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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


We didn’t just export a banking crisis to the Brits, we’re also getting 'em on board for healthcare USA-style. (this is sarcasm, obviously) Most Brits would be incensed w/the US healthcare system, so too would Canadians, et al.


Just try to get transparency. A hometown Dr. Steve Kagan was US congressman 8th dist. Wi. for two years and lost his reelection bid. He was THE main proponent of exposing medical pricing for public use to determine where to have procedures done. Also started elect. records adaptation.
I guess big money insurance backers didn’t want that guy back for another two years.


Call me lazy, but it’s Sunday, and I am lazy today, but does anyone know the comparative cost of those transplants and medications if it were Canada or India or Cuba? Thanks ahead of time.


Price for kidney transplant:
in US $260,000* plus $30,000/yr in medication
in Canada $23,000 plus $6,000/yr in medication
in India ~$10,000 plus no data on medication, sorry

*It’s unlikely insurance companies pay this price. What they don’t pay is likely added to the price charged uninsured patients, which is probably what that $260,000 number reflects.

Actual costs (as opposed to prices charged) in these countries is unknown.


Thanks, gives good perspective.


Take a deep breath, Lynn. Rocky Mountain is simply pointing out what we are asked to pay is not what the actual procedure should cost. The abstract, or any study, has to cite what the health industry charges. You are both agreeing with the publication’s conclusion the price gouging cannot be sustained. Anyone who has worked retail is oh so familiar with this all-american concept. Wal-Mart’s cost for the shirt made in China is 50 cents. It’s offered to us for the bargain price of $10. Same with medical and everything else in this great country of ours from water to cars.


First, lesson from what should be economics 101: We live on a finite planet, in a finite economy. There are more health items that we want than we in the economy can provide. No matter what we wish, we will all be visited by the grim reaper; in the long run we are all dead.

Right wingers point out that National Health Care will produce queues and rationing. Left wingers point out that the existing system produces rationing by price. Both wings are correct. Inevitably there will be rationing. The Left claims that experts in the health care administration can do the rationing more equitably and lower cost than our existing system. Libertarians suspect that National Health Care will employ many more administrators than needed, and doubt the results will be more equitable, or lower cost. They can point the empirical data from already existing Single Payer systems.
– We can say that under Single Payer, since Jimmy Kimmel is a visible, well paid person that the public has a good opinion of, his kid will be approved for heart treatment. While Dick Cheney will not be, and have to relocate to India to await heart treatment, pay out of pocket. (And maybe be subject to arrest and extradition for crimes against peace…)

Some comments on other posts

Used to be, in China, that doctors would charge one price for a diagnosis, and a higher price for a prescription guaranteed to work. At some point, whether it is our current system or Single Payer, everyone will have an ailment that can’t be treated. It might be a terminal ailment, like Sen. Ed Kennedy’s and Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor.

Under Single Payer the question ceases to be “Who will pay?” and instead becomes “Will they actually do it?”, akin to “Will they pay?” The hassles doctors’ staffs go through to get insurance payment will instead be transferred to hassles getting the government agency to pay. In Canada it helps to have your procedure done at the beginning of the month, before the monthly budget allocation is exhausted.

Former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, is that you?

You have economic theory wrong. Obviously, most always price will be greater than cost. Else the business goes out of business. But the price will actually be set in relation to the demand curve. Which day you travel before Christmas will determine your airplane ticket price.

Actually vice-versa. The costs to bring a new drug to market through FDA approval is much higher than the cost of executive management salaries and benefits, etc. And only one out of ten new drugs gets approved.

I have heard stated that if we all get socialized medicine, then costs will come down… But also that new health care developments will pretty much halt. We may never know what causes Alzheimers disease, as one example.

He was actually congressman for two terms, four years, representing an R+7 district in northeast WI. The Weekly Standard pointed out during his 2010 election run (he lost) that his ads lied quite a bit. He was one of 61 Democrats who lost their seats that year, said to be because of public reaction against the unpopular Obama-PPACA-care law.


Wrong. The only existing Single Payer systems we have are Medicare and Medicaid, and those show lower costs.

Wrong again. In economic theory, “cost” includes the cost of capital which includes the cost of debt and the “profits” paid to investors (for for-profit entities).

What a load of crap. If we spent all that money on the NIH and let them do the research, we’d get far greater returns on our investment, with no fudging on the data to get patents and profits. The data are clear that single payer health care is cheaper – even the people that oppose it (i.e. the Koch Brothers) agree with that.


What a great racket! First the government/corporate syndicate makes us sick with toxic vaccines, Roundup, aluminum chem trails, why-fry microwave everywhere, fluoridation, pesticides…long list, just call it toxic everything which has the government stamp of approval. Then the solution is always government/corporate/pharma/insurance cartel of slash, burn and poison and anything different is quackery for which you may be prosecuted. We have the best damn health care system that money can buy in the world. A health care system of the money, by the money and for the money. Are we lucky or what! QUIZ - What company that manufactures pesticides also makes cancer chemotherapy? Gopherit


And you answered a different question. Libertarians can point to US single-payer systems (Medicare, Medicaid), to US single-provider systems (what’s the diff?!) the VA and the Indian Health Service, and to single payer and provider systems of other countries, starting with Britain and Canada. You claim they are lower cost. Hmm? What is true is that they have maxed out what the public is willing to pay, and are cutting corners and degrading service in response to their budget shortfalls.

On administrator bloat, that has been documented in Britain by Dr. Max Gammon, “Health and Security”.

What are we arguing over? I say that in economic theory there is no connection between cost and price, beyond that price has to exceed cost most of the time. And in medicine price can far exceed the cost. Although we do see good news from time to time, such as Wall Street Journal Monday Nov. 19 2018 page A16 ‘Sticking it to Pharma - With Competition’ big text “A record pace of generic drug approvals is reducing prices.”

Not quite so cut and dried. The study showed that IF every assumption was fulfilled, then single payer would be cheaper. The study includes many reasons to think those assumptions won’t be met, and the cost quickly explodes. See
The Fiscal Implausibility of Medicare for All
August 13, 2018 6:30 AM


You need to brush up on your economics. Economic theory says that in a competitive market prices equal cost. Any price above cost represents something called “economic rent” which for laymen can be translated to mean excessive profits.


Or the patient could go to any number of countries abroad with cheap and competent modern medical facilities.
I think the article should be exploring why American medicine and pharma is so expensive.


And the expense of developing new drugs? We’re already funding the bulk of it. More than $100 billion in NIH funding went toward research that contributed, either directly or indirectly, to the 210 drugs approved between 2010 and 2016. Drug companies take that research, repackage, market and sell it back to us.


FDR – years of the NEW DEAL – and Social Security was part of that deal.

Elites have spent 70 years or so trying to overturn all of the New Deal.

Unregulated Capitalism is merely organized crime.

And, it’s also suicidal.


Quoting Dara: I haven’t contacted Common Dreams directly, but I’m still mulling over how to convince them we need “sticky” threads.

I love the idea of sticky threads for this site. I wish there was a sticky tread where you could post that idea!

Anyways - why wait to contact CD about that? I will go ahead and send them a message about it right now. I hope others do the same.


Hi Dara, I got a response from CD on my email about your “sticky thread” suggestion and they indicated that they are discussing this internally - so we’ll see what happens.