the poor get farked, and the middle class stay scared enough to work those shiatty jobs.


The profit margins for insurance industry is nowhere near the top of the list. But hey, as long as we can blame the rich, facts don't matter.
 
2014-01-31 03:19:54 PM  

give me doughnuts: Universal single-payer.

NOW!


The price is too damn high!
If they don't bring the costs down then we're only debating who will go broke first. The government or the people.

/Not that it'll make a difference when the fed comes for the remainder of our paychecks.
 
2014-01-31 03:26:27 PM  

OBBN: My wife's ex husband was in a terrible motorcycle accident. They flew him to the hospital on a helicopter.Insurance refused to cover most of the charge for the ride because the helicopter service wasn't a preferred provider. My wife was billed $18000 for a 7 minute flight. Had the provide been preferred her deductible on that flight was something like $1000. How the hell can someone who us dying on the side if the road choose what service us used to fly then to the hospital?


Agree with this!  One of the reasons healthcare, IMO, can't be treated like other services that are for profit.  If it was really marketplace, you would have multple providers offering to you at the time you want service.  When I want to get a mobile phone, I can choose AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, MetroPCS, etc. depending on my budget.  You can't choose your healthcare provider, especially in rural service areas.  And don't tell me you can can get different insurance providers.  So what? They still end up having to pay the same healthcare provider (hospital, clinic, ambulance services, etc)

 In all, his treatment cost somewhere over $3 million dollars.Insurance covered most of it, but she still got bills of not covered service of over $300,000. She did her best to pay them, depleting a majority of their life savings, but she's a teacher and there want a chance in hell that she could pay $300,000. So eventually she paid what she could and finally told them that was it. To this day it bothers her that she was unable to cover the entire amount, but how can any service expect a customer to cover bills of that size? It isn't possibly, they know it isn't possible. I have no sympathy for hospitals and doctors when it comes to getting stiffed. You cannot price your services (services that aren't for the most part optional) being the ability if people to party and then complain about not getting paid.

Yet another symptom that it isn't a real market.  In  a real market, these things would work out.  It isn't a real market.  It is an insurance cartel.

  Healthcare costs are out of control. I went to the era few weeks ago, I had a gall bladder attack. I spent two hours in the ER and they did a sonogram. The bill came to $5000. $5k for two hours of care, its insane. My copay was $500. I'll pay it although it will take me a while. I'm disabled due to a workplace accident and even though I receive medicare along with my disability the cost of medical care is just about it of reach. I had to have my GSL bladder removed last week at A cost of almost $27,000. My copay under medicare was $1,300. You might be thinking that $1,800 isn't bad for a copay, but my monthly Social Security benefit is $1,500 a month. It will take me close to two years to ...

To your point, people cant be expected to do so.  I am somewhat libertarian, but there are limitations.  This is one of them.  If the market naturally prices people out as consumers, it isn't a real market.  So one of two things needs to happen.

1.)  The market needs to be completely unfettered.  This works well for areas that should be competitive but the government  had previously granted monopolies to.  I am thinking of cable TV monopolies by location and power service (here in Texas you can easily choose your power provider, works pretty damn well).

2.) The government needs to provide some level of base service.  So, for example, emergency and preventative care.   The market can then lay on top of this.  The trick here is determining the base level.  A good example of this service is home security. (yes, really!).  You get police service for your area, regardless of income.  You pay nothing, other taxes.  So if someone robs you can have recourse.  Not very good security, but better than none at all.  The add-on level is a home alarm system (and beyond).  You get a monitored solution to be proactive and get the cops out there quickly, maybe even quick enough to apprehend.
 
2014-01-31 03:31:06 PM  

orclover: zimbomba63: orclover: zimbomba63: They just have to watch the ants and the bees. Work until you die. There is no rest, no pleasure, nothing, because individually you count as nothing. You live only to serve the hive. There's your "program".

It works for 20% of society, why wouldnt it work for the rest?

Which 20% would that be, pray tell?

The ones making <$10 an hour obviously.


Russad: zimbomba63: Russad: zimbomba63:What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

This would be a better argument if medical schools didn't gate the number of applicants, artificially restricting the number of people available to be doctors.

You're right, throw open the gates.  "Hey, you!  You want to be a doctor?  "Huh, ah...OK!"  "Well, come on in, this won't take long."

This would be a better response if you didn't have to pass board examinations to practice medicine.


Those examinations are just part of the problem, they make them too hard.  People fail them, and that's bad for their self-esteem.

How many spots are open in teaching hospitals?  How many intern positions are available for the people coming out of med school?  If you accept more people into med school where are they going to go?  People with more knowledge concerning the process of becoming a doctor help me out here.
 
2014-01-31 03:33:26 PM  

MarshWoman: trappedspirit:  I kinda like this sitting back and deciding what I should get for free.  It's nice.

Don't be a dick. Our health care isn't free, it's paid for with taxes. In the US, there is no "free enterprise" for health care. You can't really price comparison shop among doctors, specialists and hospitals. Comparing that to real estate and supermarkets, where you can comparison shop is just silly. Also, in any of those businesses you mentioned, artificially inflating and rigging prices is against the law. But you knew that already, didn't you? Troll.


Why do you hate the homeless?
 
2014-01-31 03:58:14 PM  
My apologies for all of the misspellings in my above post. I did it on my phone without the aid of my glasses. That combined with the insane auto-correct makes me wish I took the time to proofread before I hit post. I'm very sorry for subjecting all of you to that disaster.
 
2014-01-31 04:09:40 PM  
YixilTesiphon:
I'm saying that you have to have a high wage to fit into the bracket where you get taxed anything like 32%.

Depends what you consider "tax".   If you add in Federal, Social Security, Medicare, and health insurance (I consider all of these to be "taxes" for these discussions since you're not going to be able to get away with not paying them, and it makes it easier when discussion European tax rates), I think most of us hit 30%+ very quickly, even with low wages.
 
2014-01-31 04:31:58 PM  
No, no, no. We have the best healthcare in the world. The best. Why Obama wants to ruin it with all his socialism is beyond me.
 
2014-01-31 08:43:52 PM  

grinding_journalist: Regardless of other health issues, dialysis treatment for ESRD/585.6 patients costs $150,000/person/year. NIH estimates that there are 20 MILLION people receiving these treatments


Yeah, but we're the goddamned U. S. of A.  $300 trillion/year to pay for dialysis is chump change.

/wait a minute...
 
2014-01-31 08:47:13 PM  
What did I just do?  That was supposed to be $3 trillion.
Either way, trying to point out that your numbers can't be right.  Apparently mine aren't either.  I blame beer (the cause and solution to all life's problems, ya know)
 
2014-01-31 09:32:08 PM  

BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: Ficoce: BenJammin: RedPhoenix122: Headline:   Snake Bite Costs North Carolina Couple $89,000 Hospital Bill

FTFA....
I am not sure how computing an hourly rate based upon your copay figures into this, since it is how much your insurance benefit saves you over no insurance.  Were blood and urine tests also done?   Since you are 50+ish  are you going to get colonoscoped?  My annual checkup, which I pay nothing for, because it is part of their wellness program,  includes blood and uring lab work,  EKG  and chest xray (every other  year).  The colonoscope with anesthesia is $20 copay.
If you had some very expensive illness the only thing that really matters in calculating the benefit is how much you saved over not having the insurance.  Even if the insurance company had an agreement with a hospital so that a $50,000 charge only cost them $15,000.  the fact that without insurance you would have received a bill for the "retail" amount.
Insurance is not fun to pay, and there's always the tendency to feel you are not getting your money's worth (I am not in the insuracne biz, and my rates piss me off), but having worked and saved for the nicer things, it's easier to get upset over an expensive bill than over losing my house and a significant part of my life's savings from a catastrophic medical expenses.


Actually, blood and urine tests were done the next day. I'd had a bowl of cereal that morning, but skipped lunch - don't want to mess up those tests! Another $20, cha ching!.

I know you don't work for insurance company, because you would cost them money. And you probably don't work in the non-profit medical industry - why pay you when they get a cheerleader for free?

Any business, and I mean any business, that invoices $89,000, but will accept $20,000 as payment in full as a standard business practice are thieves and crooks. Don't you realize that's your money? These hospitals are non-profit, tax exempt. I'm not being conservative when I say millions of people go through life without any major medical issues. Most of the medical needs for people happen after they reach 50 - right at the time they can't afford medical; fixed pension, SS, they might have a home and a little savings. They've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance during their producing years that is just gone. They could really use that money now to make their own choice about long term care. Selling the house isn't going to cut it - you seen the price of rest homes? It can be $4 grand/mo without medical.  You think the kids want to deal with it? Just think if you had the house paid off, SS coming in, a little 401K plan to play with - and $150,000 to take care of any medical crap that comes along - the kids might just take care of you while approaching room temperature.

Yes, I've had a colonoscopy - The Silver Bullet. You bend over and some doc spends less than a minute moving the dingleberries and gerbils out of the way to check for polyps and other odd things. If it looks good a biopsy isn't even done. An inexpensive procedure at $2000+, lol. Anyone with minor training and finds it enjoyable can perform it. You can have it done in Mexico tomorrow for less than $350, and come home with a tan. Really, you could have a vacation for less than the procedure costs here.

You can't stick up for the crooks - maybe if we had the cheapest care in the world; sadly, that's not the way it is. They can still cap the dollar limit with ACA and stop paying, leaving you holding the bag - can you tell me what an essential medical procedure will be 5 years from now? Ten? Nope, and nobody's making any promises either.
 
2014-01-31 09:40:42 PM  
The fact that they hardly EVER use antivenom for copperhead bites, especially in a healthy individual, raises some red flags for me.  It completely deviates from the standard of care, which is typically just supportive along with some antibiotics.  Also, because you found this (online??) from a range of $750 - $12,000 per vial, you concluded it was worth $750.  That makes sense.  No hospital pays that little for that particular antivenom.  Also, when it's used, you have to use multiple vials.  And we're just ignoring the fact that even the hospital knows they'll never receive $89,000, the insurance company negotiates it to a fraction of that, just as you can if you lack insurance and pay out of pocket.

The arguments made in the thread are valid.  But I'm sure we can use a less shady article to spark the debate.
 
2014-01-31 09:46:05 PM  

SoupJohnB: My question when I read TFA was - what kind of snake?  For the price tag on those anti-venom vials, I wondered if they were keeping a farkin' cobra as a pet.  But the linked report said the dude was bitten outside, where he felt a "bee sting," then saw fang marks.  My guesses would be a small rattler, moccasin or copperhead, based on that location.

/when something bites me outside, I don't leave whatever it was to guesswork


A different article on this particular incident said it was a copperhead.  Which raises my bullshiat flag right away considering the standard treatment is just supportive because it's not remotely life-threatening.
 
2014-01-31 09:53:45 PM  

zimbomba63: Fubini: zimbomba63: What you say makes a lot of sense, you know, if anybody could a medical degree from a coupon off a box of breakfast cereal.  But, if I had to do the whole medical school grind, I think I'd want a little compensation for the effort.  The idea of doing all that, and ending up just a smidge better off, than a guy who may not have graduated from high school and spends the day sweeping up on the loading dock, would be kind of stupid.  But, hey, that's just me.

No one is saying they shouldn't be better off, but the question is just how much better off they should be. According to the BLS the MEDIAN "physicians and surgeons" wage is $187,000 per year.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm

The median wage in the US is sitting at something like $34K. The median wage for college educated people is something like $55K. The median wage for people with doctorates (not doctors) is about $84K per year.

Is the median doctor really worth 2.2 times more than the median doctorate?

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

What about engineers? Chemical engineers make a median wage of $90K. Computer scientists and engineers make a median wage of $84K. Mechanical engineers make a median wage of $78K.

Is the median doctor really worth twice as much as the median engineer?

http://www.mtu.edu/engineering/outreach/welcome/salary/

No one is saying that doctors shouldn't be compensated well for what they do, but how much do they really need? They make exorbitant amounts more than average college educated people, even the traditionally high-paying occupations. They make way more than average people with doctoral degrees, who usually have about as much time invested in their education as a doctor would (median time to graduation is typically another 4.5-5.5 years depending on field of study).

Is that $187,000, before or after malpractice insurance?  The story, there's always more to it.


And before or after you paid the monthly bill for your 250K (I'll be lucky to cap out at 300 in total) debt.  And all the little bullshiat.  Just paid $1400 for my Step 2CS and a little less for step 2ck.  And just paid $100 just for the privilege of applying for residency.  Test prep I don't even want to talk about.  Each additional program you apply to adds $26, and it's not uncommon to apply for close to 100 programs.  Then flying to each interview hoping you'll just get one acceptance.  It's farking hilarious to hear how doctors are just buying boats and mansions (right out of medical school? believe someone above actually said this).  So far from reality.  I'll be lucky to make $175K as a psychiatrist.  Which would be great except for said endless buttfarking bills.
 
2014-01-31 10:14:21 PM  

Sean M: Target Builder: That said, the sales tax rates in Sweden would probably cause a lot of Americans to go into cardiac arrest at the supermarket checkout.

If you add in the costs of health insurance, health care, AND taxes Americans pay, the Swedish taxes look rather low / attractive.

and if you add in how  effective Swedish hospitals and doctors are compared to their American counterparts, the Swedish taxes look like an absolute bargain.


I never accused Americans of considering either what all their taxes add up to or what their taxes pay for.
 
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  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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