Ostomy Memories of Hospital Cost

May 08, 2023 7:49 am

WHY, IN THE USA, ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT GAIN ACCESS to the medical care that they need?  It’s a simple, yet heartbreaking, question.  The answer slaps you in the face:  it’s because the primary goal of the American healthcare system is profit.  One can pass out from shock and awe when viewing an itemized list of the charges imposed following hospitalization.  I count myself fortunate to have coverage from both Medicare and my secondary insurance (for which I pay a ridiculously high price).  But many people don’t have this.  There’s a reason that the first thing a hospital greeter wants to see is your insurance proof.  The receptionist in the doctor’s office immediately asks the same thing.  “You want an appointment?  Do you have insurance?”  Doctors don’t earn large six and seven figure incomes because they’re nice guys.  Of course, the doctors too have to have professional insurance… in case they screw up.  One way of avoiding error is to order multiple tests, an expensive diagnostic tool.  Too often there is no clear medical justification for a test; it is a just-in-case kind of thing.  During my last hospitalization for dehydration, notwithstanding that the tech called my EKG “beautiful” and I have no history of heart problems, they made me wear a heart monitor during my stay.  How much did they charge for that?  I don’t know.  The hospital doctor, called a hospitalist, is there, not to worry about your care particularly, but to cover the hospital’s butt in trying to avoid the prospect of subsequent negligence suits.  I was astounded that it was the hospitalist, not my own doctor, who had the final say regarding my discharge.  Reminds me of a San Francisco band back in the Sixties:  Big Brother and the Holding Company.  

May 08, 2023 1:52 pm

Wow, I hope I never get sick in America. This has been an eye-opener on the cost of getting sick and going broke in the USA. Regards, IGGIE

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May 08, 2023 6:02 pm

Don't think other countries aren't making money off of national healthcare. Any which way you look at it, we all pay in one way or another.

May 08, 2023 7:55 pm

Another reason I feel lucky to be Canadian. Our system isn't perfect, but money just doesn't come into it when considering our healthcare options. I also know that I am getting the same level of care as the billionaire who has the same medical issue as me. It seems almost criminal to me to deny needed medical treatment to someone because they can't afford to pay for it. Inhumane for sure.


May 08, 2023 9:39 pm

You're right once again, Henry. I too, pay a ridiculous amount of money for private health cover and it's not the top level.

In Australia, like many other countries, people cannot afford to have private insurance so they fall back on the public health system which is crumbling.

Once again, it's all about money or the lack of it.


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May 09, 2023 7:44 am

It is an unfair world. In some countries that would be considered dirt poor, there are luxurious hospital rooms for the rich that cost 1000 to 5000 US per day. In New York, you can have a deluxe hospital suite overlooking Central Park with gourmet meals and a gourmet chef in residence. When you move away to a nearby apartment for aftercare, your meals are still delivered from the same deluxe kitchen. Obviously, the rich and the poor do not receive the same medical treatment or the same facilities. What is deplorable is that some do not get any treatment at all. C'est la vie is all one can say to that.

May 10, 2023 6:32 am
Reply to IGGIE

Travel insurance will take care of it.

May 10, 2023 6:49 am
Reply to AlexT

There is no money to be made out of that expenditure. It leaves a deep hole in governmental budgets. What the government spends on healthcare for its citizens, in some European countries for instance, is an eye-opener for many.

May 13, 2023 12:56 am

I agree. My wife and I both have good Medicare Advantage plans through our retirement system. Almost everything is covered, but my wife just got a statement from a lab. There was a charge of $27 for inserting a needle for a blood test. They charge for everything! Without good insurance, I am not sure we would still be alive.