American Healthcare

The health insurance and hospital billing system in this country is fucking ridiculous. Emergency rooms alone will drain people of their life savings in a matter of minutes. The following is a piece of text taken directly from hospitals website regarding their charges:

Emergency Department Charges
Emergency Department charges are based on the level of emergency care provided to our patients. The categories, with Category I representing basic emergency care, reflect the type of accommodations needed, the personnel resources, the intensity of care and the amount of time needed to provide treatment. The following charges do not include fees for drugs, supplies, or additional ancillary procedures that may be required for a particular emergency treatment. They also do not include fees for Emergency Department physicians, who will bill separately for their services.
 
Charges
Category I
$172.00
Category II
$327.00
Category III
$478.00
Category IV
$878.00
Category V
$1,246.00

If you should find yourself truly sick, and end up racking up enough resources to fall under the Category V bracket, you might as well tell them to pull the plug. Not only will you get slapped with that $1,246, but the doctor will bill you for each minute he/she spends at your bedside. Then you’ll get additional charges for all the medications we give you while you’re there. medical-billTo give you a comparison on how much meds cost in the ER, here’s an example. You can buy a bottle of Tylenol over the counter for $3.99 at most pharmacies. In the ER, we will charge you $4.50 per pill. Should you be so unlucky to have a stroke, fear not, for we’ll give you a clot busting medication that has the potential to save your fucked up leg, arm, and face. It’s called Tissue Plasminogen Activator or TPA. Guess how much a single dose of this medication can cost. Did you guess $30,000? Correct! Thirty thousand mother fucking dollars. Do you know how many hookers you could buy with that kind of cheddar? Click Here to find out.

I digress. So after your Category V bill, your doctors bill, and your medication charges, we’ll then charge you for any and all procedures we do while you’re in the ER. That means everything like checking vitals signs, placing an IV, drawing lab work, EKG’s, X-rays and CT’s, etc. Let’s talk about some of these tests. For those that don’t know, an EKG tests one aspect of heart function based on the electrical waves we can measure.KernFig1 The test involves placing ten or twelve stickers on your chest, arms, and legs, attaching wires to said stickers, then printing out 6 seconds worth of electrical wave measurements. The whole test can be performed in under a minute if you are cooperating, but since the results of this test can diagnose a heart attack, we’ll go ahead and charge you $800 for it. No biggie. After all of those charges, we go back and tally up all the supplies we used on you while you were in the ER. Things like needles ($3.75), alcohol swabs ($1.85), band aids ($2.90), gauze ($12.50), and saline flushes ($8.25) rack up your bills even higher. Mind you hospitals buy these supplies in bulk for fucking pennies each.

All this is just for your ER visit. Should you happen to fall into Category V, there’s a good chance you’ll be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for at least a night or two. For that we charge $2,851/night. That’s one expensive ass hotel room. That’s just the cost for the room by the way. Don’t forget about the supplies, procedures, meds, and doctors bill. You think an doctor specializing in intensive medicine is cheap? Yea they didn’t spend all those years in school to work out of the goodness of there heart.

I once had a friend who broke his pelvis falling off a roof. Long story short, he lost a shit ton of blood, and spent a week in the surgical ICU before spending another week on a regular unit. His total hospital bill between the ER, surgery, the ICU, and Med/Surg unit was over $700,000. Do you know how many hookers you can buy for seven hundred thousand mother fucking dollars? Click Here to find out.

 Here’s a personal story. Not long ago my wife found my 1 year old son with an unknown pill in his mouth. Poison control was unable to identify the pill so they recommended a visit to the ER. It was later determined that the pill was Losartan which is used for blood pressure management. We went to the ER , which I happened to be working at by the way, and all they did was check vitals signs, observe for an hour, recheck vital signs, then discharge. I’m not complaining about the care. My son needed nothing else, and if I had a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure measurer) at home, I would have just kept him home. Thanks to the “Affordable” Care Act I was paying $1,200+/month for insurance for my wife, my son, and I. My insurance only covered 45% of ER visits after I paid my deductible. Before you say it, fuck you. I know it’s shitty insurance, but it’s all I could afford. So for the 92 minute ER visit with no supplies used, my bill totaled $1,342.58. Later I asked for an itemized bill to see what I’m paying for. The lovely people that handle insurance and billing informed me that if I had answered “no” when they asked if I had insurance, the bill would automatically have been reduced to 25% the initial cost.
So with insurance I paid 55% oangry-dudef the ER bill,
and without insurance I would have paid 25% of the bill. Fuck me sideways and call me Jane. Welcome to the American healthcare system people! Needless to say, I promptly canceled my current health insurance. Instead I take that $1,200/mo, and save it for a day when I might actually need it. The maximum tax penalty I would face for not having insurance is a fraction of the cost I was paying out of pocket to actually have insurance.

 So Dexter, what’s the point of all this? I’m not recommending anyone cancel their health insurance, or suggesting that I have a way to fix this fucked up system. However, in light of the fact that we’ll be choosing between a criminal or everyone’s racist drunk uncle for our next POTUS, now might be a good time to make good on your promise to denounce your citizenship, and move to a country with free healthcare.

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