Avik Roy says 60 Minutes missed a big one in its ♡bamaCare!!! coverage the other night — that hospitals will be charging you more under the law:
Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer and Court TV took a starring role in the health care debate when he published the Time article “Bitter Pill,” describing how hospitals charge extreme prices for ordinary care to the uninsured. For example, Sean Recchi, an uninsured lymphoma patient, went to MD Anderson Cancer Center, a world-renowned facility in Houston, to seek treatment. MD Anderson proceeded to charge him $283 for a $20 chest X-ray. They charged him more than $15,000 for blood tests costing a few hundred dollars. They charged him $13,702 for a dose of Rituxan, a lymphoma drug, for which the average U.S. hospital price is around $4,000. All told, Recchi’s course of treatment cost $83,900. Whatever he couldn’t pay was called “uncompensated care.”
MD Anderson is not struggling under the weight of bills unpaid by the uninsured. In 2010, MD Anderson recorded revenue of $2.05 billion and operating profits of $531 million. Brill recounted several other patients at other hospitals with similar stories.
This is a topic we’ve covered extensively at The Apothecary, and elsewhere: the U.S. hospital industry is the single largest example of crony capitalism in the history of civilization.
Government money corrupts most everything it touches. The only solution is to get Washington completely out of the business of providing, mandating, or regulating health insurance. The resulting savings and efficiencies in the overall economy would more than make up for anything anyone were to lose.