NY Times Health care article. Hospitals are charging too much money to their patients (customers).

The Buff OP

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?_r=1&
It's a pretty good article.
One of my my brothers recently fell down at his college and he was taken in an ambulance to a hospital which is like down the street from his college. Just for his visit to the ER it was close to $500.00 and x-rays were like a thousand, plus his EMS service was about 1k too. We don't have insurance so this blows that we have to pay a lot of money just for a simple knee pain.
Edit: Okay his knee pain was not simple as I made it sound. I apologize since it started a lil argument.
His symptoms were:
  • Knee pain
  • If he moved his knee it would crack
  • He wasn't able to walk for a while
  • Abrasions
 
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darkjedi

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Don't most colleges require you to have health insurance if it isn't already included in your tuition/fees?
 
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Don't most colleges require you to have health insurance if it isn't already included in your tuition/fees?
Nope. It's a community college.
 

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This is the whole premise of why US healthcare is garbage... not a big surprise.

The thing is, when you need healthcare you need healthcare. It's not like you can just forgo a surgery. It's much like gas. Doesn't matter how much you jack up the cost, the demand is still there. Add in the hellhole that is medical insurance, and oh boy...

Don't most colleges require you to have health insurance if it isn't already included in your tuition/fees?
Mine did.
 

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Healthcare is expensive. However, from what it sounds like, this could have been handled at an urgent care.

(not going to discuss medical issues as I'm not going to provide advice)
 
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Healthcare is expensive. However, from what it sounds like, this could have been handled at an urgent care.
Are you referring to my story or the article?
 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?_r=1&
It's a pretty good article.
One of my my brothers recently fell down at his college and he was taken in an ambulance to a hospital which is like down the street from his college. Just for his visit to the ER it was close to $500.00 and x-rays were like a thousand, plus his EMS service was about 1k too. We don't have insurance so this blows that we have to pay a lot of money just for a simple knee pain.
It's not a good article. Also, tell your brother to get insurance and not take an ambulance to the hospital for "simple knee pain."
 
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calvnandhobbs68

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?_r=1&
It's a pretty good article.
One of my my brothers recently fell down at his college and he was taken in an ambulance to a hospital which is like down the street from his college. Just for his visit to the ER it was close to $500.00 and x-rays were like a thousand, plus his EMS service was about 1k too. We don't have insurance so this blows that we have to pay a lot of money just for a simple knee pain.
Or he could have waited till the next morning and paid a $100 for a PCP visit where they'd do the same physical evaluation and probably tell him his knee pain was nothing, or send him for some X-rays to outpatient radiology where the films would cost half as much. Your brother got a good firsthand experience of who shouldn't use the ER.

Absent a baseball bat being taken to your knee, there aren't that many emergent things that can't wait until the next morning.
 
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DokterMom

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From such variations, economists conclude that “costs” are highly discretionary, noting that hospitals in other developed countries often provide high-quality care, with better outcomes in comparatively no-frills environments. Said Dr. Robinson, the Berkeley health economist: “If you pay hospitals more, they spend it. If you pay them less, they adjust. The only way to pay less for health care — is to pay less for health care.”

From the linked article - which, IMO, is quite good.

Have to agree though, that taking an ambulance to the hospital was not a good decision. Had your brother ever paid his own medical bills, he would have very quickly learned that 'Doc in the Box' urgent care clinics are the way to go for injuries that aren't life threatening. They're the only places that can and will actually (sometimes) quote you a price over the phone.

Our whole system (the business end) is very badly broken.
 
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It's not a good article. Also, tell your brother to get insurance and not take an ambulance to the hospital for "simple knee pain."
Yeah, I kinda agree now after finishing reading it, but it's not a bad article. lol But I just gave little details about my brothers situation and of course I made him sound like a *****, he fell down from a stage. He couldn't get up and if he did get up his knee would crack and he couldn't really put weight on it. Furthermore, insurance is too expensive for us to afford.
 
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Or he could have waited till the next morning and paid a $100 for a PCP visit where they'd do the same physical evaluation and probably tell him his knee pain was nothing, or send him for some X-rays to outpatient radiology where the films would cost half as much. Your brother got a good firsthand experience of who shouldn't use the ER.

Absent a baseball bat being taken to your knee, there aren't that many emergent things that can't wait until the next morning.
You see, not all of us know our options. He acted alone the kid is 19, he doesn't know about that stuff. Of course we got pissed off he didn't call us first, after all I took an EMT class I could of gave him some advice if he would of call first. Once he was at the hospital the P.A. just asked him to squat and x-rays. :bang:
 

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You see, not all of us know our options. He acted alone the kid is 19, he doesn't know about that stuff. Of course we got pissed off he didn't call us first, after all I took an EMT class I could of gave him some advice if he would of call first. Once he was at the hospital the P.A. just asked him to squat and x-rays. :bang:
Yeah that is a tough break. My parents ended up in a similar spot with my little sister last summer. Smart medical decision-making is a skill we desperately need to cultivate and in my opinion would have an impact on rising costs.

And by the way, not trying to be a grammar Nazi but this is a pet peeve: it's "could've" or "would've", short for could have or would have. Just FYI.
 
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Not too bad an article, thanks for sharing!
 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?_r=1&
It's a pretty good article.
One of my my brothers recently fell down at his college and he was taken in an ambulance to a hospital which is like down the street from his college. Just for his visit to the ER it was close to $500.00 and x-rays were like a thousand, plus his EMS service was about 1k too. We don't have insurance so this blows that we have to pay a lot of money just for a simple knee pain.
So, to summarize, you're outraged about the cost of health care, but you don't pay for insurance, so the solution was to go search for a New York Times article which validates your feelings? And let me guess, your brother still doesn't have insurance. Fail all around.
 
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You see, not all of us know our options. He acted alone the kid is 19, he doesn't know about that stuff. Of course we got pissed off he didn't call us first, after all I took an EMT class I could of gave him some advice if he would of call first. Once he was at the hospital the P.A. just asked him to squat and x-rays. :bang:
I had a similar situation with an ankle instead of a knee, where I sprained it in the evening and I decided to wait and see until the next morning. My ankle was twice as big the next morning, and the doc said that if I had waited much longer to come in, I would have probably needed surgery for compartment syndrome. It's been a year and a half and that ankle is still messed up, and while I don't know if that's from delay of care, I still wonder what would have happened if I'd seen someone right away.

It's just too risky to try to judge your medical situation if you don't have training (and sometimes even if you do). Given what your brother experienced, it sounds like he did the right thing by seeking care immediately. In many cases, "emergencies" are ambiguous, and many patients don't have the ability to differentiate between what is truly emergent and what is something that could be treated later. In those borderline cases, why should the responsibility fall on patients to determine how serious their situation is, when even doctors may not know until they've examined the individual?

I agree that smart medical decision-making might help in some cases, although I'd like to see evidence that training infrequent users of ERs on medical decision making actually affects their usage. In my case? I have a college degree and have been working in health or health care for years, and I still didn't know. So how are individuals with far fewer resources going to be able to make those kinds of determinations?
 
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So, to summarize, you're outraged about the cost of health care, but you don't pay for insurance, so the solution was to go search for a New York Times article which validates your feelings? And let me guess, your brother still doesn't have insurance. Fail all around.
I'm sorry but this was completely unnecessary. I believe OP came across this article and wanted to share because medical care in the US is grossly overpriced and was using his brother as an example of how expensive simple medical procedures are.
 

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I'm sorry but this was completely unnecessary. I believe OP came across this article and wanted to share because medical care in the US is grossly overpriced and was using his brother as an example of how expensive simple medical procedures are.
That's great, except if he feels it's overpriced, then purchasing insurance would defray that cost. That's the point of insurance. Secondly, the reason uninsured care is so overpriced is due in large part to the fact that many uninsured people don't pay for their care, at least not in full, and a good portion not at all. Thirdly, it doesn't matter what he's "charged" because many people, as I said, don't pay that cost. Lastly, health care prices would come down -- PARTICULARLY for everyday procedures such as the ones he referenced -- without government intervention (a.k.a., the free market), which people refuse because they are terrified of paying for their care.

But instead, we could just say simplistically "I gotta pay too much, this sucks."
 

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What I read in this article is a lot of overuse of the ER and people complaining of the cost. The rules of urgent care vs ER are pretty simple. Chest pain always go to ER, abd pain mostly ER. Bones that aren't sticking out of the body- can do urgent care, as can sprains, cuts, bruises, flus, sore throats, sore ears..

Look at the comment section: its even worse!! Someone went to a "regional trauma center" for "butterfly stitches"!! Then complained of the wait and cost!

And why call EMS if all he had was "a simple knee pain"
 
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Yeah that is a tough break. My parents ended up in a similar spot with my little sister last summer. Smart medical decision-making is a skill we desperately need to cultivate and in my opinion would have an impact on rising costs.
Yes, indeed.

by the way, not trying to be a grammar Nazi but this is a pet peeve: it's "could've" or "would've", short for could have or would have. Just FYI.
A1Gth; point 'token". lol Sometimes I just type too fast and I don't notice my grammar.
 
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So, to summarize, you're outraged about the cost of health care, but you don't pay for insurance, so the solution was to go search for a New York Times article which validates your feelings? And let me guess, your brother still doesn't have insurance. Fail all around.
No. WTF! Hahaha that's my laugh of the month right there. I saw a video of a guy talking about this article, so I thought I'd share it and then I noticed I had a similar story to relate to the article. Suck it!
 
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By the way, perusing the article, if anyone even stopped to think about it, you'd immediately note the issue. Deepika Singh supposedly paid "five times the charge" of other developed countries for her "single stich" (as the New York Times put it in their headline). That sounds like an Indian name to me. If she were in India, guess what she would do? First of all, her kid wouldn't have Dermabond available, so he'd get stiches. There would be no DVDs. She probably wouldn't be seen and treated in an hour. And if she couldn't pay, she'd be SOL. Now, the New York Times doesn't note any of that because it doesn't want to educate its readers at all, most of whom are just as much slack-jawed yokels as the people they like to sneer at from flyover country. All it wants its readers to know is that "our healthcare costs more and that's all you need to know, now get out there and vote Democrat."
 
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That's great, except if he feels it's overpriced, then purchasing insurance would defray that cost. That's the point of insurance. Secondly, the reason uninsured care is so overpriced is due in large part to the fact that many uninsured people don't pay for their care, at least not in full, and a good portion not at all. Thirdly, it doesn't matter what he's "charged" because many people, as I said, don't pay that cost. Lastly, health care prices would come down -- PARTICULARLY for everyday procedures such as the ones he referenced -- without government intervention (a.k.a., the free market), which people refuse because they are terrified of paying for their care.

But instead, we could just say simplistically "I gotta pay too much, this sucks."
You make it sound like many people choose to be uninsured, but health insurance premiums are not always affordable. Especially to those stuck in the gap above medicaid limits.

Also uninsured people don't pay for all their care because they can't afford it. Are you expecting them to pay in full with money they don't have?
 

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You make it sound like many people choose to be uninsured, but health insurance premiums are not always affordable. Especially to those stuck in the gap above medicaid limits.
Actually, many people DO choose to be uninsured, particularly young people such as the OP's brother, who is in his teens and who do not anticipate needing to use it. That's fine, but then don't turn around and complain after the fact. Secondly, this claim is always made about everything. Literally, it's whatever anyone talks about. Food? "People can't always afford that." Clothing? "People can't always afford that." Housing? Health care? Books? Paper? Toilet paper? Nope, no, no, nope, no. It's an empty argument meant to shut down discussion because then it's "bad form" to say anything after that. It's also B.S. because we for some reason spend billions of dollars in this country every year and yet all these people supposedly can't afford even a single thing at all, other than their cigarettes and alcohol and drugs. That's pretty amazing, isn't it? I mean, I guess if I go to this guy's brother, he has literally nothing like a car, television, cable, computer, Xbox, cell phone ...nothing like that, right?

Has anyone ever wondered how it is that we have literally millions of people in this country who for some reason cannot provide AT ALL for themselves in any way? In other words, any expectation at all of them in any way is met with "yeah ...they won't be able to do that." Does that amaze anyone else? We use these numbers for arguments and don't even wonder why society is raising an entire segment of the population from birth into adulthood and then death. Fantastic.
 
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I had a similar situation with an ankle instead of a knee, where I sprained it in the evening and I decided to wait and see until the next morning. My ankle was twice as big the next morning, and the doc said that if I had waited much longer to come in, I would have probably needed surgery for compartment syndrome. It's been a year and a half and that ankle is still messed up, and while I don't know if that's from delay of care, I still wonder what would have happened if I'd seen someone right away.
Yeah, it's always good to have someone take a look at it. See for me when stuff happens to me I never go to the ER. Once I got my face cut open with a skateboard close to my right eye and I needed stitches, but I never went to the ER. There is one time I had to go though, it happen in HS some crazy dude either it was his fist or some people say he had a blade in his hands, but my chin got cut open and I had about and 1 inch gap open. So yeah.... I really needed stitches in that situation.


It's just too risky to try to judge your medical situation if you don't have training (and sometimes even if you do). Given what your brother experienced, it sounds like he did the right thing by seeking care immediately.

I agree that smart medical decision-making might help in some cases, although I'd like to see evidence that training infrequent users of ERs on medical decision making actually affects their usage. In my case? I have a college degree and have been working in health or health care for years, and I still didn't know. So how are individuals with far fewer resources going to be able to make those kinds of determinations?
Later on, I was really mad at him no more. He did mention he could not walk and his knee would crack, so of course those symptoms sounded serious and he needed to seek medical attention.
 

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By the way, perusing the article, if anyone even stopped to think about it, you'd immediately note the issue. Deepika Singh supposedly paid "five times the charge" of other developed countries for her "single stich" (as the New York Times put it in their headline). That sounds like an Indian name to me. If she were in India, guess what she would do? First of all, her kid wouldn't have Dermabond available, so he'd get stiches. There would be no DVDs. She probably wouldn't be seen and treated in an hour. And if she couldn't pay, she'd be SOL. Now, the New York Times doesn't note any of that because it doesn't want to educate its readers at all, most of whom are just as much slack-jawed yokels as the people they like to sneer at from flyover country. All it wants its readers to know is that "our healthcare costs more and that's all you need to know, now get out there and vote Democrat."
Since when is India a developed country?
 

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Lastly, health care prices would come down -- PARTICULARLY for everyday procedures such as the ones he referenced -- without government intervention (a.k.a., the free market), which people refuse because they are terrified of paying for their care.
If you believe free market forces will work out for the benefit of the consumer in the medical industry you have a lot to learn
 
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What I read in this article is a lot of overuse of the ER and people complaining of the cost. The rules of urgent care vs ER are pretty simple. Chest pain always go to ER, abd pain mostly ER. Bones that aren't sticking out of the body- can do urgent care, as can sprains, cuts, bruises, flus, sore throats, sore ears..

Look at the comment section: its even worse!! Someone went to a "regional trauma center" for "butterfly stitches"!! Then complained of the wait and cost!

And why call EMS if all he had was "a simple knee pain"
Hah. lol Yeah I'm getting **** for it now. I should of mentioned his symptoms before it became a simple knee pain. When I went to pick him up his a diagnose was abrasion and swelling, that's why I put simple knee pain.
 

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Since when is India a developed country?
Sorry to break it to you, but "developed country" does not only refer to Europe and North America. That's awfully Eurocentric. India is industrialized and, while it's certainly got lots of people who are impoverished, that doesn't make it some "jungle country." Moreover, you can take what I wrote and still apply it to any European country you want. Try doing this in Germany. Go into the country illegally, obtain social benefits, get hospitalized and obtain free care. Go for it. It works in America and I can guarantee that because I take care of such people, so that's not just some "talking point" that I made up.
 

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If you believe free market forces will work out for the benefit of the consumer in the medical industry you have a lot to learn
If you don't then you're part of the problem.
 
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I hate how this thread has mainly turn out to be about my brother's story and not about the article. Oh well, asi es la vida.
 
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Actually, many people DO choose to be uninsured, particularly young people such as the OP's brother, who is in his teens and who do not anticipate needing to use it. That's fine, but then don't turn around and complain after the fact. Secondly, this claim is always made about everything. Literally, it's whatever anyone talks about. Food? "People can't always afford that." Clothing? "People can't always afford that." Housing? Health care? Books? Paper? Toilet paper? Nope, no, no, nope, no. It's an empty argument meant to shut down discussion because then it's "bad form" to say anything after that. It's also B.S. because we for some reason spend billions of dollars in this country every year and yet all these people supposedly can't afford even a single thing at all, other than their cigarettes and alcohol and drugs. That's pretty amazing, isn't it? I mean, I guess if I go to this guy's brother, he has literally nothing like a car, television, cable, computer, Xbox, cell phone ...nothing like that, right?

Has anyone ever wondered how it is that we have literally millions of people in this country who for some reason cannot provide AT ALL for themselves in any way? In other words, any expectation at all of them in any way is met with "yeah ...they won't be able to do that." Does that amaze anyone else? We use these numbers for arguments and don't even wonder why society is raising an entire segment of the population from birth into adulthood and then death. Fantastic.
Can I see your source for this majority of people who choose to be uninsured? I don't deny that some people (particuarly young healthy people) choose to be uninsured, but a significant number are not insured because they can't afford it, are denied based on pre-existing conditions (which the ACA is changing), or unexpectingly lose their coverage (such as being fired from their job).

First off, I agree that if people stopped using the ER as a doctor's office, the cost of health care would be lower. I also agree with you that if everyone had insurance, health care costs would also go down. Yes, the US spends billions of dollars on healthcare and its quality is sub-par. I agree with all of this.

But you can't blame this entirely on the choices of the uninsured population.
 
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Sorry to break it to you, but "developed country" does not only refer to Europe and North America. That's awfully Eurocentric. India is industrialized and, while it's certainly got lots of people who are impoverished, that doesn't make it some "jungle country." Moreover, you can take what I wrote and still apply it to any European country you want. Try doing this in Germany. Go into the country illegally, obtain social benefits, get hospitalized and obtain free care. Go for it. It works in America and I can guarantee that because I take care of such people, so that's not just some "talking point" that I made up.
haha jesus christ you have no idea what you are talking about, i'm glad people don't take you seriously
 
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I don't deny that some people (particuarly young healthy people) choose to be uninsured, but a significant number are not insured because they can't afford it, are denied based on pre-existing conditions (which the ACA is changing), or unexpectingly lose their coverage (such as being fired from their job).
Most people aren't denied insurance based on pre-existing conditions. You can have cancer and get insurance. Did you know that? So, "cancer" is your pre-existing condition and you aren't denied coverage. That's a line people use because Democrats have repeated it relentlessly. Second of all, no offense, but if you get your coverage through your job and get fired, guess what you could do? Get COBRA coverage. Then get another job. Although, really, there should be no expectation that your job is responsible for your healthcare, right? Just like there really should be no expectation that the government do so. But we've been trained to believe that.
 

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haha jesus christ you have no idea what you are talking about, i'm glad people don't take you seriously
Good rebuttal, some day someone will read what you wrote, print it out, and have toilet paper.
 
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From such variations, economists conclude that “costs” are highly discretionary, noting that hospitals in other developed countries often provide high-quality care, with better outcomes in comparatively no-frills environments. Said Dr. Robinson, the Berkeley health economist: “If you pay hospitals more, they spend it. If you pay them less, they adjust. The only way to pay less for health care — is to pay less for health care.”

From the linked article - which, IMO, is quite good.

Have to agree though, that taking an ambulance to the hospital was not a good decision. Had your brother ever paid his own medical bills, he would have very quickly learned that 'Doc in the Box' urgent care clinics are the way to go for injuries that aren't life threatening. They're the only places that can and will actually (sometimes) quote you a price over the phone.

Our whole system (the business end) is very badly broken.
Yeah, his a kid so he didn't know better (think). lol The funny part he thought the school was going to pay for his medical bill. Wrong! I think he learn his lesson, though. Hehehe.
About the hospital prices they said those prices are made fiscal not medical. -_-
 

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Sorry to break it to you, but "developed country" does not only refer to Europe and North America. That's awfully Eurocentric. India is industrialized and, while it's certainly got lots of people who are impoverished, that doesn't make it some "jungle country." Moreover, you can take what I wrote and still apply it to any European country you want. Try doing this in Germany. Go into the country illegally, obtain social benefits, get hospitalized and obtain free care. Go for it. It works in America and I can guarantee that because I take care of such people, so that's not just some "talking point" that I made up.
1. No.
2. No.

10char
 

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Muthasucka your ass better be trolling. The Buff OP doesn't play games.
I''m not trolling at all. He's part of the problem because he demands government intervention, which leads to decoupling of prices from market forces, which leads to skyrocketing costs. If you'd like to see another example of that, take a look at the cost of education, which increases every year and outstrips inflation by several factors. Ever wonder why? Or did you just have another New York Times article about that?
 

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Most people aren't denied insurance based on pre-existing conditions. You can have cancer and get insurance. Did you know that? So, "cancer" is your pre-existing condition and you aren't denied coverage. That's a line people use because Democrats have repeated it relentlessly. Second of all, no offense, but if you get your coverage through your job and get fired, guess what you could do? Get COBRA coverage. Then get another job. Although, really, there should be no expectation that your job is responsible for your healthcare, right? Just like there really should be no expectation that the government do so. But we've been trained to believe that.
1. No
2. You're right, for once.
 

ruralsurg4now

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I'm gonna go lift some heavy objects and comeback later to see the ongoing or aftermath of this thread.
 
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ruralsurg4now

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Oh, if you're wondering how I know people with cancer can get insurance, I've taken care of patients who are uninsured and are diagnosed with cancer and have applied for their insurance and obtained it. I'm betting that's more than most people here have done, but that's just a guess.

And this will anger you even more, but the reason we did that we so that we could get paid. That's right, we did it so we could "proooooofiiiiiiiitt."
 

Espadaleader

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I''m not trolling at all. He's part of the problem because he demands government intervention, which leads to decoupling of prices from market forces, which leads to skyrocketing costs. If you'd like to see another example of that, take a look at the cost of education, which increases every year and outstrips inflation by several factors. Ever wonder why? Or did you just have another New York Times article about that?
You're a scary person. Medicine in this country is overpriced. Its not always that fault of the person. Its not us versus them. Minimum wage in this country is not even over $20,000 a year. You say "Second of all, no offense, but if you get your coverage through your job and get fired, guess what you could do? Get COBRA coverage. Then get another job." What world do you live in? You're naive to think this way.
 
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jw3600

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Can I see your source for this majority of people who choose to be uninsured? I don't deny that some people (particuarly young healthy people) choose to be uninsured, but a significant number are not insured because they can't afford it, are denied based on pre-existing conditions (which the ACA is changing), or unexpectingly lose their coverage (such as being fired from their job).

First off, I agree that if people stopped using the ER as a doctor's office, the cost of health care would be lower. I also agree with you that if everyone had insurance, health care costs would also go down. Yes, the US spends billions of dollars on healthcare and its quality is horrible. I agree with all of this.

But you can't blame this entirely on the choices of the uninsured population.
Why do people say this. This just isn't true.
 

ruralsurg4now

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You're a scary person. Medicine in this country is overpriced. Its not always that fault of the person. Its not us versus them. Minimum wage in this country is not even over $20,000 a year. You say "Second of all, no offense, but if you get your coverage through your job and get fired, guess what you could do? Get COBRA coverage. Then get another job." What world do you live in? You're naive to think this way.
Ah, here we go, now we're talking about how unfair minimum wage is and so on. I like how it's not "us versus them" but you're basically just demanding that "them" pay for "us." You're just saying that "them" shouldn't mind. Because they're rich, right? Which is unfair, right?
 

DokterMom

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I''m not trolling at all. He's part of the problem because he demands government intervention, which leads to decoupling of prices from market forces, which leads to skyrocketing costs. If you'd like to see another example of that, take a look at the cost of education, which increases every year and outstrips inflation by several factors. Ever wonder why? Or did you just have another New York Times article about that?
So why is it that the hospitals in nice areas with few uninsured people clogging up the ERs for their 'free' charity care are among the most expensive in the country?

Most people aren't denied insurance based on pre-existing conditions. You can have cancer and get insurance. Did you know that? So, "cancer" is your pre-existing condition and you aren't denied coverage. That's a line people use because Democrats have repeated it relentlessly.
Really? Really!? Guess my husband's acid reflux (for which he was denied coverage) was somehow more serious than cancer. Who knew? (By the way, he had coverage - just wanted to change to a plan that would actually pay some claims.)

Although, really, there should be no expectation that your job is responsible for your healthcare, right?
The first thing you've said that I actually agree with.
 
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