The American cost case study on healthcare

Being that my mom died of cancer 2 months ago or so, I saw this article on, found it interesting. We as canadians don’t see any of the costs associated with our healthcare either really and I wonder how many things are really over charged. Often, if you go to a dentist, or go to get glasses or something, if you have insurance,  the bill is LARGE, but then if you say you’re paying it out of pocket, there is another price for that. I’ve heard it suggested that they are simply doing a good deed by lowering their price, requesting less then what it really cost them if you are paying out of pocket because they want to provide good healthcare for you regardless.

In reviewing Terence’s records, we found Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia charged UnitedHealthcare $8,120 in 2006 for a 350 mg dose of the drug Avastin, which should have been free as part of a clinical trial. When my Bloomberg colleague inquired, the 80 percent insurance payment was refunded. A small mixup, but telling.

Hm,.. still, why such a great divide. If they can really lower their price THAT much everytime I suggest I’m going to pay out of pocket, can’t we lower the price for insurance as well so that my premiums can go down? I’m poor and would LOVE to pay lower premiums 🙂 (I’m not actually poor, we are really super rich if when we spend a moments thought on it!) . What I’m thinking is, I wonder how much more money our health system would have if the prices for these things and the drugs were in the ‘free market’, where consumers helped fight over different drugs and the companies battled for our business, driving the costs down. In theory, that should increase quality and lower price if the true ‘free market’ were able to take hold. In theory. Maybe I’m super naive. I could be… but when you hear things like this article, I wonder if it really costs them that much for the goods and services rendered / consumed or whether someone is making  a lot of extra money here,.. ie, the insurance companies, or the hospitals or whatever.

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