The hospital told her surgery would cost $1,337 out of pocket. It billed her $303,709.

Originally published at: The hospital told her surgery would cost $1,337 out of pocket. It billed her $303,709. | Boing Boing


Introducing profit motive into the healthcare industry was a fatal move when it happened. It has taken some time for the poison to work it’s way through, but we are now seeing the full fruition of the process. In my field, more and more hospitals have closed their pediatric services because treating kids is not profitable. The only ones keeping them seem to be teaching hospitals, which still enjoy a lot of government support. Even in those institutions, you can get socked with amazing bills for trivial visits, but at least you can get you child care. And that is where we are.


One more entry in “America is a failed state”.


10 years they f’d this woman’s life up, it’s time NOW for Medicare for all.


For profit health care is morally repugnant.


Is it just me, or does ‘Chargemaster’ sound like a villain from some superhero universe?

Star Wars Reaction GIF by Disney+


“While you’re in there I guess you could take my kidney out as partial payment.”


unfortunately, that seems plausible given current conditions.


As a Canadian in the US, my biggest concern used to be how long would I have to wait to see soanso specialist about this non-life-threatening procedure, and never thought once about urgent care, medication availability, etc.

Since being in the US, I’ve had to worry about:

  1. Is the doctor or professional I’m seeing “in network”,
  2. Is the procedure being undertaken covered by insurance
  3. are all of the people involved, and the facility “in-network” and covered
  4. are the medications my care provider wishes to proscribe covered by insurance
  5. Is the estimate from my care provider of what insurance will pay accurate, because I am liable for the difference, and
  6. if the insurance company pays MORE than what I paid the provider, how many months and phone calls will it take for me to get that money back (answer from experience? “many”)

I’m not sure why this is supposed to be “better”, or even why Americans would accept all of that shit in the first place. Because I can tell you from my own experience, it is very much not better.


I only said “partial payment” because I know ultimately it’s gonna cost an arm and a leg.


Because Americans have been conditioned to believe that capitalism is always right and that any kind of regulation that hinders a private business from maximizing profits - even at the expense of a person’s health- is somehow “socialism” or “communism” and therefore evil.

We had a chance decades ago to alter course but Republicans successfully torpedoed Clinton’s health care reform plan. It’s been an ever increasing shitshow since.

ETA: Americans have also been lead to believe that health insurance = health care.
Insurance companies control the US health care system absolutely and dictate any and all policies from the Federal level on down. Any kind of reform that threatens this dynamic will almost certainly be defeated. That’s why Obama’s ACA, while critically important, was only able to address issues around the margins and did not get to the root of the problem. Tying health insurance access to a person’s employment was the fatal flaw almost from the very beginning.


Because most Americans haven’t lived anywhere else and haven’t had the opportunity to experience anything better, is what I’m guessing.


I can answer the second question with two screencaps.

From Study: Congress literally doesn’t care what you think

And from (Note: this is 12 years ago; so expect to apply a multiplier for 2021 expenditures):

Bottom line: We vote for people we feel will best represent us, and then we call, write, and kvetch to reinforce our concerns. Many of our reps are awash in pharma and insurance cash. And the ones who aren’t don’t have sufficient numbers to do it on their own. It’s bleak; but it’s the way it is.


Maybe not the best time for this response… but did anyone else have a flashback to misspent youth when they saw “1337”?

hax0r pwnage!


This is the only valid reason. And for any politician who touts Medicare for all…I want a solid plan of how you are going to deal with the +1 trillion dollar industry that is medical insurance. I don’t care how you want to pay for Medicare for all. That won’t even matter if the medical insurance industry pays off enough key people to kill any chance of it happening.


My first experience with something like this was when I was about 30 and fell at work, cracking my femur. I have a bone disorder, so these things are more likely to happen with me. Anyway, fortunately since it happened at work in a meeting where both the HR Manager and Safety Manager were present (I tripped over an electrical cord that was very loosely draped across the floor), the whole thing was covered by worker’s comp. However, the real reason my bone cracked is because it had healed with a pronounced bow in it from a fracture from childhood, and my doctor told me that it was just going to break again, and next time would probably be worse, if we didn’t do something to fix it, which was to rebreak the bone and put a rod in. Great, let’s do it, I said. And that’s when the problems started. First, worker’s comp wasn’t going to cover this surgery because that only covers what care is needed to return your health to the state it was in at the time of the injury. Ok, no problem, I had insurance through work. I got the surgery pre-authorized, and had the surgery. The claim was then submitted, and promptly denied by my insurance. Why? Because they said it should have been filed as worker’s comp. Ugh. I then said, “But I got this pre-authorized.” And I will never forget the next word’s out of the insurance person’s mouth: “Pre-authorization doesn’t guarantee coverage.” WHAT?! Why TF not?! What is it for then? People make these decisions based on what they think it’s going to cost them. The total bill for that surgery was over 100k. It would be much higher today. The real kicker, though, is that my employer was self-insured. So this whole thing was over which line of the company’s budget my surgery was going to come out of: Worker’s comp or regular insurance. Again, I was fortunate that the HR Manager had been present when I got hurt. I called her and told her what was going on, and I swear I could hear her roll her eyes through the phone. She told me not to worry about it that she’d take care of it, and I never heard another word or got another bill. I feel very lucky. Most people aren’t so lucky.


This is coming in handy today…

Angry Star Trek GIF

Uh Huh Reaction GIF by Originals

Angry Jon Bernthal GIF by NETFLIX

rupauls drag race bingo GIF

Its Not GIF

They’re lying about that part…

Because far too many Americans have bought into the lies promoted by the for-profit media about how we have the best healthcare system in the world (“don’t trust your lyin’ eyes”) and that “socialized medicine” somehow is more dangerous. But @MononymousSean makes an excellent point about how congress (by and large) does not represent us and our views, but more often than not follows the whims of lobbyists… I’d like to see some debate on those two view points - that it’s brainwashed voters that are the problem vs. it’s a congress that refuses to listen to public opinion problem… It’s likely a combination of the two… :thinking:

Golden Girls Rose GIF by TV Land

I had a friend from france during grad school, who flew home because it was cheaper to get her dental work done there then here.

No, but I had a flashback to my step-father’s death bed, with debt collectors calling my mom…


“But the collapse in the public’s trust for the medical sciences surely has as much to do with the endless, savage financial reaming it gets from medical businesses. That it’s politically unthinkable to remove the profit motive from healthcare has hidden costs, and we don’t get to choose when or in what form that bill comes due.”

And also, Doctors routinely ignore and belittle (women, people of color, Jewish people, non-native speakers, etc.) people. I have Celiac, the average time from first doctors visit to final diagnosis for people with Celiac is 10 years.

Add that to the opiate epidemic, where people took the medication they were prescribed as ordered, and then one day were cut off cold turkey. Maternal mortality, the overall abusive nature of maternity care, etc.

The crazy thing is anyone still believes in medical science at all. (I do believe in medical science. You can critique the broken parts of a system and still believe in the fundamentals. Yes, I know, “Not all Doctors.”)


Out of interest, when was that? Hasn’t it always been the case?

This. The US seems, historically to be a society where there is almost no concept of a public good. It is a fundamental barrier to the US’s chances of becoming a civilised society.

And this:


Provider compensation has always been part of medicine, but things really went to shit with the rise of for-profits hospitals in the 1960’s through now. Particularly since the 90’s.

ETA: Patient needs were the major drivers of hospitals when things were community focused. But now, it’s about the bottom line; patient needs remain important but are a distant second to the almighty dollar.