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British people guess how much US healthcare costs

mhayes86

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,494
Virginia
That thumbnail. LOL.

Our health insurance packets can be difficult to understand, and many places offer different plans that cost more than others pre-tax (unless you're not offered insurance at your job). A lot of people don't even know how much shit costs until the bill comes. HRAs, HSAs, deductibles, co-pays, in/out-of-network and finding out when something isn't covered.

Hell, until recently if you couldn't receive health insurance through your employer, spouse, parent, or afford it yourself for at least most of the year, you were taxed for it!
 

Starwing

The Fallen
Oct 31, 2018
1,109
My younger brother's fungal ear medication would've costed around $300 if we weren't under our mother's insurance and even then, it was only around 300-500 ml.
 

GrizzleBoy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,278
America is so twisted.

Can you imagine if the amount of billions of dollars that gets funnelled through gun lobbies by people passionate about death machines (and money), was instead put into social care and the passion was directed towards preservation of human life (EVEN after it leaves the womb)?
 

MoogleWizard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,195
You're pretty much expected to ask for a smaller bill and they'll accommodate you, it's so stupid. Most people don't end up being charged the full amount, as for what happens if what's left can't be paid, I'm not sure, probably some goes to collections and some is forgiven.
Thanks. So there are state programs to help the poor with costs. Every time I read about medical costs in the US, I think there must be something missing because I can't imagine that poor people are charged so much money for normal medical procedures, it always seemed insane to me. Especially with things like child birth because generally poor people have more children.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,945
a sunken pirate ship
Also I'd say it's not so much half the country as it is a third of the country who likes this stuff, but they're also the only ones with money living out in the areas with limited infrastructure, so they're the only ones that vote in elections
 
Oct 26, 2017
978
Isn't "$40 Skin to skin contact" essentially a ransom?

I'm surprised in the lawsuit-happy land of the US that someone hasn't tried to get some money out of that.
 

Emmaginary

Member
Aug 13, 2019
43
Straubing, Deutschland
As a trans person from the UK, I am scared of the NHS. I am literally scared of it and regard it as largely responsible for causing irreparable physical, mental, and emotional trauma to me.

So that should contextualise just how significant it is that even I recognise that it is incomparably better than the US health"care" system.

Sorry, Americans.
 

maxxpower

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,206
California
That's rough, I'm sorry to hear that. It isn't right. As someone that has had a number of ambulance trips thanks to anxiety the past few years, I can't imagine having to worry about finances in each case and how that would spiral more than it already did. It's fallen back this year thankfully, and I hope the same for yourself and that your son's health issues placate as best they can. Genuine well-wishes for 2020.
Thanks. Things are looking better for us health wise.
 

fuzzyset

Member
Oct 25, 2017
976
I saw an elderly woman trip and fall on some stairs (about 6, to a tiled floor) at a Burger King food court few years back. We called the ambulance immediately and the woman literally spent her last minutes on Earth moaning in pain, and begging us not to call an ambulance because she couldn't afford it. It got there about 10 minutes after she stopped breathing anyway and I knew deep down they were likely going to bill her survivors one way or another. I felt guilty for thinking that while they carted her off.


Yes, but we're not complacent. We're captive.
Luckily(?) medical debt isn't passed on through death.
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,374
I had a personal realisation for this sort of thing (not that I'd been unfamiliar with the ridiculous costs of US healthcare generally) earlier this year, as I went in for two gastroscopies - one eight months after the other. I'd been having difficulties since the start of the year with regular vomiting, a bloated stomach, and excessive burping. Heavily, heavily uncomfortable stuff, though it was nothing that saw me needing to be rushed to hospital, as such. Turned out my throat was a mess of ulcers, so with some careful management of when I was eating (ie, nothing too late), stomach acid levels, and getting in a bit more exercise, it could be managed.

But because of the gastroscopies that were necessary to even know what was going on, I learned that in the US, that would have still cost me around $2,500. And that's taking an assumption of the procedures having been on the cheap end of things.

Even if you go with the 'oh you pay for the NHS via National Insurance' argument, the total I'll likely have paid by the end of this tax year would only cover one of those procedures (I've paid in a bit over £600 since April, currently put in about £75 a month), and again, that's assuming I could get it cheaply. And of course, having it be £0 at the point of delivery makes it much, much easier to manage.
 

Incite

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,039
I live in America and just.... don't go to the doctor and suffer long term and hope it doesn't hurt too much. I have debilitating neck and back issues and absolutely no way to even begin helping them.

America is a hellhole. That's not even the tip of the iceberg.
 

Delphine

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Moderator
Mar 30, 2018
1,807
France
Honestly, their healthcare system being an utter shitshow is probably the single most important reason why I do not wish to ever have to set foot in the USA, much less have to live and work over there.
 
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lt519

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,719
Did a google image search of "childbirth cost USA" this was one of the results

Insanity
There had to be serious life threatening complications here and an extended stay in the ICU. Granted still ridiculous, but I just had twins in January and for 3 nights in the hospital including cesarean birth/care/nursery was 10% of that and my out of pocket costs because I have great insurance were $250.

The most ridiculous thing on the bill was they charged like $1,800 a night per baby for nursery care while we got 4 hours of sleep. So that was close to $10k and a third of our bill just to have them watch a baby sleep in a crib.
 

Lundren

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,704
What the f??

The victim must PAY ambulance calls?

childbirth cant cost, right?

is this a joke?

neither of these cost anything in scandinavia... in fact no doctor call cost more than 20$ regardless if it is an operation or a meeting..
What if you're shot in the street and someone else calls? Do they take you to hospital and then thrust the bill in your face as soon as you're stable?

That's pretty gross if so.
I want to add a couple of things to this.

  1. A lot of ambulance companies are actually privately owned.
  2. Even if you have the "good" insurance that people crow about, you're paying a lot more monthly for the privilege than you might think. My wife worked for an insurance company, so she had great insurance. She was paying $700+ per month.
  3. Let's say you have some of that amazing insurance. They generally only want you to go to specific hospitals/ERs. Now, imagine you're riding your bike and get hit by a car and get knocked out. A good samaritan calls 911 and the first available ambulance shows up and picks you up. They take you to whatever ER and you wake up in an ER that isn't covered by your insurance. You're fucked in almost 100% of the cases. Even though you did not go to that ER by choice. They can and will refuse to pay for you having gone to an ER that isn't covered by them.
 

Thordinson

Member
Aug 1, 2018
1,567
Thanks. So there are state programs to help the poor with costs. Every time I read about medical costs in the US, I think there must be something missing because I can't imagine that poor people are charged so much money for normal medical procedures, it always seemed insane to me. Especially with things like child birth because generally poor people have more children.
If you live in a state that expands Medicaid. Texas, for example, doesn’t. As a single low income man, I don’t qualify in my state. I would be stuck with giant bills.
 

Apharmd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,470
That thumbnail. LOL.

Our health insurance packets can be difficult to understand, and many places offer different plans that cost more than others pre-tax (unless you're not offered insurance at your job). A lot of people don't even know how much shit costs until the bill comes. HRAs, HSAs, deductibles, co-pays, in/out-of-network and finding out when something isn't covered.

Hell, until recently if you couldn't receive health insurance through your employer, spouse, parent, or afford it yourself for at least most of the year, you were taxed for it!
Keep in mind that this was the best plan a Democratic president, with a Democratic legislative majority, could come up with. A forced buy-in to private health insurance. LMAO!
 

Zombegoast

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,002
Do Americans have generic Tylenol? Their prices for that stuff are outrageous whenever I’ve had to get some on holiday. In the U.K. I can get like a pack of 36 or so for 50cents.
Yeah but you want to avoid going the hospital's pharmacy and go to a CVS instead.

They try to charge me $16 for antibiotics when I can go a buy them for $5.
 

Fevaweva

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,206
I came to that video knowing that Health Care in America is crazy expensive, but I didn't realise how bad it was. JESUS.
 

Patriiick

Member
Oct 31, 2018
439
Grimsby, GB
Yup they’ve been selling off the departments “we can do without” for a while now and the documents referred to above suggest an acceleration in this pretty soon
I used to work in the department where surgical and out patient instruments are sterilised. That was privatised about 8 or 9 years ago now. They're doing it bit by bit so people don't notice.
 

Wrestleman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,929
Thanks. So there are state programs to help the poor with costs. Every time I read about medical costs in the US, I think there must be something missing because I can't imagine that poor people are charged so much money for normal medical procedures, it always seemed insane to me. Especially with things like child birth because generally poor people have more children.
Don't be fooled. Sure, they exist, but state programs are extremely prohibitive and locked behind ridiculous standards in many cases, especially in Republican leaning states. At one point my mother applied for Medicaid and they said she was making too much for a single person -- she was working at minimum wage. Part time.
 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,588
Thanks. So there are state programs to help the poor with costs. Every time I read about medical costs in the US, I think there must be something missing because I can't imagine that poor people are charged so much money for normal medical procedures, it always seemed insane to me. Especially with things like child birth because generally poor people have more children.
Basically the process is this:
-American goes to doctor
-American usually pays out of pocket copay at time of visit (something like $20)
-Doctor sends bill to insurance company (Medicare/Medicaid/insurance from their job/family)
-Insurance decides what parts of the bill they're gonna cover and how much
-Insurance company sends rest of the bill to American
-American says "wtf" and spends a bunch of time dealing with paperwork and arguing with their insurance company

This is further complicated with all the ER examples people are posting because each insurance company only covers specific doctors and hospitals ("in network") so if you end up getting taken to a hospital that's not covered, you get the full bill.
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,374
Keep in mind that this was the best plan a Democratic president, with a Democratic legislative majority, could come up with. A forced buy-in to private health insurance. LMAO!
Wasn't this more a modification of a Republican plan in the hopes that such would make it palatable to them? Which of course largely didn't work because it became a matter to spite Obama over.
 

Border

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,634
I feel like the worst part of this is that if you are sick or need care for a significant period of time, you are just constantly drowning in bills, statements, and collections from all kinds of different sources. You might get a diagnostic done and the hospital will bill you for one part of it, but you'll get another bill from the medical technician that actually performed the procedure or the anesthesiologist or whatever.

You're so overwhelmed you pretty much just have to pay for it all because it's impossible to figure out if all the bills are legit -- much less if you are being billed for the right amount.

I have been hounded over this one rehab procedure I had done several times. For October it was like $900.....in November I had the the same thing done in the same place by the same people and it was $450. I paid the November/$450 bill, but not the October bill that was double the price. Everytime I get a call from their collections department I ask why I was billed double the amount for the same procedure, and they have zero explanation. They just forward me to some billing department that never answers a their phone and takes me to voice mail. Then next week the same nonsense where they call up and ask for me to pay, yet are unable to explain the bill.
 

djplaeskool

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,892
Wasn't this more a modification of a Republican plan in the hopes that such would make it palatable to them? Which of course largely didn't work because it became a matter to spite Obama over.
And it still took damn near two years of exhaustive legislative wrangling to get done, only to have it almost immediately begin to get picked apart.
 

Apharmd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,470
Wasn't this more a modification of a Republican plan in the hopes that such would make it palatable to them? Which of course largely didn't work because it became a matter to spite Obama over.
That's correct, the Affordable Care Act was actually modeled on a Republican plan, but the ACA itself was passed with a single Republican vote. The Dems own it.
 

viral

Member
Oct 25, 2017
357
So is this just a big scam in the US? How do they justify you paying this ridiculous amount of money? 2500 for a fucking ambulance... for what exactly? Gas? Lol.
 

Casualcore

Member
Jul 25, 2018
616
If you're sleeping-in-your-car poor, a pregnant woman can get on Medicaid, depending on the state. They'll have some out-of-pocket costs but not the full costs.

Most Americans will fall in the middle ground like my sister. She had great insurance. She still almost went bankrupt when she gave birth prematurely by emergency c-section. I don't remember the numbers, just the tears.
 

Apharmd

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,470
America is deeply, fundamentally flawed.
On the bright side, guns are widely available here. And relatively inexpensive- an AR-15 assault rifle can be had for $500 or less.

What does this have to do with the state of health care here in the US?

Well, when you're diagnosed with a serious illness and can't afford treatment, you can afford to end your own life.
 

Lundren

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,704
Wait you have to pay for an ambulance in America?

You have to pay to hold your child?

That's some dystopian shit
Sometimes a nurse will come in to check on you and ask if you're feeling any pain. If you say yes and they ask if you'd like something for it, they will bring you a couple ibuprofen which will be charged to your account, but won't mention that you're being charged.

Guess how much those pills will cost ya.
 
Jul 7, 2019
305
I know how much it costs, a 2 hour ER trip (no ambulance, I git a taxi to hospital) cost me $2351 when I went to a New York this year. Thank fuck I checked all the reviews when I got my travel insurance.

All they did was run tests and gave me one 600mg Ibuprofen.
I paid like 4k+ to wait six hours in the waiting room (walked to the ER). My symptoms dissipated, they ran vitals, gave me a little sandwich (like they sell at gas stations) and sent me on my way. The sandwich was only okay, but it must have cost $3,900 because it was the only difference between the ER and my normal cardiologist, who I saw the next day for $60.

I’m also self-employed and relatively unhealthy for my age, so I pay about 12,000/yr just for the privilege of knocking that ER visit down to a few thousand along with my heart meds, which are $300/mo with insurance.
 
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Unaha-Closp

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,848
Scotland
My Mum is caring for my Dad, 66 years old, who has Dementia. He fell out of bed and could not understand how to get up. She couldn't lift him on her own so she phoned for an Ambulance. They came, helped my Dad off the floor, reassured my Mum they were not being put out and were happy to help and urged her to phone anytime they needed help like this. Then they left. No money changed hands. Just human decency and empathy. The NHS is not flawless by any means but I'd take it over what Americans have to put up with. 40 Dollars to hold your child after birth = morally and ethically bankrupt.
 

julian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,132
I know how much it costs, a 2 hour ER trip (no ambulance, I git a taxi to hospital) cost me $2351 when I went to a New York this year. Thank fuck I checked all the reviews when I got my travel insurance.

All they did was run tests and gave me one 600mg Ibuprofen.
The best is when you don’t even get the bill for a year plus. Or you get one bill after a few months, then a totally new bill a few months later cause it turns out the doctor wasn’t covered with your insurance even though you asked repeatedly while you were there. God bless America!
 

Nude_Tayne

Member
Jan 8, 2018
1,683
earth
Evil profiteers have wrapped their tentacles around our healthcare industry and Americans need to come to terms with the fact that our healthcare system is predatory and rotten to the core, and nothing short of a fundamental change is necessary to fix it. As awful as it is, people are so used to it that any other system, no matter how much more affordable/efficient/sensible, is seen as too far-fetched and unattainable. That is the insidiousness of the normalization of bad things.