Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Best Health Care System In The World

Did you hear about the lady who was charged $83,046 by a Chandler, Arizona hospital to treat a scorpion bite?

Sounds fair, right? After all, as the opponents of "European style socialized' medicine are so fond of reminding us, "we have the best health care system in the world."

Of course, in Mexico, which for those of you who went to school in Arizona, is not in Europe, pharmacies charge about $100 per dose for scorpion anti-venom.

But we're not in Mexico, dammit!

So watch what happens through the magic of the "free market" and unfettered capitalism:

The American importer, using the efficiency of the best economic system ever devised, sells that same $100 anti-venom to its distributors for $3500. Per dose. Because, uh, well, because they can. Hey, people gotta eat!

The distributor then sells it to hospitals for $3780. Per dose.

And the hospital charged the lucky patient $39,652. Per dose.

Throw in the emergency room expenses and, voila, the total is $83,046.

For what pencils out to about three grand worth of treatment.

The lady's insurance company, no dummies they, agreed to pay only $57,505. Because somebody has to draw the line against soaring health care costs...(yes, I am being sarcastic again.)

I'm sure that everyone will agree that we'd be crazy to tamper with a system that works so well.

[The hospital involved has announced that they are lowering their charge for the venom to "just" $8000. Per dose. I guess going from grotesquely ridiculous to merely ridiculous is how we measure progress around here.]

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