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We must stop arguing about who pays the costs of medical care. We must begin to examine why the costs of medical care are so high!
A friend of mine had some chest pains after overdoing yard work. “Ray” sat down and waited but they didn’t go away. Ray’s wife “D” got very concerned and forced him to go to the hospital. This was a weekday evening about 6 p.m. D drove Ray in their car. They didn’t call an ambulance; they didn’t ride a helicopter.
When they arrived at an Emergency Room, Ray is the kind of guy who got at the end of the line forming in front of the Admitting Desk to wait his turn. After 10 or 15 minutes D mentioned to the couple ahead of them that Ray was having severe chest pains – might be having a heart attack – and those folks let Ray go in front of them. Very gracious people.
As soon as Ray reached the head of the line, everyone in the ER took him very seriously. They rushed him to an examining room, specialists were called, and Ray went directly to the place they do coronary work. By 1:30 a.m. Ray had a stint in place in a blocked artery. (A stint is a tiny expanding wire tube that is placed in and opens up a constricted blood vessel.) He spent the next 24 hours in the hospital. Ray was back home watching TV the day after, 40 hours after he left home for the hospital.
Ray, his family, and everyone who knows him including myself are grateful for the quick, efficient, effective care he received. Without that care he might very well have died.
Ray got his bill from the hospital. He hasn’t as yet gotten any bills from the doctors/specialists. His hospital bill alone . . . $55,000 plus.
Something has to be done about the runaway level of medical costs – $55,000 for two nights in a hospital and a minor surgical procedure is thought-provoking.
If we control the costs, the problem disappears. If we do not control the costs it will not matter who pays – you, me, an insurance company, an employer, Medicaid, Medicare – it won’t matter. We MUST control the costs! Not argue over who pays them.
Why does it cost so much?
Wayne William Cipriano