The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Why Health Care Costs So Much

Aug 19, 2013

An item that costs $350 to make in the U.S. is put on hospital bills at prices one hundred times higher. In a New York hospital the item was recently billed to a customer for $37,000; in a Florida hospital recently the item cost more than $30,000.

This item, used a million times a year, is a hip implant. For hip and knee implants, the ones that cost a few hundred dollars to make, there are five U.S. companies charging anything they please.

One man desperately needing the hip surgery had it done for $13,660. That included the hip joint, the doctors’ fees, the operating room charges, a week in a hospital room, a week in rehab, crutches, medicine and a round-trip airplane ticket. Where did the surgery take place? Overseas in Belgium. What would he have been charged in the U.S.? $78,000.

Health care in the U.S. follows the formula of “big business” – take the customers for every penny you can get away with.