About a year ago I got whacked by a log sliding down a hill. ( https://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2010/08/wham-bam-accident-in-woods-friday.html). Didn’t knock me out, but struck my ribs and face, knocked me to ground. I drove home. The paramedics came and decided I needed to go to the hospital, so off I went in the ambulance. I wasn’t worried about cost, since I had Medicare. They ran me through a battery of tests, including cat scans of my head, chest x-rays. I’d lucked out, nothing other than a slightly cracked rib and cuts and bruises. I was out of the hospital in about 5 hours.
I got the bill yesterday, over a year later: $32,368,35! (Medicare paid all but $300.)
Some of the major charges:
-Emergency room: $8,997
-Trauma level III: $12,420
-CT scans head: $6,733
A couple of thoughts from all this:
1. Medicare works, at least for those lucky enough to have it. It’s a program the Tea Partiers and Republicans would never have allowed through, just as they’re trying to scuttle health care for U.S. citizens.
2. Ooo-wee, are hospital costs expensive! I’m grateful for the fine quality of care, but if I didn’t have insurance, I’d hold off an all this stuff unless things were dire. (Here they weren’t.) No one said anything to me about the costs while I was in the hospital.
I saw a guy being rescued a few years ago out in the hills, he’d been lost all night. A helicopter came and when they EMT came down with the basket, the guy asked the price and when told $6,000, he said “No thanks,” and the chopper flew off.
3. The big problem right now is not in making medical care available to citizens, but the high costs of it as it stands.