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Hospital Letter Urging Patient to Start 'Fundraising Effort' to Pay for Heart Treatment Seen as Yet Another Reason America Needs Medicare for All


I am disgusted with these stories, and I’m disgusted with the idea that personal charity is ever a substitute for government regulation of health care or government handled anything (homeless shelters, welfare, etc.). This has got to come from some bullshit religious way of looking at things. Not only is it demeaning for the person asking but I don’t want to be asked for money. I never in my entire life have given an individual money and I never will. If I have spare money, I give it to an organization that I trust, not to a person I don’t know. Whoever wrote that letter should be fired in my opinion.

I haven’t contacted Common Dreams directly, but I’m still mulling over how to convince them we need “sticky” threads. I don’t need an article about health care to piss me off - I want to read about creative ideas on how we can get the closest thing to HR676 passed in the shortest amount of time. Plenty of people here have better ideas than 1/2 the authors of articles I read.


Maybe Dick Chenny will lend us one of his hearts. Gopherit


We are already being taxed enough to cover everyone’s healthcare in the US. It’s a matter of priorities. What is a heart procedure $50,000? A transplant $250,000? One cruise missile is million bucks. I am likely way off on this but I heard it costs a million bucks a day to run the military operations without purchases.
Time to tell uncle sam where we would prefer our dollars should go.


For a fee, of course.


Truman tried unsuccessfully to pass universal healthcare in 1948 and failed. By 1960 most “industrialized nations” (and more than a few poorer nations) had some kind of universal healthcare. 70 fucking years and we have an even worse system. USA, USA, USA!!!


What we also know is that this is a question that need never be asked if we move to a single payer, Medicare for All, no deductibles, no copays system that shares all of the real costs and risks among us all.

These are not actually costs, these are prices. Those are two totally different concepts. The actual marginal cost of these operations is not all that high, it’s just that the hospitals, doctors and pharma companies take advantage of the take it or die economics of the situation. In a rational world, these prices for operations would never reach these levels. The article you cite buys into the pharma bullshit about the cost of development, which is actually dwarfed by the cost of executive management salaries and benefits and pharma’s ridiculous marketing expenses (have you noticed how 75% or more of the ads you see on TV are pharma ads?).

Another huge problem is the insane pricing that goes on in the health industry. The numbers you cite are the “billed” prices, which are never paid by insurance companies, but are used to destroy the lives of the uninsured and drive the absurd level of personal bankruptcies related to healthcare. This is a system so lacking in any morality that it is beyond the pale. You can’t use the irrational arguments put out by the perpetrators of these inanities as a justification for the havoc they reek on society. Instead, you need a clear assessment of the underlying realities, which in this case involves exposing the fraud waste and abuse caused not by healthcare providers themselves or patients but by insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and the other parasites that live among them, such as so-called pharmacy benefit managers.


I’m not young. I was reinforcing what you said. How insulting to be told by a hospital to start a gofundme account to survive a terminal medical situation? Consider sarcasm when reading responses.


An acquaintance who was in her early 50’s was going blind due to a condition which
caused severe eye dryness but also with a problem with cornea. She was told she
needed lenses which cost $22,000 which Medicaid and whatever she had of insurance
didn’t cover. She did raise the money among family, friends and a fundraising effort in
her community.

However, later, someone mentioned that Social Security would have paid for the lenses
because otherwise she would have been blind which would have put her on the disabled list.
It would seem that the same would be true for any patient in a similar condition which would
prevent them from functioning/working. ???

I’m also aware that many patients with clogged arteries often aren’t directly told that eating
animals and dairy is what causes the condition and that they can rid themselves of this build
up by eating olive oil and fresh raw vegetables – carrolts, celery, peppers,etal – which will
gradually begin to clear the arteries. One the arteries are cleared …
Permanently eliminating animal/dairy from your diet will then keep you healthy.

Many of the patients with Angina pain are also not told what causes it and how to avoid these
painful, frightening and very costly treatments.


Man, this is a truly fucked up reality for some in this country.

If America ever was the Greatest Country in the world, after reading an article like this, I am having a very hard time remembering when that was.


I think you responded to the wrong post, I have know idea what relation this has to what I posted.
If you replaced neo-liberal with liberal in you’re first sentence, I would agree with you.


Thanks for the response and clearing-up my misunderstanding with you’re post, guess it was the way I was reading it, because it seemed like it could go either way.


Yes, this can’t be said enough and needs to be said to everyone who claims single-payer would be too expensive.


Yesterday, for the 3rd time in a month I had to tell the Pharmacists that I could not afford the medications that my Doctor had prescribed and let it there. The doctor is angry with me for not taking the medicine that I cannot afford and she keeps giving me prescriptions for meds that are increasingly out of my price range. She says that if I don’t take what she prescribes I will nit be here long and If I don’t she won’t see me anymore. So be it. In America, if you cannot contribute toward the god of profits you need to get out of the way and quit bothering people, do sit in a quiet place and die - it’s the American thing to do.


Not seeing the forest for the trees? The title of the abstract is: The Cost of Transplant Immunosuppressant Therapy: Is This Sustainable? Published in 2015 in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (a government agency) along with other medical journals. It is not a discussion over cost vs price. It is a discussion over the increasing cost of transplants, new therapies and medications, and the impact on patients.

The entire point is, this is not sustainable at any cost/price/fee/donation, etc.

This: “While in kidney transplantation, Medicare part B covers three years of medication, there is frequent non-adherence due to cost after that time-point. The impact of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain at this time. Finally the pipeline of new therapies is limited due to the cost of development of a drug, the inherent cost of clinical studies, and lack of defined endpoints for newer therapies in high risk patients. These new therapies are of high value to the community but will contribute additional burden to current drug costs.”


Confused about the difference between price and costs? The prices charged for these transplants far exceed the costs incurred. This is true for hospital charges, doctor charges and pharmaceuticals. What the article labels as “costs” are actually “prices.” It’s a common mistake and pervasive misunderstanding about how to think about these issues.

If prices reflected actual costs, which economic theory says they should, they would be drastically lower. Instead, we have an opaque pricing system that is grossly distorted by insurance companies and pharmaceuticals and pharmacy benefit managers, et al. So, what we have is a form of market failure imposing enormous harm on the public writ large.

I stand by my comments.


Who does not know that medical care in the US is overpriced? If you have a beef with the abstract I suggest you contact the authors, they’re listed on the NCBI site.


Actually, I’m making the point that the real problem is in the pricing. You and the authors are bemoaning the difficulty of paying exorbitant prices and figuring out how to pay those prices, instead of solving the root issue which is the price level itself.


This is absurd. So when’s the last time you had an article published in the NCBI?

There are gazillions of articles on the state, the failure and the high cost of health care in the US. To act as if this one abstract is flawed because doesn’t suit you is just silly. The authors are not, nor was I, making a treatise on the high cost/price of health care in the US in general. I mean really – find someone that doesn’t know that.


I made no comment to you or about your post (other than agreeing w/it). Maybe this is directed to someone else?


Let’s give this the blunt response it deserves — medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies, some hospitals and doctors, and those politicians and their enablers who are opposed to single payer healthcare (HR676) can go f*ck themselves…