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America's Healthcare Horror

Updated on May 23, 2019

If you can afford good medical coverage with a low deductible, you are lucky. You are are economically well off. But, for most Americans, this is not the case. If you are among those earning between $30-70,000 a year, you cringe at the cost for medical coverage deducted from your pay or account. You cringe at the cost of some prescriptions. You cringe at the high deductible that must be met before this costly medical insurances pays their share. You cringe at paying $500-800 a month for the cheapest medical insurance for yourself, let alone the entirely family that will nearly double it. After payroll deductions and medical coverage, you cringe to the amount you actually take home. As I said, unless you are making at least $5000 a month, it hurts. Now, if your over 65, you get some relief via Medicare that is mandatory. Medicare Part A, covers you 100%, Part B, 80% but omits prescriptions. The cost for Part B is $136 a month.

My Horror

Like many procedures, mine was routine, non-life threatening. It was for a inguinal hernia located in the groin area. I did not even know I had one until an annual checkup disclosed it. I made an appointment to have the procedure done and while it is considered out-patient, that was not entirely true, the robotic surgery had to be done in the local hospital. I was told the procedure would take no longer than one hour. Recovery time usually was 2-3 hours in recovery, then, I could go home.

On the day it was scheduled, they did usual pre-op procedures: EKG, X-ray, scrub down, BP test, blood draw. This began at 0800. It all took less than 45 min. I then waited in a room for surgery at 1100. When that time arrived, I was informed of a delay due to other surgeries ahead of mine. I waited until 1300. Again, another delay to 1600. Now, the surgeon arrived to inform me that surgery should be done the following day due to the back up.

On Day 2, I was now first in line. It went like clock work. In surgery for one hour, in recovery for two hours, then went home. My share of the cost was $900. Based upon my portion, I presumed the cost for this surgery was $5000 or so. Most hernias cost no more than this and this was confirmed from nurses I chatted with.

The Real Cost

Weeks later, I got the bill for the surgery from the hospital. This was just for the hospital.

  • $41,046

There was no itemization of the charges. I was furious. After a heated phone call, I found out the insurance had paid $40,000 and more of this. I demanded an itemized list of the charges and for what for. The hospital indicated that they do not provide this!

I was then told that the billing went out by error because my payment for my share had been posted on the wrong accounting ledger in their computer system. I was assured that it would be corrected. Had I not challenged this, I could have paid my share twice!

Then, I got more bills:

  • Anesthesia $1638.00
  • Laping Hernia Kit $917.00

So, exactly what did the hospital charge me for and were those charges normal or grossly overcharged? One would think the additional charges I got would have been covered in the hospital charge. What did the surgeon charge? Was that the $5000 for the surgery?

I was so angered by the deception, I filed a complaint with the county Consumer Affairs office and with the State DA. This is just one problem of America's healthcare system gone amok.

Comments

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 weeks ago

      I agree, explore the human body and all of its diseases with the money spent going to Mars or the moon again.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      NOYFOB 

      3 weeks ago

      PerryA

      The whole process of all the healthcare insurances you mention is genius on the part of the insurance companies. Whoever came up with a separate plan for prescriptions was pure evil.

      I would say that most of the visits to the doctor from what I can see about other people is to get a prescription. Without that prescription the doctor visit was a waste of time.

      Now we are inundated with so many advertisements about drugs on TV, and yet that just drives up the cost of prescriptions from the overhead to pay for these ads.

      It has been my opinion that the better solution is to go after cures, not expensive long term treatments. Can you imagine the domino effect reducing healthcare costs if a major disease had a cure?

      Today these major diseases just give surgery, or expensive drugs that many only treatment the annoying systems. And those drugs have some big side effects, even death.

      If we had the goal of curing disease instead of exploring Mars, we would have the money and the independence from the insurance and drug companies to find those cures. imo.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      3 weeks ago from Florida

      The sad thing is, as bad as things were before the ACA was passed, things were easily half as costly as they are today, and that is primarily because of the ACA.

      The ACA allowed for various things, like 'children' to be able to stay on their parents insurance until age 26.

      I was working at age 12, in the army at age 19 (after a year of college), I worked for everything I had and didn't depend on hand outs.

      Today's generations coming up easily can reach age 27 and not know what it is like to work a day in their lives... they have no clue and expect everything to be handed to them, more and more are reaching adulthood like this.

      Another issue is those with 'existing medical conditions' that were lumped in with everyone else, now they get their medical almost for free, and those that are healthy pay the freight... again because of the ACA.

      Instead of having competition between Insurance companies, they have regional areas in which only a couple of entrenched insurance companies can set the cost... this also is because of the ACA which caused many insurance companies to fold, so instead of having more competition and more choices, there was more monopolizing and higher prices and higher deductibles.

      I remember when I was 18 right out of High School having a job that gave me Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it wasn't a very good job but the Insurance was great and the deductible was almost nothing, if there was one.

      We are at where we are at because of corrupt politicians, its that simple, 75% of the country knew the ACA was BS when they were peddling it... with their "you can keep your doctor and it will cost you less" outright lies.

      Only the ignorant and imbeciles believed that hot garbage for one second.

      Our politicians do not allow competition.... for insurance, for drugs, fr medical care... they work for those institutions, not the people.

      When the Big Pharma companies pushed Congress to enact new laws making it illegal for people to get their drugs by busing to Canada or Mexico to get their prescriptions filled cheap, you knew we had a government that was no longer serving the people's interests.

      That is what is broken... and that is why the medical industry is fleecing Americans... because the politicians allow & support it.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      3 weeks ago

      Yes, the system is beyond repair, I think. It is like a classic car you throw make-shift parts at to keep going. It is so big, so entrenched in the system of things with many political considerations, it is not fixable, at least not easily. Universal healthcare or medicare seems like dream with its costs. Obama care tried to force everyone to pay into, which I did not like, so I was glad Trump revoked that provision. Healthcare should be one of reasonable choices, not just bad to worse choices. Is it a right? Not really, it is a choice you make, just like if you want vision or dental care from employers.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      NOYFOB 

      3 weeks ago

      PerryA

      I agree healthcare in the US is bad, what is your solution?

      Also, I don't believe that your healthcare insurance carrier paid $41 thousand, as they always pay less than doctors and hospital charge.

      BTW, if you were a federal government worker at any pay grade you would have had the best healthcare insurance in the country.

      Unequal distribution of wealth in the US is not the only unequal distribution. The distribution of excellent healthcare goes to the wealthy and the federal and other government workers.

      FEHS, check it out.

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