Sunday, September 20, 2009

The $322 Lunch

(This was originally published elsewhere July 20, 2009.)

Republicans appear to be increasing their efforts to kill democratic plans to reform health care. You can read about the debate between Obama and Steele and DeMint and others here.

I don't know much about this debate. But I do have my own experiences with our health care system. Recently, I went into the hospital for an EGD, which is an outpatient procedure. My wife and I were shocked to find out how much this will cost us. Just to give you an idea, here are a few of the services for which we were billed 20 percent:
  • Before the procedure, I spoke with the doctor who was in charge of performing it. I estimate that I spoke with him for about three minutes. This cost around $90. So my doctor's time is worth $1,800 an hour, or approximately $3,600,000 a year. Why didn't I get into the health care racket?
  • After the procedure, I spent perhaps half an hour in the recovery room. There I was treated to a glass of water, a cup of coffee, a slice of toast, and conversation with one to three nurses who were less interested in talking than I was. This cost $322. No, that toast was not topped with gold leaf. No, the nurses were fully clothed. At that rate, they should have Bobby Flay in the kitchen making the post-procedure victuals and nurses who think that I'm the greatest wit since Oscar Wilde.
I have news for Michael Steele: our current decades-long experiment with health care is not working. If you want me to oppose a plan offered by Obama or other democrats, then tell me, what is so good about what we have right now? Or what do you suggest we put in its place?

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, I am skeptical of the "80% are happy with their current plan" thing I keep hearing. Anyone who interfaces with the current system comes away frustrated. And it is frustrating for those of us who work in the system as well. There is room for debate about how to fix it, but anyone who says there is nothing to fix is just crazy.


Search This Blog


What I'm Following

It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson