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What Does An Appendectomy Cost?

Tyler Durden's picture


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Source: Goldman Sachs


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Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:38 | 3749019 max2205
max2205's picture

Raped again

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:40 | 3749022 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

That costs extra

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:46 | 3749040 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Frontal lobotomies are free in DC and Ca.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:55 | 3749072 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

They don't have Alaska on there, which has some of THE HIGHEST health care costs in the US.

Recently, my wife and I had typical annual physical bloodwork done. We are both late 30s, very healthy, active, good diet, etc. Nothing unusual at all, just routine.


We are now planning to do annual health care, including some dental work she needs done, during a vacation in anther country. By the time one looks at deductibles, costs, etc ... we can get it done cheaper while on vacation!

I now resume my blissful KHYI afternoon at work ...



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:11 | 3749125 dryam
dryam's picture

All appendectomies are emergent, so that hospital is not an option.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:23 | 3749154 economics9698
economics9698's picture

WTF do you expect when the feds, state, and local governments pay the health care industry $1.1 trillion a year and insurance companies charge 12 cents on the dollar for services?



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:39 | 3749509 philipat
philipat's picture


I would rercommend Asia, but avoid Singapore which is now virtually US prices. Thailand is excellent with modern facilities and specialisists who are ALL US trained. I have US friends who have enjoyed a vacation in Thailand and had medical work done all, including Business Class airfares, for less than the cost of the medical work in the US.

As for Obamacare...."I'm from the Government and I'm here to help"?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:15 | 3749986 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Thailand IMO has great health care.  Like night and day compared to the homeland.

Thai people are famously kind and caring.  Just pay as you go, if you need to go, because it's affordable.  No need for no stinkin 'health insurance', but they'll help with the docs if you do have insurance to help you get reimbursed.  The clients at these places are from all over the world.

Some examples;

I'm approaching 60, so I went in for a complete check-up a few years ago at St. Louis Hospital.  When I hit sprint speed on the treadmill, the Dr. and nurse had to talk me down.  They said I was breaking the equipment and not to worry as I will never get a heart problem.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:28 | 3750031 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

What does an appendectomy cost?

An arm and a leg.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 06:46 | 3750785 Manthong
Manthong's picture

No  disrespect  intended TD .. it is Sunday morning and I am in a prayerful mood ..
 but..,    er maybe butt.. err ..   even butter  or any lube of your best discretion,,
heh.. heh   maybe more important ..
the thing to know would be the relative costs of a colonoscopy..
Particularly in Bloommie  Fingerman New York City , or Rahm it up your butt Chicago.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 06:51 | 3750787 BTFDemocracy
BTFDemocracy's picture

Need a root canal? Go to Mexico or Eastern Europe, pay the BEST dentists that house state of art equipment, enjoy a 'vacation' and still have money left over while enjoying better service than you would get at a great dentist in USA... all while paying prices that are <1/10th of a cheap/lousy US dentist.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 07:41 | 3750822 Manthong
Manthong's picture

OK,, close... but  I humbly submit that the best place to go for expertise, economy and a real great visit is Singapore. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 07:30 | 3750827 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is find out "Professional Dentist" is use Tungsten, not Gold (like NYC Gold Dealer), so Boris is now go to cousin Yuri who is teach Home Dentistry. Not is so bad, pain is toleration if drink vodka first.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 08:44 | 3750847 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Boris, my friend.. I speak good mangle English too...

But maybe not so much tungntsen..but way more Vodka .. maybe some Pb in teeth or other places too.. eh?  

oh.. and does entreprenurial cousin have sister (or mother) that has disposition for comforting?  

are your women any good?  

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 09:14 | 3750952 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Its free in Chna.

But then again, they take all your other organs too.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 11:42 | 3751322 ATM
ATM's picture

The government has removed consumers with vested interests from equation.

It's like the government telling every grocery store in the country to give us whatever they want the bill is on them and wodnering why rib eye steaks cost $250lb.

Our health care system provides the best health care in the world but there is no constraint on costs. The same thing happened to government employee pensions and benefits. Why the fuck would government bureaucrats not give us everything we wanted when they have unliimited money to spend? Their power depends on it.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:29 | 3749168 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Don't want to rain on Tyler's parade but there are different ways to skin the healthcare debacle.

I had insurance for a long time while I was in the employ of a major aerospace company. When I left to enter the world of entrepreneurhip, I had to go without insurance. I have raised 4 kids, had 4 surgeries and paid cash for everything.

What I found out is there is 2 prices at the doctor or hospital. If you have insurance it costs XXXXX.XX, if you pay cash you get an 80% discount...

In April of last year I had an obstructed bowel and had surgery to correct. The bill was ~$52K, after negotiating a cash payment the bill was settled for ~$13K.

Just my .02 on taking my healthcare into my own hands and out of the hands of a 3rd party.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:48 | 3749187 dryam
dryam's picture

Not completely accurate. For a long time hospitals have been charging the uninsured more, yes more. The rules of Obamacare are supposed to make this illegal.

The more likely explanation for why your bill was reduced was because you called & negotiated/complained. Works damn there every time.

The hospitals are so used to getting $0 from the uninsured that they were pleased as punch to get $13k.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:51 | 3749203 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

It's been "completely" accurate for me! Every doctor I've had in the past 15yrs has always given me a discouont for cash.

Their response has been that they would much prefer to discount for cash and get an immediate payment then bill and wait only to have the payment discounted by the insurer.

My duaghter had a leg injury during her High School cross country career, the hospital discounted 55% if I paid cash for her x-ray.

Obamacare is a disaster in the making and if you think it is any kind of equalizer for the poor, you've been hoodwinked!

It will only "create" more poor just like every other .gov program sold to the masses as a remedy.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:07 | 3749231 dryam
dryam's picture

Obamacare is no remedy. It's a complete disaster.

I'll be retiring early as will a large number of MD''s in high demand areas of medicine. Some of us will work part-time in free clinics, but mark my words, there's going to be a huge shortage of doctors in the coming years. The plan of replacing MD's with nurse practitioners is going drop the level of care much greater than buearocrats could have ever conceived. It's not going to be a pretty site.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:39 | 3749283 spooz
spooz's picture

I don't so much see having nurse practitioners as primary care providers as such a bad thing, particularly if they have experience in terms of clinical hours and know when to refer patients to specialists.  This is particularly true for patients at the low end of the food chain, where access and continuity of care problems make visits to the ER and being exposed to unneccesary tests their only choice. Here is the way one emergency medical practitioner sees it:

Also, maybe we can import more doctors when entrepreneurs such as yourself choose to leave, since we can't seem to get around that artificial restriction on training more of our own.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:52 | 3749416 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

You are a fucking idiot who knows nothing
The UK health service has stolen doctors from every 3rd world shithole and imported plenty of euro trash
Yes cheap.
But I used to spend 20% of my time sorting out their stuff ups
Have you seen the death rates in the UK?
Much from foreign docs who couldn't care less

Be careful what u wish for

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:07 | 3749569 spooz
spooz's picture

Yeah, I've seen statistics for outcomes of the UK compared to the Us, but YOU obviously haven't.  For all the extra money the US spends on health care per capita, the only rich country with a higher death rate is Denmark.  Go study up on FACTS.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 05:13 | 3750730 spooz
spooz's picture

Wow.  ONLY 13,000 died needlessly in a 5 year stretch in the UK?  Try 180,000 deaths PER YEAR from hospital errors in the US. Chicago hospitals have the worst record.  Get a clue.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:59 | 3749433 dryam
dryam's picture

"entrepreneurs such as yourself choose to leave"

I guess your definition of entrepreneur would be consistent with one volunteering in a free clinic after they retire.  That's not my definition.  So go fuck yourself.

The reasons MD's will be quitting in regards to Obamacare has nothing to do with income. Foreign trained MD's are a good solution. Frankly, many of the best MD's I've known are foreign born.  As long as someone can pass the various certification tests then it does not matter where they received their training.  Going into medicine in this country is a daunting endeavor.  First, it is very costly with median education debt around $170k with some being $300k+.

In addition to the debt incurred, there as a big opportunity cost with a minimum of 7 years post-graduate work (4 years med school & 3+ years residency). 

I also would not say that there is an "artificial restriction" on training MD's in the U.S.  It's not only expensive for the individual going through the process, it's expensive for society because it's a shared cost, but particularly so in the U.S. because anytime the government funds anything they do it in a very inefficient manner.


NP's have their place, but I've already seen them in positions where they are in way over their heads.  Give it time.  This is only the beginning.  The number of NP's is going to go up exponentially.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:27 | 3749613 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

No downie from me, but I see one rub with the "foreign doctor" solution. When the Administration sees that there is a shortage of doctors, and not enough coming in from other countries, there will be pressure to lower the standards to get enough.

Eventually, we will be producing 100,000 new doctors per month, comrade, and nobody will admit to waiting in line to see the doctor!

And the "artificial restriction" that he's talking about is certification by the AMA, who wishes to keep the number of doctors low enough to ensure high demand for those already in the guild.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 11:50 | 3751339 ATM
ATM's picture

The solution is much simpler than that. Fill out you Obamacare form and reveal all of your bad habits.

Having heart problems? Tough shit. You didn't eat the Obama diet and exceeded the Obama calorie intake amounts. In other words you are fat. No Care For You!


Have a lovely purple and black mole on your shoulder that's getting bigger buy the day? Well you didn't wear the prescribed sunscreen. No Care For You!

It's all so simple really. The Gov will have all of your purchase histories can refer to all of you conversatins, Facepage posts, emails etc and determine that you lived a poor life not deserving of very valuable health care that proper citizens should be receiving.

Doctor shortage? What doctor shortage? 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:42 | 3749648 spooz
spooz's picture

Allowing more NPs to practice under the direction of experienced NPs and MDs is a much better way of addressing the shortage of primary care physicians than allowing the current system, as described by the emergency care practitioner in the link I supplied, than anything else we have at this point.

The majority of NPs have years of experience as registered nurses to draw on before starting their graduate education, are able to focus on the population they will be treating and don't need to rotate through specialties after graduation, which is overlooked when comparing them to MDs. In addition, MDs spend years of training on specialties that are not necessary for primary care. A study by Emanuel and Fuchs published  in JAMA, "Shortening Medical Training by 30%" calls for compression of medical school to 3 years (or expansion of 5-6 year combined college/med school programs), reduction in general internal medicine residency and surgical residency by one year, and an elimination of mandatory research years for all fellows: ”It is wasteful to add years of training for all physicians to ensure the small minority destined to be researchers has the opportunity to engage their interest in research.”

The average NP has 9.3 years of experience, and yet doesn't get to graduate out of supervision, which doesn't seem right. What needs to happen is for standards to be developed for NP residency, but there are many seasoned NPs who are just as capable as MDs of being primary care providers right now.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:52 | 3750128 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

Kudos!  I have a nurse practitioner as my primary, and I have nothing bad to say about her.  She is great for the flu, gyn exams, and other shit that is routine.  If I ever needed a physician, she would be the first one to let me know.  I say leave the surgeries to the doctors.

She diagnosed me as having two vitamin deficiencies after I'd been to three physcians for unexplained fatigue.  She's tops in my book!  :)

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 03:23 | 3750649 dunce
dunce's picture

Glad to see some doctors reading ZH, and i agree that "give it time" will prove you right. The champions of obama care will find that they have selected their own euthanasia only it will be called cost control. You would be wasting your time responding to your critics. Just give them a down arrow and move on. The price of ignorance is often death.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 04:37 | 3750713 Jimmy Carter wa...
Jimmy Carter was right's picture

this is funny

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:43 | 3750511 Babaloo
Babaloo's picture

A real doctor would have known how to spell bureaucrat.

I call bullshit.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 10:05 | 3751048 sleepingbeauty
sleepingbeauty's picture

Why do you think drs have such messy handwriting, so that you can't see their spelling mistakes. =)

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:41 | 3749299 connda
connda's picture

Yeah -- equalizer for the poor...not!

If it truly was an equalizer there would be ONE plan for everyone.  None of this "Metal" based BS, exemptions for the connected, and custom plans for Congress.

If you're well off, you can afforded the higher end options and a 90/10 outlay.  However, lower middle class folk get screwed and will be bankrupted by the 60/40 deductible that they will be unable to afford.  Their first medical emergency puts them into financial trouble.  I'm surprised that they didn't write into the bill that medical cost are non-dischargable during bankruptcies.  The lower middle class are going to get squeezed into poverty, which seems to be the goal of ACA.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:11 | 3749440 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

Imagine what would happen to the cost of healthcare if you could not only do without health insurance but ALSO have the government's involvement completely eliminated.  Those are the two real drivers of healthcare's explosive cost.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 12:03 | 3751381 ATM
ATM's picture

Imagine if individuals actually boght the insurance for themselves and shopped rather than being entitled by being employed or having it supplied for free by the government.

The reason health insurance sucks is bacause nobody has an interest in the costs of their insurance except for a very few of us who buy our own. But for us the choices are so fiucked up and the government regs so insane that it doesn't matter any longer. Why the fuck do employers have to give health benefits again? Why doesn't everyone simply buy their own?

It's because the fucking "progressive" government wants to completely control health care. It's 'the keystone in the arch of communism'. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:40 | 3749637 yogibear
yogibear's picture

When people paid outright overall  costs were a lot less. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:40 | 3750503 monoloco
monoloco's picture

My experience was that the doctor was willing to give a discount for cash, but the hostpital charged more than what insurance would pay, and refused to negotiate.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:22 | 3749268 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

Whoever junked you is a moron. You are absoluetely correct. Secondly, how many peple are even bright enough to ask or negotiate? Pricing is completely opaque for the most part and a joke. $50 band-aids and $80 aspirin are not unusual on a hopital bill only to be marked down for managed care networks. Cash prices at your local pharmacy  are called "Ususal & Customary" aka high retail++ (unless you play the stupid discount card game if you have them). I was in this fiasco for 25+ years and know what's up. So, I ask again, how many Joe six-packs negotiate with their doctor of pharmacist? NONE and that's the way most of them want it.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:28 | 3749272 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Hospitals have negotiated price agreements with health insurers which lets them plan for that profit stream.

Charging the uninsured more is part of a strategy to inflate the eventual bad debt writeoff to offset profit and lower total taxes.

If you are uninsured and intend to pay, they will work with you and retroactively produce a more reasonable bill.

There are many uninsured patients who enter a hospital with no intention of paying anything. Many use hospitals to avoid paying for asprin and other over-the-counter items - they often wait for hours for common, low-priced items. Their usefulness for hospitals is to provide the largest possible tax deduction.

The sad part is, some people go bankrupt or worse trying to pay an outrageous bill, not knowing it is almost always negotiable.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:31 | 3749285 dryam
dryam's picture


Well said.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:43 | 3749302 Cugel
Cugel's picture

>The sad part is, some people go bankrupt or worse trying to pay an outrageous bill, not knowing it is almost always negotiable.

The sadder part is, from the graphic at least, that Medicare is one of those people

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:18 | 3749260 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

ALL healthcare is negotiable.  I haven't paid a full bill EVER.

Once you get past the deductible, doctors and hospitals will negotiate prices.  But you have to get past the deductible.

If you pay cash, you ALWAYS get a discount, but you have to work it out ahead of time.  If you don't ask any questions, that's what they count on.


BTW, services in Europe understate prices.  It's not a valid comparison.  Since there is no market, and prices are not set based on the variety of factors employed here in the US, it's apples and oranges.



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:44 | 3749303 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

when I was living in VT half the year I'd go see this country doc who charged $85 for a 30 minute visit - and $64 if I paid cash, which I always did. One day he gave me a pretty complete physical and froze a basal cell carcinoma off my nose - all for $65. I asked him how he could do it - he said something quite rare - "I like helping people."

Then I think of that drunk Goldman fuck who hasseled the black couple and deservedly got his lights punched out. A tale of two cities.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:16 | 3749355 mt paul
mt paul's picture

a tale of

two species....

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:33 | 3750479 Dyhana
Dyhana's picture

My Vermont doctor was the same. I had no health insurance, he knew I was just making ends meet. If I had to go see him for anything he didn't charge me much. If it was more than I could afford all at once, we worked out a payment plan of $20 a month until I paid him off. God bless Dr. Keith Michl, great doc and fine human being.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 09:50 | 3751023 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

damn, I miss Vermont (6 months out of the year anyway lol)

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:17 | 3749142 flacon
flacon's picture

What we need is a government run free health care system like Europe and Canada because Capitalism has failed. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:35 | 3749175 remain calm
remain calm's picture

If you think the healthcare in Canada or Europe is better then go there and get your care. Good luck with getting scheduled for any non emergent surgeries. What you don't know may kill you.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:08 | 3749234 asteroids
asteroids's picture

Actually its NOT that bad in Canada. We always have the option of quickly crossing the border if we have the cash. I once got an MRI done within 24hrs that way by going to Buffalo from Toronto. Slowly but surely, we will find a way of opening up private clinics that take only cash. For example the Shouldice Hospital in Toronto is a world class hernia repair facility. They take cash too!

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:59 | 3749323 flacon
flacon's picture

Oh come on! I was making a joke. Government doesn't PROVIDE anything other than taxation and misery. It most certainly doesn't provide roads and infrastructure. That is MYTH. 


Good thing I got half up and half down votes because I don't know how you interpreted my statement. Government is a PARASITE, nothing less. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:12 | 3749350 prains
prains's picture

Broke my back,ribs, puncture lung in a car accident being driven over by a texter in a RAM 1500, little sister had a death sentence cancerous growth on her superior vena cava (google it) both alive today and could probably kick most of your asses, pretty sure I could kick kito's at least. No wait, no hassle, lives saved, no bill. Thank you Canadian Health Care. You fools keep sucking on the propoganda.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:43 | 3749395 bonderøven-farm ass
bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Appears your grey matter got jarred as well.  BTW, you aren't kickin' anyone's're Canadian.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:49 | 3749408 prains
prains's picture

LOL, the only sport that fights as part of the game is canadian, but I'd get winded these days.Try throwing punches one day standing on a soaped up sheet of plastic, you'll see why fights never last a minute. BTW I'll put up my 6-4 250 any day of the week, it's still fun sometimes but we gotta keep it to 2 min. tops.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:33 | 3749494 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

The last time I was in the Mayo Clinic (MN office) about 10% of the cars in the parking garage had Canadian license plates. Why is that? 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:05 | 3749562 flacon
flacon's picture

Try telling that to anyone who uses the term "Crony Capitalism". And that is my point.... why even bring the term "capitalism" to the fight when we don't and haven't had Capitalism for at least more than a millenium. Glad you can see through my sarcasm. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:07 | 3749568 flacon
flacon's picture

I moved from USA to Canada four years ago. Unfortunately I haven't been sick enough to tell you which is better, but I hear that both countries are going to go bankrup when the baby boomers start dieing and need 24/7 medical help.... 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:04 | 3750386 cifo
cifo's picture

So the majority of the commenters here are Canadian?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 00:54 | 3750356 prains
prains's picture

10% of them means they're there for elective surgery which would cost money on either side of the border

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:14 | 3749247 TheMeatTrapper
TheMeatTrapper's picture

Capitalism hasn't failed. It's been outlawed for a long, long time. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:04 | 3749558 flacon
flacon's picture

Try telling that to anyone who uses the term "Crony Capitalism". And that is my point.... why even bring the term "capitalism" to the fight when we don't and haven't had Capitalism for at least more than a millenium. Glad you can see through my sarcasm. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:11 | 3749576 flacon
flacon's picture

The next time someone on ZH uses the term "crony capitalism" would you join me in lambasting them? It will probably be Charles Hugh Smith from Simple Two Minds.....

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:19 | 3749264 Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name's picture

... a government run free health care system

Free? Really?

Or did you forget the /sarc tag?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:05 | 3749560 flacon
flacon's picture

Try telling that to anyone who uses the term "Crony Capitalism". And that is my point.... why even bring the term "capitalism" to the fight when we don't and haven't had Capitalism for at least more than a millenium. Glad you can see through my sarcasm. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:59 | 3749332 Georgiabelle
Georgiabelle's picture

Right...Let's emulate the system in Great Britain, the source of this horrific NHS scandal:


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:05 | 3749561 flacon
flacon's picture

Try telling that to anyone who uses the term "Crony Capitalism". And that is my point.... why even bring the term "capitalism" to the fight when we don't and haven't had Capitalism for at least more than a millenium. Glad you can see through my sarcasm. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 04:31 | 3750711 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Interesting article - but a Telegraph article nevertheless.

Where are the NAMES of these "excess deaths"

Local Trust demographics? Deathrates are always higher in areas of relative poverty and social stress - and looking at the Trusts - ALL of these are in relatively deprived areas.

Interesting that there are NO "clusters of excess deaths" in the rather wealthier Trusts isn't it - and as an ex Portsmouth NHS Trust employee I find their absence at the top of the list a bit strange - well over the average for orthopaedic infections, well over the average for disillusioned staff turnover, not helped by rain coming through the theatre roofs whilst I was there.

This is not a meaningful article, rather, it is the same old Telegraph crap from a paper with a very well known political bias.

Incidentally, despite World record high costs for basic surgery in the USA, your infection rates are pretty crap, aren't they -, along with over-use of antibiotics to treat these infections -

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:28 | 3750463 Manic by Proxy
Manic by Proxy's picture

Another "capitalism has failed" troll. You should be ashamed of your dishonesty, your ignorance, your cheesy fries.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 07:32 | 3750833 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

No, it is that bad in Canada.
Fuck a waiting list, I'll keep my Japanese insurance active after I move back home next week. Any serious stuff pops up I'm on a Goddamn plane to Tokyo.

My Japanese dentist told me two weeks ago to get a CT scan. I went to the hospital the next day. From the time I walked through the door, through consultation, CT scan, and final consultaion, I was done in less than 60 minutes and with insurance the 30% deductible only cost me the equivalent of $50CAD. If that were to happen to me anywhere in Canada besides say, Toronto, or Vancouver, I'd be looking at a fight just to get referred to a specialist, then a months long wait, then weeks for the results.

Any Canadian telling you it isn't that bad, has certainly never experienced rural Canadian healthcare in it's modern reality. Shit, most people in Canada can't even get a family doctor anymore...

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:18 | 3749177 dryam
dryam's picture

Tell your MD that you want a lab slip & you'll get your labs done at LabCorp (prices are listed on their web site). They are generally much cheaper than any other place, Hospitals & doctors offices typically charge outrageous prices, I'm an MD & only found this out 2 years ago when my hospital's lab charged me $500 & i found out later it would have been around $150 at LabCorp,

Our system is completely insane. There are so many problems. In general, it's the big companies (hospital systems, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc.) making the big money, not those providing the care such as the MD's, nurses, etc. Sure, some MD's are wildly overpaid, but they are the exception. A huge percentage of people pay next to nothing for their medical care, and those that do pay are paying extra to compensate. And who is the big enabler behind this system that has no incentives in place to eliminate waste, fraud, & abuse throughout the system? Its the politicians who have been elected by those benefitting from it and those who are completely clueless to the fact of how much they are getting ripped off.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:44 | 3749644 Obese-Redneck
Obese-Redneck's picture

An MD withtime for ZeroHedge?  Truly amazing!  Hard to believe wink wink.

I'm a fortune 500 CEO.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:54 | 3749658 KingFiat
KingFiat's picture

The problems are twofold: Lack of effective competition, and lack of good market information.

I am kind of glad I live in a society with almost socialist health care. Two years ago I had my appendectomy. It was almost a day late because of a late lab result. And because of this I had a complication causing me to stay in the hospital for two more days. I paid absolutely nothing for this treatment (except the high taxes I always pay here).

In the US there would have been a court case regarding the extra costs. I did not care, as the treatment and my leave from work was paid for by the state. No need to sue the people who already paid the costs. But the price of a court case would probably have been higher that the price of the treatment.

Maybe this is one of the reasons the US health care system is more expensive than in other countries?


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:26 | 3750022 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

- The problems are twofold: Lack of effective competition, and lack of good market information.

The main problem with health care in the US is that there is health-care cabal  of bankster loving leaches that need to skim off of folks medical problems.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:27 | 3750026 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

Socialism is great till you run out of Other People's Money.  And that has happened everywhere Socialism has been tried. Then they borrow. Then thier currencies collapse and the socialist get what they really want - poverty spread equally in an envrionment where no one demonstrates superioirty in any endeavor. Kill Ivan's Goat. Because really they just can't stand anyone doing better than they are - no matter how hard they work , or how much effort they expend. 

There are lots of reasons costs in the US are higher -  including those you mention, but  I would like to see that same map overlaid with the success rates, and how many proceedures experienced complications, as you did.   Maybe you are getting exactly what you pay for - and when you add up those high taxes that you pay back into the "lower" cost for the proceedure, is it still lower, or did you just pay the higher rate (or more)  over a longer period of  time?

Really, you want to join a co op where you share medical experiences, have a ball.  Use the power of government to make others join against thier will, and  you are nothing better than a slaver. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:25 | 3750452 Manic by Proxy
Manic by Proxy's picture

You are living in a workers' paradise.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 22:06 | 3749677 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


direct lab services.......huge discount, blood samples taken at lab corp, work done at lab corp. No need to give your doctor or local hospital the major donation to the profit pool any more. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 22:09 | 3749682 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


direct lab services.......huge discount, blood samples taken at lab corp, work done at lab corp. No need to give your doctor or local hospital the major donation to the profit pool any more. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:04 | 3749102 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

They are not only free, but mandatory.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:02 | 3749218 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Everywhere else the cost is included in the cable tv fees.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:45 | 3749525 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Frontal lobotomies are free in DC and Ca.

They are not only free- they are a requirement for living and working there!

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 12:35 | 3751468 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The IRS audit however, will be no-charge.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:56 | 3749080 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

At least you get a chocolate on your pillow post op.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:58 | 3749085 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Just do yourself a favor and don't look at the line item on your bill for said chocolate.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:17 | 3749255 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

How much for an addadicktome?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:31 | 3749488 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Depends on how long you've been without one.  Seems like a long time for you.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:19 | 3749997 Jimmy Carter wa...
Jimmy Carter was right's picture

US healthcare is excellent but as everyone knows far to expensive.  This is what you get when you call healthcare an "Industry".  The recent NYT article about colonoscopy prices is right on as well.  Why should a procedure cost $6,000?  Until the government takes full control of healthcare you will "pay out the ass" excuse the pun.  This is capitalism at it's finest! You should be cheering for joy for your excellent healthcare!  Every doctor should make 3 million per year!  They are walking gods, do you not know this? BTW I paid $200 for my colonoscopy, it was not pleasant by US standards, but at least I didn't get "reamed", well just a little.  Last time I was visiting the US I got a tube of skin cream from the dermatologist, $200. For one ounce. What a country.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 16:25 | 3752195 akak
akak's picture

Bawney Fwank will do your colonoscopy for free, but only if you are male and under the age of 30.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 13:46 | 3751705 SGS
SGS's picture


Sun, 07/14/2013 - 16:21 | 3752184 lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

Just curious how the prices were calculated. Outside the US were the calculations for the full cost the hospitals billed only to the government  or to the patient or both. What subsidies through higer taxes like VAT are funded  as general maintenance continually? Is hospital and doctor compensation coming only from the gov. or a combination of government and patient and continuous subsidies?

Just asking as I know nothing about any other country's health care systems. It just seems like 1/5th the cost is too big a difference. Do these other countries charge foreign nationals those prices or only their own?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:40 | 3749025 hivekiller
hivekiller's picture

Fascism pays. Just ask the health industry that wrote Obamacare.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:10 | 3749122 knukles
knukles's picture

The whole system is geared to enriching the participants to the cost of the little guy.

There's nothing in ACA about health care... its about Money

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:19 | 3749468 infinity8
infinity8's picture

It's about insurance, not health care.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:43 | 3749522 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Zackly..theres only illness and crisis care here in usa..
I had heard years ago, not sure if true, doctors in China received payment to keep you well....
Health care is another oxymoron..

Its cheaper to stay well than get well..

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:29 | 3749165 Zero Debt
Zero Debt's picture

When The Great Leader tells an Obamadrone that it will get everything for free and everything will be all right, the Obamadrone just shuts down its logical processing unit, instinctively starts to sob, cry and shout slogans.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:43 | 3749027 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thank God I had mine out when they were still doing it on the cheap with rusty knives and shoe strings for stitching. It only took me a couple years to pay the bill in full. Now they take your first born as collateral before they even schedule. And that's if you have insurance. Otherwise it's cash on the barrelhead.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:56 | 3749078 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I still have mine, and my tonsils as well.  Fingers crossed.  Got a good look at that appendix when I got the obligatory colonoscopy last month.  Looks pretty fine... for now.  Having the procedure done un-sedated was great since I got to chat with the doc about the volatile price of silver.  Found out he's a stacker!

I remember as a kid, about 12 or so, that my mom took me to the doc's office.  Don't know why I remember so well, but the bill was $26 which she paid in cash as we left the office.  That woulda been about 1960 or so. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:07 | 3749111 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

Oh, aren't you special!  In my day, Sonny, they took your appendix out with a dull wooden spoon, and they just stuffed the hole with a dead cat. 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:09 | 3749118 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Why don't they just reach up yer ass and jerk it out?  I mean, it's just right there.  What's with all the extra  pampering?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:12 | 3749130 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

You are thinking of brain tumor surgery.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:22 | 3749267 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

I had mine removed by a psychic healer.  It's been gone for several days, but my belly is extended and pain hasn't subsided.  She said that's normal post-psychic surgery.  And it only cost me a sawbuck.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:17 | 3749358 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

I talked to my psychic, and she assured me that I am replying to the dead.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:20 | 3750435 Manic by Proxy
Manic by Proxy's picture

Bet she didn't see that one coming......

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:42 | 3749031 Scro
Scro's picture

Are you saying socialized Medicine works? What about wait times.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:50 | 3749051 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

My doctor gave me six months to live. I couldnt pay my bill. He gave me another six months

      -Henny Youngman

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:53 | 3749068 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

That made my day, probably tomorrow's as well.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:20 | 3749147 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

+1 - ... I asked for a second opinion.  He said, okay, you're ugly, too.

-- Rodney Dangerfield



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:47 | 3749195 nmewn
nmewn's picture

ROTFL!!!...I'm with Skates...thank you both ;-)

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:42 | 3749032 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Medical Tourism is bad, M'Kay.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:58 | 3749087 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Who says?  I hear Thailand is nice this time o' year.  You get to lay on the beach, all bandaged up and drugged out.  Who could ask for more?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:45 | 3749190 kito
kito's picture

Better in Mexico. Anesthesia is tequila and the instrument of choice is a sharp rock.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:14 | 3749249 spooz
spooz's picture

Patients Without Borders compiles information on medical tourism, including patient stories. Mexico is one of 53 countries that have received Joint Commission International accredidation:

"Since research began on the first edition of Patients Beyond Borders, Mexico has made great strides in healthcare. No longer known only for border-town dentistry and cosmetic surgery, Mexico has in recent years come into its own as a global healthcare hub, offering patients an array of specialties and procedures that now begin to rival its competitor nations in Asia."

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:46 | 3749308 divedivedive
divedivedive's picture

We moved to Mexico earlier this year. We live in a large city (with an excellent hospital) and currently are enrolled in the "social" healthcare system. Cost for the two of us... about $550 USD per year. Our dedicated "primary care physician" is much better than any we had in the States. But in fairness - there are lines at times. That appendectomy would probably cost us $0 USD here. Since neither of us had employee sponsored coverage we were spending $12K per year in the States. Oh and those $11K in property taxes we were paying... well.



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:24 | 3749475 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Surgery = complications

I don't like fixing other people's stuff ups although I do it a lot.

If something goes wrong with your surgery abroad you can safely expect to never be the same again
Thems the facts

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:52 | 3749536 spooz
spooz's picture

Says you.  Got any data to back up your "facts"?  I thought not.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:03 | 3750380 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

You wont get this but I saw a girl recently who had her tits done in Thailand
Far too big and she got an infection, maybe bad enough to need them out
The local plastic surgeons didn't want to touch her
So she headed off to wait in line in the public clinic, in agony

Your advice to people is given with the ignorance of someone who is non accountable

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 21:35 | 3749631 Tompooz
Tompooz's picture

I think the Philippines has a great future for medical and dental tourism, and even more for palliative care, being more English speaking than Thailand and having a worldwide reputation  for compassionate nursing.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:23 | 3749273 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Sorry, I neglected to put the (sarc) tag on that post.

In all seriousness, the people I know from Europe and Canada do not complain about the medical care, but do complain about the VAT and other other taxes.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:43 | 3749033 pussfeller
pussfeller's picture

What does an appendectomy cost whom? The insurance company? The patient? The Government who sucks up 90% of your income on those places where its only a dollar to get your tonsils yanked?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:04 | 3749341 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

5 years ago I had an appy. Simple laparoscopy and no complications. I left the hospital AMA a day earlier because we were going to miss our vegas vacation. The final bill to my insurance company was $40,000. Damn near flipped.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 19:49 | 3749409 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

'Noninvasive' to your body, invasive to yer coffers.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:36 | 3749506 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Yep that's a problem
In Australia that bill would be $10000 max

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 16:27 | 3752201 akak
akak's picture

But they would feed you Vegemite in the hospital too.

I'd say the extra $30,000 for the US procedure is worth it.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:28 | 3752947 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I almost tried Vegemite when in Australia but a dear kind friend warned me it would be a horrid experience so I passed. Friends don't let friends eat durian and Vegemite!


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:44 | 3749036 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

The question is why?  

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:02 | 3749096 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Because you need 30 modern doctors to Google shit and come to a consensus, vs. a real doctor of old.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:21 | 3749151 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

God help you if the operating room ILS is not functioning.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 22:55 | 3749899 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

Worse if Dr. Sum Ting Wong is your doctor.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:03 | 3749100 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Government intervention. 


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:15 | 3749135 spooz
spooz's picture

In other coutries with single payer health care, the government negotiates prices with health care providers.  So in Canada, if you need an appendectomy, it costs you... $0! No incentive to keep costs low in the good old free market USA, though. 

And guess what?  People with appendicitis are NOT turned away in Canada, emergency care is not waitlisted.  But lets all complain about WAIT TIMES.  Nobody here ever has to wait for health care at all, as long as they can afford a Cadillac plan or the Consierge service that those at the top of our two tiered health care system can afford (similar to the two tiered legal system).

Won’t this just be another bureaucracy?

"The United States has the most bureaucratic health care system in the world. Over 31% of every health care dollar goes to paperwork, overhead, CEO salaries, profits, etc. Because the U.S. does not have a unified system that serves everyone, and instead has thousands of different insurance plans, each with its own marketing, paperwork, enrollment, premiums, and rules and regulations, our insurance system is both extremely complex and fragmented.

The Medicare program operates with just 3% overhead, compared to 15% to 25% overhead at a typical HMO. Provincial single-payer plans in Canada have an overhead of about 1%.

It is not necessary to have a huge bureaucracy to decide who gets care and who doesn’t when everyone is covered and has the same comprehensive benefits. With a universal health care system we would be able to cut our bureaucratic burden in half and save over $300 billion annually."



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:42 | 3749514 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Wow, the prices are low because the government negotiates them for everyone.. Marvelous, let's do away with the unnecessary free market!

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 22:07 | 3749679 KingFiat
KingFiat's picture

The cost means nothing when you have acute appendicitis. You just want to survive.

This is a market anomaly. Buyer wants to buy at any price, while sellers can keep high prices. The buyer has to act fast to survive, and the sellers can just wait for an even better price..

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 18:02 | 3749217 you enjoy myself
you enjoy myself's picture

The question is why?

lawyers and illegal immigrants.  an appendectomy is performed in a hospital.  ever been to an emergency room in the last decade or two?  its usually about 80% illegals who go there as their primary care option, since they're uninsured and by law the hospitals have to treat them.  the hospital has to make up that cost somewhere, and that somewhere is you and me.

malpractice litigation costs the US over 6 times more than Canada, and that gets even more pronounced when you're dealing with specialists (like, say, the anesthesiologist needed for an appendectomy).  and the defensive medicine that arises from fear of litigation is estimated to waste 5-6 times as much money as the litigation costs themselves.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 20:49 | 3749530 spooz
spooz's picture

Um, no. 

48.2 million persons in the US don't have health insurance.  Roughly half of illegal immigrants don't have it, around 6 million.  The $4.3 billion estimated cost for treating these illegal immigrants is less than 10% of the $49 billion we spend annually on the uninsured. The relatively young age and generally good health of illegal immigrants means a lower average cost compared to the citizens who slip through the cracks of our health care system.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:46 | 3749039 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Doctor when you are done taking your fist out of my ass, do you mind taking out my appendix ???

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:47 | 3749042 richard in norway
richard in norway's picture

Holy shit, you guys are getting screwed

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:12 | 3750410 Manic by Proxy
Manic by Proxy's picture

At the prices we pay, we should be getting ROYALLY screwed. Oh, wait....

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:48 | 3749043 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

If you're referring to different global prices, a better example is that decent pussy is only $5 in Thailand, but the entrepreneurial  sex-on-the-side women  of  America want $200, and that's for the old, fat, or ugly ones.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:14 | 3749138 WmMcK
WmMcK's picture

But is Ag also $5 to dig it out of the ground there?

If so, I'll have Siamese twins for $10, Alex.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:47 | 3749045 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

My Gall bladder operation was going to cost me 14,000. I took the natural approach and i am feeling much better. The symptoms dissapeared within a week.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:58 | 3749083 nflux
nflux's picture

same here. figured out what food was causing the attacks and have been free of problems for 13 years.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:02 | 3749093 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

Olive oil, lemons, apple cider vinegar and milk thistle worked wonders

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:11 | 3749123 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You got a link to instructions on how to milk that thistle?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:48 | 3749048 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Inflation?  I can't see any inflation.

I don't see another housing bubble either.

So glad Obamacare is going to make healthcare affordable.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:58 | 3749084 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:50 | 3749052 sirk1t
sirk1t's picture

I presume indirect socialism costs are not included...

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 16:51 | 3749054 Divine Wind
Divine Wind's picture




Part of this dramatic cost disparity is due to our lawsuit-happy society.

The insurance costs for hospitals, surgeons, etc is astronomical.

Having recourse, or a way to "get paid" if some forgets to count surgical sponges before closing up does come at a price.

Still, I would prefer to have invasive procedures done in a U.S. hospital.

After that, Germany.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:06 | 3749092 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Insurance company propaganda.  Texas passed sweeping medical tort reform a few years ago.   Insurance rates and doctor bills kept going up unabated.   The same people who argued for this said that deregulating big banks would improve service and improve the financial health of the banking sector (in the early 2000's).

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 17:23 | 3749153 spooz
spooz's picture
"What will happen to malpractice costs under national health insurance?

They will fall dramatically, for several reasons. First, about half of all malpractice awards go to pay present and future medical costs (e.g. for infants born with serious disabilities). Single payer national health insurance will eliminate the need for these awards. Second, many claims arise from a lack of communication between doctor and patient (e.g. in the Emergency Department). Miscommunication/mistakes are heightened under the present system because physicians don’t have continuity with their patients (to know their prior medical history, establish therapeutic trust, etc) and patients aren’t allowed to choose and keep the doctors and other caregivers they know and trust (due to insurance arrangements). Single payer improves quality in many ways, but in particular by facilitating long-term, continuous relationships with caregivers. For details on how single payer can improve the quality of health care, see “A Better Quality Alternative: Single Payer National Health Insurance.” For these and other reasons, malpractice costs in three nations with single payer are much lower than in the United States, and we would expect them to fall dramatically here. For details, see “Medical Liability in Three Single-Payer Countries"

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