Incorrect, or just careless?

Anil wrote about bankruptcy relating it to medical bills. The article Study: Health costs spur bankruptcy at CNN has some interesting points. What intrigued me was the following:

The average bankrupt person surveyed had spent $13,460 on co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services if they had private insurance. People with no insurance spent an average of $10,893 for such out-of-pocket expenses.

(emphasis mine)

So is it cheaper to not have medical insurance. The average difference seems to be a couple of thousand dollars! Maybe CNN was just careless here, or maybe Reuters was, since it’s a Reuters report, or maybe I “read” it wrong.

In any case, nothing can beat how I was puzzled when I heard the local WMFE (an NPR member station) announcer said, “Pick up your phone and dial xxxx now, it only take about a minute and ninety seconds to make your contribution.” Hold it right there – a minute and ninety seconds?

Oh, and by the way, I finally donated $20 to WMFE – I figure it is worth it since it’s the only station I listen to nowadays while I am driving. The music is good, the news is unbiased, and the specials very interesting. Sometimes, some of the pieces they play lifts me up on wings – like the Invitation to the Dance they aired yesterday on my drive to school. I originally intended to donate $36.50 – ten cents for each day in the year, but then I figured I don’t drive everyday 😉

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2 Responses to Incorrect, or just careless?

  1. Vader says:

    Health Insurance is biggest scam ever.

  2. Bill Dale says:

    Not only that (biggest scam ever), it’s downright Immoral and, of course, comPLETEly supported by the most “moral” people America has ever been blessed to have so politically active.

    I was at a trade show a few months ago (in Fargo, North Dakota, or all places), and stopped at a booth with a Canadian Flag and a computer. They were there promoting their online pharmacy. I got to talking to the guy, asking him how he liked the (dreaded) Canadian universal health coverage system… Asked him about the reality of the scare stories we always hear the moment anyone in America even MENtions universal coverage. You know… The old, “Canadians are all dying while they wait for years to get treatment with broken-down inferior technology and second-rate doctors who engage in third-rate practices,” etc.

    “Do you really have to wait?” I asked.

    “Well,” he said. “If you’re at the emergency room and there’s been a car wreck, you’ll have to wait while they treat the people who were in it. But other than that, I’ve never had any problems.”

    Later he says, “We can buy into private plans, if we want to. Like I have a Blue Cross policy that will pay the $75 ambulance charge if I ever wind up needing an ambulance.”

    “Seventy-five dollars?” I ask, to make sure I heard him right. “You mean if you DON’T have that insurance and you take an ambulance trip the cost is seventy-five dollars?”


    I don’t know what an ambulance ride costs where you live, but around here the going rate is a minimum of $750. But then, if anyone “in a position of influence” was stupid enough to point out that Canadian rate X 100 American emergency fare, I’m sure the first thing we’d hear (from the Guardians of Morality), would be something along the lines of,

    “Yeah. But did you know Canadian ambulances are all convertered 1979 Oldsmobile hearses they can barely keep running that constantly blow tires, smash into pine trees and explode!? Would you really want your loved ones or yourself being rushed to a third-rate healthcare facility (where you’ll just have to wait to get treated), in a death-trap like that!?”

    As you no doubt do, I know more than one American in the (hard) “working poor” category for whom preventive or sorely needed medical care is simply out of the financial question. I just talked to one of them the other night. A wonderful soul in her early sixties who has an abdominal anuerism that “isn’t quite in need of fixing yet – they’re keeping an eye on it,” and, as if that wasn’t enough (to think about at work), she is also in need of a $35,000 surgery having something to do with other circulatory problems in her legs. Naturally, she has no health insurance (it would eat up at least half her paychecks), but, she told me, “I’m saving my money.”

    “Saving your money,” I said. “How can you possibly save $35,000 before your legs fall off?”

    “No no no no,” she corrected me. “I’m saving so I’ll have enough to cover the $5,000 co-pay when I’m old enough to get on Medicare a year and a half from now.”

    “Oh.” I said.

    Anyway… Excuse me for going on at such length here in a comment, but the reality of this whole issue (which goes way beyond health care), really IS a sad and, if you’ll pardon the pun, sick commentary or reflection on the state of the contemporary “American psyche.”

    As mentioned at the outset, anyone who looks at it, talks to a few “poor” people (which, increasingly, is just shorthand for “average Americans”), can’t help but get that disgusted feeling in their gut that says, loud and clear, “Somethin’ just ain’t RIGHT here!”

    And they’re right… What’s not right is that the whole thing smells worse than a pile of rotting fish the size of Kansas. And, as mentioned at the outset, the stink is the stink of True Immorality.

    And, if I may be so bold, I’d like to put in a plug for all Thinking People who Care to start Thinking of it that way and, if they agree it may actually be that way, start “internalizing the concept” and start CALLING it that so the next time the (self-) righteous “Pure Values Monopolists” start playing the Morality card, people with brains (and hearts) MAY be ready with a thing or two to hit them back over their oversized heads with.