New report on once-secret health care prices exposes the US medical system’s ‘irrational and cruel’ nature

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    • #441969
      • Total Posts: 6,294

      With hospitals across the U.S. refusing to comply with a new federal rule requiring them to disclose the prices they negotiate with health insurers, a sampling of previously secret data published late Sunday reveals how much basic medical procedures cost at dozens of major hospitals in a project that critics of the for-profit healthcare system said reveals the severity of its dysfunction.

      The database of hospital rates compiled by the New York Times and researchers at University of Maryland-Baltimore details how patients are charged drastically different prices for the same medical care depending on what insurance company they use—with some procedures costing less if a patient has no insurance at all.

      As the Times reported, at University of Mississippi Medical Center a patient with a Cigna plan can expect to pay $1,463 for a colonoscopy, while someone with Aetna insurance would be charged more than $2,100. An uninsured patient would be billed for $782. Patients receiving an M.R.I. at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida will be billed between $1,827 and $2,455 if they have a Cigna, Humana, or Blue Cross plan, and only $262 if they have Medicare.

      The data flies in the face of claims made for years by proponents of the for-profit health insurance system—including lawmakers from both parties—that insurers help individuals and employers by negotiating favorable prices for medical care. “The worrying thing is that the third party you’re paying to negotiate on your behalf isn’t doing as well as you would on your own,” Zack Cooper, a health economist at Yale, told the Times.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #441972
      • Total Posts: 6,995

      Health care here is just another for-profit business.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

      "black flag" is an inadvertent mash-up of black ops and false flag. . I think it is accurate, and I will keep it. Thanks to those who pointed it out!

    • #441976
      retired liberal
      • Total Posts: 4,634

      No money? Die and get out of the way.
      There’s profits to be made, even with nonprofits. Hospitals need to buy up adjacent land so they can build bigger hospitals to treat charge more people for their health care. That costs money, you know? More administration, More bean counters, more Human resources, or whatever they call it today, higher pay for upper manglement because of more responsibility. The costs keep piling up. Pay up and go bankrupt.

      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
      The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
      Don't forget that the S in IoT stands for Security.
      Beware of geeks bearing GIFs.

    • #441977
      NV Wino
      • Total Posts: 8,802

      I, and a fellow volunteer at the local hospital, each had a colonoscopy within a day of each other. Mine was at the local hospital where we volunteered. Hers was at the hospital in Napa. The only difference was an IV antibiotic I had, which amounted to $78. Otherwise, everything, down to the brand of anesthesia, was the same. Both were through Medicare. Mine was listed as a $1000+ more than hers. Medicare got paid the same amount.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #441979
      • Total Posts: 488
    • #442009
      • Total Posts: 424

      That’s all it is.  That’s all it’s meant to be.  Step back a second and look at the whole U.S. and you’ll see that it’s a huge scheme to do juse this – extract money from people and give it to the rich and/or well-connected.  The entire Afghanistan war was about transferring money to well-connected defense contractors.  Some of that comes back as campaign contributions.  When you pay your taxes, this is what it’s for.

      In essence, the system is a form of socialism and a snarky line actually applies here: Socialism is great until you run out of other peoples’ money.  This particular form of socialism is doing precisely that, using the money from the middle class (rich are exempt) to support the people who already have a lot.  Arguably, socialism that helps people from the bottom up would help the country a lot with more productive people.  Could it run afoul of the principle made in the snarky comment?  Definitely, but we’re so far mis-balanced in the other direction.  The foundation of the country is the people, and that foundation is being systematically destroyed.

      Why haven’t we been attacked since 9-11?  Why bother?  We’re doing more damage to ourselves than anyone could hope to do themselves.

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