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  • #1
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    Well we all know the hospitals are getting no money from the illegals so once again the rest of us pay the freight. It's become in America that those who actually do pull their own weight are like the "strongman" with a big rope in his teeth pulling a train down a track. The number of deadbeat "cars" on that "train" just gets longer and longer and longer.
  • #26
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    I have a hard time blaming illegals for the high cost of healthcare simply because hospitals are still able to make about $40 billion in profit despite the added cost of illegal immigrants using the ER. I'm not saying that illegal immigrants are not a problem for the system, just that there are probably other factors driving up healthcare costs, things like greed.
  • #28
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    @AceLuby Greed is human nature Ace. It's always been there and it always will be. They mask their profit while claiming to be a non profit by going out and spending that profit on "quality doctors and staff". It's not a lot different than the "thrift store" scam I read about. And there is also the problem with obesity in America. The CDC says Obesity cost America 147 billion dollars in 2008 and continues to rise. So no, it's not all the illegals fault. But they are part of the problem.
  • #33
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    i hear this from americans all the time.but where i live now there are people from all over the world.a couple of years ago a lady i know from south america had pnemonia.she spent 2 nights in the hospital.her bill was around $40,000.she is paying monthly payments on this.i know others from central america and mexico.that have taken there kids to the emergencey room.they all pay or are making payments on it.
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  • #7
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    My brother passed away 3 three days ago and I shudder to think what the total bill will be, but estimating about 200k, only about half of which will be covered by his very expensive insurance. He had two surgeries follwed by a week or so at home, then back to the hospital for one radiation treatment and two rounds of chemo. Along with the cost of the room, 24hr care, pain meds and so forth, plus doctor bills, even after selling his 33ft sailboat his wife is going to be paying for years. Is this what quality care should cost in America? Like, everything?
  • #21
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    So very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. You have my deepest sympathy. It's really sad when someone suffers so much , as does the family, and yet some
    of the worst worries are having to worry about outrageous doctor and hospital bills.
    Wish you well...and again, I am so sorry...
  • #23
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    I'm sorry for your loss. I'm dealing with a 90yo father in failing health. I very well understand what you're dealing with. We're liquidating his assets to pay for his care. Again you have my condolences and prayers. Be strong. Your world will get better.
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  • #3
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    Medical billing should be investigated. Why should an uninsured person pay $350 for a 4-view knee series when that same hospital agrees to accept $79 as payment in full from an insured patient?
  • #6
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    Works in reverse too. When my grand-daughter was born I offered to pay a cash settlement since the kids did not have insurance. The cost was reduced from $9600 to a single $4950 cash payment. Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka Kansas, Dec 2007
  • #41
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    In defense of my industry, we do provide a valuable service. It's like the old joke:

    There was this old guy who worked at a power plant for many, many years, until finally he decided it was time to retire.

    After a couple of weeks of loafing around the house, he gets a call from the young engineer in charge of the plant. It seems something had gone wrong and the plant wasn't generating electricity any more. The young engineer had tried everything but to no avail. He asks the retired fella if he'd come in and have a look.

    So the old guy goes to the plant. He walks around the generators for a few minutes sort of listening and occasionally touching a pipe. He asks for a hammer, and walks to a particular pipe and gives it a solid whack with the hammer. Immediately, the generators begin to spin up, the lights brighten, and the plant is back in business.

    The young engineer is overjoyed and tells the old guy to send him a bill and he'll be happy to pay.

    A few days later the engineer gets a bill from the old guy for $50,002. He's appalled at the size of the bill when all the old guy did was swing a hammer. He writes back asking for an itemized bill.

    Another few days pass and the engineer gets another letter from the old guy. It's the itemized bill. It says: "Hitting pipe with hammer:$2.00. Knowing which pipe to hit:$50,000".
  • #24
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    Everyone who has ever dealt with a hospital has "war stories". I once was charged 4.50 for a single Tylenol many years ago. My wife died of cancer and over the three years she battled we ran up bills that most would not believe. Of course our insurance dropped her the second they found out she was ill. I had to sell our "big house" that she so dearly loved to pay the bills. Sold the business to get out from under the creditors. Moved back into our old house that was once a rental. Then my sister in Oklahoma got sick and died without any insurance or money and I had to deal with that. I wondered at the time why I shouldn't do as the illegals do. Just run up the bill and walk on them. But that's not who I am so I paid those bills too.

    So as a conservative leaning moderate I say to all of you who have been fortunate enough to have not experienced this devastating medicals./insurance fraud hoisted on the American Public, may you never have this horrific nightmare that is called health care in America in your life. But if you do you will come out the other end knowing what I know. It is time for socialized medicine in America. I never thought I would see the day I would say that but it is time.
  • #57
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    Sorry for your losses. You're absolutely right though, a neighbor of my parents that used to work with my mom ran up a ton of medical bills for various "aliments" only to tell the hospital at the end she couldn't pay the bills, despite having a smartphone, high speed internet, and satellite TV. The hospital just wrote her off. Who do you think picks up the tab for that? Those of us with insurance. If we ever want to stop the price of healthcare from going up, we need to start holding people accountable for their bills.
  • #59
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    @LGRepublican You're correct of course. Now I understand as a conservative you oppose socialized medicine. But I have seen it work in Germany and France and it's the ONLY way to hold everyone equally accountable.
  • #62
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    @jessejaymes There's other options. Those of us with insurance or the ability to pay can work with the insurance companies to pressure hospitals to hold people accountable. We could also work with the insurance companies to set up a network where people could take their business to doctors and hospitals who do hold people accountable. The free market can work if we demand it does.
  • #63
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    @LGRepublican In theory you are right but the medical/pharma world is too entrenched, too rich and too set in THEIR way of making money. It has to be torn down man. I hope you never come to that conclusion in the same manner I had to.
  • #16
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    My insurance was just billed, for a set of crutches I never recieved, when Ibring it to their attention, they act like they can't do anything about it! "wow!
  • #2
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    Cost shifting, the practice of making up for shortfalls in government payments by billing insured patients, is the root of most of this. Healthcare is also, so far as I know, the only market in which the payer is not the customer.
  • #10
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    Pretty much spot-on. Customers can still shop pricing between hospitals if insured, but since they're not directly paying, they rarely do. I find great luck with dentists as Obamacare doesn't mandate this coverage (nor does my state) and you'd be surprised the pricing difference for cash/check payment over insurance.
  • #46
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    @Fishbone345 Very true... but because of the size of the insurance companies now, they often cover almost everywhere... especially the hospitals.
  • #52
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    Your choice for most hospitalizations is almost always dictated by circumstances (accident) or the facility where your MD is on staff. You have zero impact on purchasing decision
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  • #86
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    Well, sure: 1) Doctors and interns have to pay for their student loans and get rich at the same time; 2) the cost of malpractice insurance is through the roof because doctors and interns won't testify against their fellow professionals' malpractice; 3) the greed of pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers 4) those Mercedes-Benz's, BMWs, Jaguars, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lexuses (the interns) don't come cheap, and neither is insuring them! 5) it takes a lot of money to keep a wife AND a mistress happy and pampered!
  • #55
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    Anything the populace cannot do without is now fair game to big business. Healthcare is really big business! Americans are being squeezed like the proverbial turnip! The working poor has realized it for decades, now the ever shrinking middle class feels it too.
  • #22
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    If you can, pay in cash, the costs are lower. Hospitals jack up prices for insurance.
    I agree with someone who posted earlier, we have to cover the tabs for illegals and the abusers. A hospital has to make money, the moral basis behind their prices and rates, well that begs for a deeper discussion.
  • #25
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    Another thing, we need tort reform in this country. Someone in my home town got 40 million dollars in punitive damages because their loved one died...in a rest home.
  • #19
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    Just an observation......show-up at the ER with really good insurance....you get the equivalent of a gang-rape.
  • #18
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    The hospital defended itself by stating that its "billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers."

    Interesting....because everyone else does it is the justification? My grandparents had a saying....if everyone jumped off a cliff would you do that too?

    Billing practices should be changed but with Obamacare it is going to make it even easier to hide these corrupt billing charges and mark-ups....
  • #70
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    Sounds like the same answer you get when you ask about gas prices. BP, "well that's what Shell prices their gas at."
  • #11
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    One simple rule change, but many will flip out on this one because "it's not fair." All those illegals and deadbeats should be made to go right to the billing booth when entering the ER, if they can't pay, they don't get served. Like I said, I know that is wrong, but that is the root of this problem. Illegal aliens and deadbeats who take up space, using the ER for simple things like colds, tying up the system from those who do pay insurance premiums and truly need to be there. Turn em' away, no treatments for them if they can't pay. Bet that would resolve a lot of the 10,000% markups that hospitals use.
  • #15
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    Apart from the fact that your solution is shortsighted, immoral, unrealistic, dangerous to public health and moronic, it's also illegal.
  • #20
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    "if they can't pay, they don't get served" Not only a bad idea, unethical and impractical, but if the patient dies because he was refused care, it's also criminally negligent homicide.
  • #56
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    While legally they can't be turned away, I'd like to see hospital ACTUALLY demand payments for services rendered. If you have any other kinds of debt (rent, mortgage, car, etc.) you're required to make payments so why do we make exceptions for medical care? Even if it's $25 a month, they should be required to pay.
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  • #91
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    Between drugs and lazy nurses its a wonder. Go to the hospital after 10pm on night shift sometime and see how hard at work them nurses are. Usually they have so many of them that they have more time to sit around and gab than they work. The have the aid who makes 3 times less doing it all. People wonder why we pay so much. lol Well there ya go.
  • #87
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    They make anything good for.ys.illeg so they can do this to we the people. It is just not right to put such a huge markup on medical equipment. They dont sell walnuts now because of the pharmasutical uses they found. They are going to extract it and put it in a $2000 needle. Lol. And maryjuana has over 200 medical uses without side affects and never an overdose or withdraws. Really!!! We need a revolution. We The People are not in charge as we should be according to the constitution. They are poisining water from fracking when hemp oil burns longer, hotter, grows naturally without drilling. You can make 4 times the amount of paper from an acre of hemp compared to trees which erode soil while hemp puts nutrients back in with soil rotation. Its all about money. We need to cut off china and live on our own recourses. The supreme court needs impeached for allowing a tyrranical government to tread over half of our bill of rights. And putting money over top of conservation and health concerns. The whole obama administration needs impeached and the homeland security needs shut down and charged with crimes against humanity. And we need to concentrate our military on our borders and get rid of illegal immigrants ruining the economy and killing the job market.
  • #85
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    get used to it with obammy mammy care, just seeing a doctor will put you in the poor house let alone getting treatment for anything!
  • #82
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    "billing and collection practices are similar to those of other major hospitals and academic medical centers."

    That's the heart of the problem, they all hide behind each other.
  • #75
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    As your health care bills push you into bankruptcy and the free enterprise health care system deny you treatments just remind yourself that america has the best health care system in the world.
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