Questions You Should be Asking the World Around You
You know how they talk about premiums, packages, and coupons? All day, everyday? I’m going to tell you the truth. None of it matters. Your mind did not just explode by reading that, but everybody else’s brains just melted.
Readers Digest is the cream on the latte. It’s not incredibly popular compared to Fox News or MSNBC, but it’s got a loyal reader base.
Hospital bills are a nightmare. If you get sick, you go into lifelong debt to get yourself healed. If you’re insured, you pay yearly subsciptions for the privilege of paying a fraction. Essentially, you go into lifelong debt no matter what you choose.
10 Wildly Overinflated Hospital Costs.
Tylenol: $15 per individual pill.
Hospital plastic bags: $8 a bag.
Tissues: $8 a box.
TSA gloves: $53 a pair. (That’s one doctor giving you a tender but invasive patdown. Imagine a cadre of nurses and nightshift doctors)
Pee cups, pill cups, water cups: $10 a cup.
Jiffy markers: $17.50 service charge.
Blood pressure cuff: $20 service charge.
Oral admin fee: $6.25 service charge. (It’s when a nurse physically hands you your pills.)
Overhead lights: $93.50 service charge.
Wetnaps: $23 per swab.
And this is why all the talk about healthcare is pointless. It’s only a big big issue now because the two parties are very enganged on how to squeeze you better.
All that stuff above is mostly just the material side of the equation.
Another example of how you’re being tricked by the news comes from a PBS article called “Why Does Health Care Cost so Much in America? Ask Harvard’s David Cutler.”
This is the administrative side of the equation.
Here’s a random snippet:
David Cutler: The lowest prices for pharmaceuticals, and a variety of other medical devices and payments to physicians, are in government plans. So Medicaid gets the best prices on pharmaceuticals. In terms of physician payments, Medicaid payments are the lowest. Medicare payments are above that and private payments are above that. The more leverage the buyer has, the lower the price they get. That’s true in every industry. In health care, the United States doesn’t utilize that leverage as much as other countries do.
None of this matters because it will never change. The health industry is a finely tuned machine. It is a machine designed bleed you dry. The only way to change it is to nuke it from orbit.
Here’s another random snippet:
What we’ve done in Massachusetts is we’ve said, don’t just give people very high cost-sharing in general; do what’s called tiering it — that is, tell people that if you look for basic levels of care, you’re not going to face very high costs, but if you want to go to the teaching hospital for the routine procedure, you’re going to have to pay a lot for that. And we mandate that insurance companies have to tell people the price of any service. So if your doctor says you need an MRI, you can go on the computer and your insurance company’s website and figure out exactly your cost sharing at each place where they would do the MRI.
This is the equivalent to saying “everybody else is doing it, why shouldn’t you?”
Another random snippet:
David Cutler: A lot of provider organizations are putting the doctors on a salary basis. Let’s gather our doctors together to figure out what the evidence says is right. If the literature is clear, let’s make sure we do that 100 percent of the time. If the literature is not clear, let’s go through our records and see how we can do better. If the patient then wants more, then say, “Okay, fine, you can have that, but you’re going to pay a little more because that’s not what the literature says is necessary in your case.”
This is the equivalent to saying “Well our lawyers say the price tag is 3 thousand dollars, but they have a wonderful catalogue you can flip through if it makes you feel better.”
There are lots and lots of examples of how the news tries to trick people, but if you read between the lines, you can learn how to interpret them better!
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