HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The Most Infuriating Para...

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:38 AM

The Most Infuriating Paragraph You Might Ever Read About The Healthcare System

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-infuriating-paragraph-you-might-ever-read-about-the-healthcare-system-2013-2



Steve Randy Waldman has an amazing (but very profane) rant about the state of the healthcare system, keying off of Steven Brill's epic cover story for Time on why healthcare costs so much.

Waldman's post is so angry and profanity-laced, there's really nothing that we can bring you of it, but the paragraph that set him off from the Brill article should legitimately get anyone's blood boiling.

By the time Steven D. died at his home in Northern California the following November, he had lived for an additional 11 months. And Alice had collected bills totaling $902,452. The family’s first bill — for $348,000 — which arrived when Steven got home from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., was full of all the usual chargemaster profit grabs: $18 each for 88 diabetes-test strips that Amazon sells in boxes of 50 for $27.85; $24 each for 19 niacin pills that are sold in drugstores for about a nickel apiece. There were also four boxes of sterile gauze pads for $77 each. None of that was considered part of what was provided in return for Seton’s facility charge for the intensive-care unit for two days at $13,225 a day, 12 days in the critical unit at $7,315 a day and one day in a standard room (all of which totaled $120,116 over 15 days). There was also $20,886 for CT scans and $24,251 for lab work.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-infuriating-paragraph-you-might-ever-read-about-the-healthcare-system-2013-2#ixzz2Lp7kp11B

30 replies, 2631 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Most Infuriating Paragraph You Might Ever Read About The Healthcare System (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
Frustratedlady Feb 2013 #1
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #2
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #3
MH1 Feb 2013 #11
rgbecker Feb 2013 #4
aggiesal Feb 2013 #13
jambo101 Feb 2013 #5
NV Whino Feb 2013 #6
tblue Feb 2013 #9
MH1 Feb 2013 #12
SwissTony Feb 2013 #16
OwnedByCats Feb 2013 #30
woo me with science Feb 2013 #7
shcrane71 Feb 2013 #8
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #10
jybarz Feb 2013 #14
tabasco Feb 2013 #17
Dustlawyer Feb 2013 #15
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #18
progressoid Feb 2013 #19
woo me with science Feb 2013 #20
progressoid Feb 2013 #21
Skittles Feb 2013 #25
L0oniX Feb 2013 #22
kairos12 Feb 2013 #27
jambo101 Feb 2013 #23
Skittles Feb 2013 #24
Hoyt Feb 2013 #26
GeorgeGist Feb 2013 #28
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #29

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:51 AM

1. Will some of that settle down after everyone has to have insurance?

A lot of that bloating is due to so many people coming into the ER without insurance. I'm not supporting these bloated fees, but I have been told by a BC/BS auditor this is why those costs are so high. Well, I believed him on part of the explanation but not all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:41 AM

2. No. The health care industry is shifting profits into for-profit service providers

As the ACA clamps down on gouging on the insurance side. They are going to continue to milk this cow until the entire system is reformed into a public health care system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:49 AM

3. No...

insurance has been the primary driver of costs....Deep pockets.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:28 AM

11. I was (potentially) with you until you said "BC/BS auditor".

After my recent experience with BC/BS over something that SHOULD be routine (a recommended standard screening test that everyone is supposed to have at a certain age), I can't take seriously much of anything that comes out of that organization.

Apologies to anyone reading this who works for BC/BS, but if you do, you all REALLY ought to make sure the people you put on the phone to talk to insured employees have a f***in' clue what they are talking about. Or at least have the ability to fake it. Especially for the routine stuff. I mean, seriously.

The health care system in this country is a mega cluster f*ck and the insurance companies are the heart of both the cluster and the f*ck.

/rant.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:51 AM

4. If hospitals need money to pay for those that show up with no insurance at their ERs....

Then let them bill it as such.

For example: "Subsidy for care of uninsured -------------- $105,067.00

But $24 for 19 niacin pills is a pathetic slap in the face from a bunch of arrogant slobs.

I suggest, should you find yourself with a bill like this, that you purchase all the items for which you were over billed through Ebay or wherever, put them in a box and take them to the hospital as payment for the bill.

As for the rest of the charges, follow the Republicans market based plan: When you get sick, die quickly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rgbecker (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:42 AM

13. That's. . .

$456 for 19 niacin pills,
if my math is correct.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:08 AM

5. As a Canadian

It amazes me how the American people put up with such outrageous medical costs,
I'd put it to every electable candidate that if they weren't for individual single payer healthcare they wouldn't be getting voted in.
On a recent personal emergency concerning temporary loss of vision i spent 24hrs in the local hospital here in Montreal,
They gave me a private room, did blood tests and CT scans even had me seeing a psychologist,gave me medications and much to allay my fears that i was dying.
Fed me well and finally told me i had a temporary condition related to 6th cranial nerve palsy.
Total cost? $0.00
You people in the USA are getting royally screwed when it comes to your healthcare costs and are probably the only country left in the world where healthcare isnt available to every one through your taxes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jambo101 (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:16 AM

6. Not to worry. We're all moving to Canada.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NV Whino (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:15 AM

9. We all should.

I'm seriously thinking about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jambo101 (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:32 AM

12. Well because you know, abortion and gay marriage are TEH MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES !!!11!1

(do I really need a sarcasm thingie? Oh wait this is DU ...)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jambo101 (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:51 AM

16. Echoes my experience in Australia

Got a tropical ulcer on my foot, ended up losing my toe. But I stopped being sick.

Five and a half weeks in hospital. Direct cost? $0.00

I paid a pretty small monthly contribution to (Australian) Medicare and Medicare Plus. Some very modest costs for drugs after leaving hospital (thinking beer money? - no, the drugs were cheaper!!). Plus lots of free clinic care.

Yes, I paid via my taxes and my contributions to Medicare. And I would have been very happy to pay even if never availed myself of the services available. But I did have to, but never had to worry about a bill of X hundred thousand.

Thanks again to the wonderful staff at the Royal Darwin Hospital. I owe you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jambo101 (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:25 AM

30. I experienced the healthcare in the UK

Just so other people realize, it's not "free". As you said, it's something you pay into through your taxes but compared to how expensive insurance/healthcare is in the United States, it feels practically free. I lived in the UK for 10 years. The only thing I had to pay out of pocket for were prescriptions, and it was cheap. No matter what the drug was or how much was prescribed, I paid a whopping 5 pounds sterling for each individual script, and sometimes instead of a week or month's worth, I'd be given 6 months to a year's worth of a drug that needed to be taken daily, still only cost 5 pounds. It was fixed per script, regardless of quantity, even for otherwise very expensive meds.
Here's why it felt almost free:

Prescription: 5 pounds
Doctor visit: 0
Hospital stay: 0
Emergency room: 0
Minor or major surgery: 0
Physical therapy: 0
Psychological therapy: 0
Drug addiction treatment: 0
And more ...

I sure do miss it. I'm not insured at present, not because I don't want to pay for it, but I simply can't afford to eat AND have insurance. The last time I went to the doctor with no insurance, it cost me $80 shy of a grand. I saw the doctor for 5 minutes, that was $120. The doctor wanted a blood test, just for the standard things, nothing special - it was $800 from the lab. I thought I was going to die from a coronary seeing that! Things changed drastically here during the ten years I lived abroad.

I don't mind paying for healthcare, as long as it's reasonable and affordable. Right now it's neither. I can't say I understand the AHA that we're soon to get completely implemented so I won't comment. But if this pricing situation doesn't get under control, only the rich will be able to afford healthcare. All those that were bitching about not wanting single payer - they are going to wish they had single payer after they're priced out of practically everything.

Sure, single payer can have it's problems - such as waiting lists, but that's better than not getting it at all because you can't pay. All systems have it's issues, they always will because we're all human after all, mistakes will be made anywhere. As far as neglect, malpractice and incompetence, nothing happened there that I haven't seen happen here. Difference is here you have the pleasure of paying for it too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:40 AM

7. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:07 AM

8. Some cities are subsidizing medication for type 2 diabetes.

I think that's great, but the advertising on billboards and with pharmacists say that medications may be subsidized. The price cuts are only for Diabetics. Now if you have had asthma since childhood, you're still paying $50 for what once was a $5 rescue inhaler.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:22 AM

10. The medical lobby in Washington D,C. spends 20x more than their nearest competitor.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:47 AM

14. HEALTH CARE COST RAPE!

Let the GOP explain what kind of rape this is. They are very good at it. Is it legitimate? This is an extreme example of price gouging by the greedy US health providers & health insurance industry. SOOOOOO BLOOOOODY DISGUSTING & INFURIATING alright!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jybarz (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:55 AM

17. Welcome to DU.

I like your style.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:48 AM

15. Back in the 1990's, I had a son with Cystic Fibrosis. After sueing my health insurance company

for twice canceling our policy to avoid having to pay (URISA protects them so that if they cancel and lose, they only have to pay per the policy and attorneys fees, no damages awarded to the family which goes w/o insurance during that time), I had to meet with the hospital business office over our outrageous bills! They charged us over $100 for a bag of diapers and a box of wipes, disposable blood pressure cuff was over $100, 2 Tylenol for wife's headache while staying with our son in the hospital were $48! This went on and on. At this meeting I knew we were close to getting the policy back. As I would go through the list, she would knock off a few minor things like the diapers and wipes b/c they were still in the room since our son had been potty trained well before (they charge every family for these whether used or not), but refused to make any real changes. She even refused to take off charges for breathing treatments being administered and the subsequent PT to clear the lungs. We had a big sign on our door put there by the hospital that said, "Welcome to respiratory self care!" We did the breathing treatments and PT and the hospital was billing is for doing it! Her argument was that a nurse had to walk down the hall to bring us the medicine. This was $185 times 4 times a day for 2 weeks each time he was in the hospital. Did I mention that we went through bankruptcy at the time and the bills we were going through we're over a million dollars for a 2 year period. I then whipped out my legal pad that had detailed notes of every piece of equipment that was in the room, what was used, who came into the room when, and for what purpose, medications provided, procedures done etc. I told her that in the future, since we were getting our health insurance back and they were going to have to pay the bills accrued already, and into the future, I would provide a copy of my legal pad to the insurance company. I would instruct them to only pay what was there, or, I could keep this info to myself and she would wipe out my co-pays. She immediately took the deal and wiped out thousands of dollars where minutes before we were arguing over the Tylenal. I told her that if any other business billed this way, they would be under the jail! This is why our health care is so expensive!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 11:57 AM

18. It's monopoly money to them....

They did this to hype the cost to keep the government from taking over the health care system.

Some of it is just gouging. Ever get one of those home repair policies? You pay a set amount and the insurance pays for the repairs large or small. Call them for a minor plumbing repair and the plumber turns it into a trip to the Bahamas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:27 PM

19. Yeah but now that we're all insured, it's all better.

USA! USA! USA!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to progressoid (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:11 PM

20. The "Affordable" Care Act.

The "Superlative" CPI.
Drone assassinations of Americans are "ethical, legal, and wise."

We are deep into Orwellian territory now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woo me with science (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:04 PM

21. Affordable...grrr....

Just found out my wife may need surgery. I did a little research and it will probably cost more than our combined annual income.

Our "insurance" company already puts up road blocks on minor stuff. I can't imagine what they'll do if she has to do this.






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woo me with science (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:04 PM

25. I think that's the part that irks me the most

the use of the workd AFFORDABLE - utter bullshit - already people are being priced out of the pre-existing condition market

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:07 PM

22. Vampires! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to L0oniX (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:26 PM

27. Worse than vampires, these creatures get the marrow along with the blood.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:30 PM

23. Immigration Canada website.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:03 PM

24. it is theft on a grand scale

why is the "healthcare" industry allowed to get away with this bullshit???

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:19 AM

28. Correction.

Last edited Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:14 AM - Edit history (1)

The US doesn't have a healthcare system.

It has a healthcare racket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:26 AM

29. I was born at Seton when it was called St. Mary's Help

I think it cost my parents $100 42 years ago. Damn. Have to ask what the bill was for my tonsils 5 years later.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread