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View Diary: Justin Amash (R) gets Town Hall question: "Why would we want to trust insurance companies...?" (170 comments)

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  •  Isn't part of the problem (7+ / 0-)

    with getting quotes for such things also that often, the amount hospitals decide to charge ends up being somewhat arbitrary, and not related to the actual cost of the treatment?

    •  That's part of the problem. (13+ / 0-)

      Probably only one of a hundred different things that are parts of the problem.

      The pricing of medical services is by roulette, there's just no discernible rhyme or reason behind it.

      If you go to the pharmacy and hand them a prescription it's $100.  If you tell them some magic combination of words and numbers, it's suddenly $35.  A different combination of words and numbers and they'll charge you $65.

      Does that make sense at all?  And if you don't happen to know the magic combination of words, letters, and numbers that gets you the cheaper price, you pay the $100, whether you can afford it or not, and no one there is going to tell you that you COULD have gotten the medication for $35, if only you had said:

      Member ID

      Seriously, if you just say those words and numbers and letters to them, suddenly instead of $100 it's $25.


      Because.  Just because.

      And that's just with pharmacies and prescriptions.  The rest of the system is easily as inscrutable.

      "It puts the lotion on its skin, or it gets the GOP again." - The Democratic Party (quip courtesy of Nada Lemming and lotlizard)

      by Rick Aucoin on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:33:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The New York Times has been running (10+ / 0-)

      a series of articles on the high costs of health care.

      Then, too, there was Steven Brill's article in Time magazine on how health care costs are calculated.  

      The system is insane because the market will never be free as the consumer* is without knowledge not only of pricing decisions but the basic medical expertise on which to evaluate their own needs.

      *I hate using that word because the proper word is always "patient".

      "There's something wrong with a system where a handful of people have more than they'd ever need and the mass of the people have less than they always need." -- Rev. Joseph Lowery

      by caul on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:30:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are called patients because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        our medical system taxes our patience to the nth degree.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:24:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I remember hearing recently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick Aucoin, caul

        about some guy who went to Belgium for a hip replacement.  He was told that here in the US the procedure and everything related to it would be about 130,000 dollars.  In Belgium, the whole thing, including the flight, was something like 13,000.

        He asked them to break down the costs for him.  Asked about how much the surgery cost, and I think they said it was like 10,000 or so.  Then he asked how much the operating room cost, and they were baffled.  After all, how can you have a surgery without an operating room?  Why would they charge for that?

    •  They can't give you quotes because... (0+ / 0-)

      ...they don't know how your specific medical issue will's not that they really don't care its because they really don't know.

      Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

      by kalihikane on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:15:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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