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Time Magazine: The Cost of Health Care in America

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Old
02-24-2013, 10:06 PM
  #1
Ilkka Sinisalo
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Time Magazine: The Cost of Health Care in America

I suggest everyone read this. It's quite a long read, but a very illuminating one. And you will probably be quite angry as you read it. The extent to which hospitals and medical supply companies are taking advantage of vulnerable consumers is mind-boggling. I'm not even sure what excerpt to take out of the article. Every story seems equally appalling. Non-profit hospitals actually make more profit than for-profit hospitals. Some health providers with a dozen administrators making more than a million dollars a year. Uninsured or poorly insured people being charged 10 times what Medicare would pay for various procedures and items.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/2...re-killing-us/

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02-24-2013, 10:09 PM
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Gobias Industries
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This thing has been sharing up my Facebook, so I read it.

Then I cried, ****ing awful.

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02-24-2013, 10:13 PM
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thestonedkoala
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It can be summed up in one sentence.

America is all about big business, so why would hospitals/health care be any different?

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02-24-2013, 10:15 PM
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This is why the only way to fix the US is a period of Communist dictatorship. No other viable way to overthrow the US's corrupt government and no movement will defeat Big Pharma. The corruption and cronyism in the US is enough to make any American self-hating and resentful.

I wish the Chinese would invade the US. I hate being American and my third world corrupt craphole homeland.

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02-24-2013, 10:16 PM
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Gobias Industries
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Originally Posted by Cynicaps View Post
This is why the only way to fix the US is a period of Communist dictatorship. No other viable way to overthrow the US's corrupt government and no movement will defeat Big Pharma. The corruption and cronyism in the US is enough to make any American self-hating and resentful.

I wish the Chinese would invade the US. I hate being American and my third world corrupt craphole homeland.
And yet you probably live better than the vast majority of the world, man sometimes your whining is insufferable.

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02-24-2013, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gobias Industries View Post
And yet you probably live better than the vast majority of the world, man sometimes your whining is insufferable.
World as a whole, yes. First world, no. The US is the worst First World nation of them all and even many Second World nations (Brazil, China, South Africa) are blowing the US out of the water.

What nation do you live in!

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02-24-2013, 10:27 PM
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The quality of life in those countries (Brazil, China, and South Africa) is nowhere near what it is in the US. You are a moron, a troll, or both.

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02-24-2013, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoshimitsu View Post
The quality of life in those countries (Brazil, China, and South Africa) is nowhere near what it is in the US. You are a moron, a troll, or both.
Depends on where you are. Cape Town is better off than West Virginia. Sao Paolo is better off than Detroit. And so on.

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02-24-2013, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cynicaps View Post
Depends on where you are. Cape Town is better off than West Virginia. Sao Paolo is better off than Detroit. And so on.

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02-24-2013, 10:38 PM
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Ilkka Sinisalo
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What's happened to American health care is inevitable without cost controls. There is no balance between consumer and provider. The consumer is ignorant and frequent scared or desperate. The provider (the hospital, medical supply company, etc) has all the power. They know the cost of the care that they provide, and the . They know what needs to be done to help people recover. They know that a person who is suffering from chest pain or has just been diagnosed with cancer will do anything to know what's going on, or to get healthy.

There is one story about a guy who had a device implanted in his spine to relieve back pain. The cost to produce that device is $4,500. The company that produced it - whose CEO made $25 million last year - sells it for about $19,000 (depending on what kind of deal they have with the hospital; they may sell it for slightly less). The hospital then charged the back pain guy $49,237 for the device. The large company that oversees the hospital where he had the procedure has seven administrators making more than $1 million per year, and made That is a markup of 11 times the cost of the device.

And here's the problem - the guy with back pain has no idea that they're going to charge him almost 50 grand for that device! He may have checked his medical policy and seen that he had $45,000 left on his policy's annual limit. He had an outpatient procedure and probably assumed that there was no way it could push past his $45,000 limit. Yet at the end of the day he gets a bill for almost $90,000!

The whole thing is a scam and the shame of it is, the consumers and the real experts (doctors/nurses) are getting the shaft.

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02-24-2013, 10:40 PM
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Ah nice to see cynicaps taking a topic of worthwhile discussion (a thorough article about the cost of health care in America) and derailing it with a bunch of nonsense.

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02-24-2013, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
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).

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02-25-2013, 02:11 AM
  #13
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My hospital bill was 2,048 dollars and it was an emergency (bronchitis with a 101 fever and two bad lungs. You do the math). Thank God for insurance.

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02-25-2013, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynicaps View Post
Depends on where you are. Cape Town is better off than West Virginia. Sao Paolo is better off than Detroit. And so on.
I've lived in Brazil, and it's not a second world country, it's actually more of an industrialized third world country.

Now, I won't entirely disagree with you - there are areas in Brazil that make most of Canada, the US, and Europe look like poor wastelands - they are truly world class and great places to live. However, there is still definitely poverty there too.

You mention Sao Paulo - it's got a lot of wealth, but there are still favelas there. I lived in Belo Horizonte - it has a lot of wealth from agriculture, mining, and all kinds of commerce - it's kind of like a latin Alberta - but it still has its problems. I was living less than half a block off of Pedro Segundo, one of the main roads through the city, and a major business area. It's just fine during the day, but I was never out past dark unless I was walking an amiga home at night - within a block of my place going one way was a major prostitute stroll, going the other way down Pedro Segundo, there was drug dealing.

I remember walking home from Lojas Americanas (a (non)"American" store), and passing down a road I hadn't been on before - it looked open and safe during the day, but on one of the corners was a raised platform with a locking door, and really thick (likely bullet resistant) glass windows, with the Policia Militar logo all over it, overlooking the intersection. I don't think it was put there to look pretty.

Now, I'm not trying to rain on Brazil's parade - it's one of the fastest moving economies, despite the economic downturn supposedly being global, and while the government and police are corrupt, everyone is aware of it and unhappy about it, whereas I find in a lot of other countries, people like to hide their heads in the sand. They've got great food, a rich culture, gorgeous women, and friendly people. I'm moving back there, likely the end of the year - but I know what I'm getting into. To me it's worth it, but there are plenty of problems outside of the US too.

I don't think you'll see too many people with the job in the picture below in Detroit. I've seen people pulling heavier carts than that - basically the rear end of a truck turned into a cart - try doing it in a humid 35 or 40 degrees Celsius. I'm sure the same job exists in cities like Patos or Salvador too... which means there will be people doing the job in 50 degreee Celsius weather, so that they can eat and pay rent.


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02-25-2013, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilkka Sinisalo View Post
What's happened to American health care is inevitable without cost controls. There is no balance between consumer and provider. The consumer is ignorant and frequent scared or desperate. The provider (the hospital, medical supply company, etc) has all the power. They know the cost of the care that they provide, and the . They know what needs to be done to help people recover. They know that a person who is suffering from chest pain or has just been diagnosed with cancer will do anything to know what's going on, or to get healthy.

There is one story about a guy who had a device implanted in his spine to relieve back pain. The cost to produce that device is $4,500. The company that produced it - whose CEO made $25 million last year - sells it for about $19,000 (depending on what kind of deal they have with the hospital; they may sell it for slightly less). The hospital then charged the back pain guy $49,237 for the device. The large company that oversees the hospital where he had the procedure has seven administrators making more than $1 million per year, and made That is a markup of 11 times the cost of the device.

And here's the problem - the guy with back pain has no idea that they're going to charge him almost 50 grand for that device! He may have checked his medical policy and seen that he had $45,000 left on his policy's annual limit. He had an outpatient procedure and probably assumed that there was no way it could push past his $45,000 limit. Yet at the end of the day he gets a bill for almost $90,000!

The whole thing is a scam and the shame of it is, the consumers and the real experts (doctors/nurses) are getting the shaft.
That is a terrible story. What a sad state of existence.

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02-25-2013, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynicaps View Post
World as a whole, yes. First world, no. The US is the worst First World nation of them all and even many Second World nations (Brazil, China, South Africa) are blowing the US out of the water.

What nation do you live in!
Have you ever been to China or Brazil?

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02-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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Have you ever been to China or Brazil?
Of course he hasn't!

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02-25-2013, 07:54 AM
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I wholeheartedly recommend comparing the most fortunate areas of Brazil and South Africa with the most unfortunate areas of the US.

That's easily the most logically basis for comparison.

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02-25-2013, 09:03 AM
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Just USA being USA, unfortunately we are seing more of this in Sweden too. Hospitals and healthcare are becoming worse, and profits are more and more imporant.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&ct=clnk&gl=se
Recomend all the sweds here to read this, it is pretty damn long tho.

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02-25-2013, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Cynicaps View Post
This is why the only way to fix the US is a period of Communist dictatorship. No other viable way to overthrow the US's corrupt government and no movement will defeat Big Pharma.
A communist dictatorship? Um do you know what happened with the Soviet Union and China? Communist Dictatorships simply do not work. In terms of democratic rights, the only way to go is a libertarian philosophy which is 100% different than a communist dictatorship. In other words, governments should not ever tell the individual what to do unless they harm someone else. Also, individual rights should never be infringed upon unless absolutely necessary. I have studied communist criminal justice systems and people literally have NO rights. There is no rule of law since the executive branch determines policy and the courts are merely a rubber stamp of executive government policy.
I do not pretend to know much about economic policy but is a communist dictatorship really enviable?


Last edited by Kadri43: 02-25-2013 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Communist government policy is arbitrary because there is no rule of law.
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02-25-2013, 10:13 AM
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But, in the free market shouldn't everything take care of itself?

I highly doubt all the companies companies reduce quality and increase costs every year just to boost their bottom lines.

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02-25-2013, 10:32 AM
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Kadri43
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But, in the free market shouldn't everything take care of itself?.
To be fair, there is no free market. Many people would argue that we have corporate or state capitalism.

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02-25-2013, 10:39 AM
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To be fair, there is no free market. Many people would argue that we have corporate or state capitalism.
Still, the point is that free market principles don't work well in an area like health care.

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02-25-2013, 10:47 AM
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Still, the point is that free market principles don't work well in an area like health care.
It's like a hot bed for collusion.

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02-25-2013, 10:48 AM
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Another doctor's presentation.

http://truecostofhealthcare.org/

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