A patient in Illinois was charged $12,712 for cataract surgery. Medicare pays $675 for the same procedure. In California, a patient was charged $20,120 for a knee operation that Medicare pays $584 for. And a New Jersey patient was charged $72,000 for a spinal fusion procedure that Medicare covers for $1,629.
This isn't exactly "breaking news." The SO had to go to the hospital a few years ago because he had a horrible case of gastroenteritis. It was so bad that he asked me to take him to a nearby hospital, which he had earlier explicitly told me NEVER to take him to, even if he was dying! We, of course, went to the emergency room. Hospital charges, emergency physicians, the shot they gave him that almost killed him, the shot they gave him to cause him to recover from the shot that almost killed him, the shot they gave him to stop the vomiting. . .THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS! For me, co-pay would have been $250 and insurance would have paid a DISCOUNTED amout.
Why is it they think that people who cannot afford health insurance can afford outrageously inflated medical care prices?