by Dr Mercola
The documentary film The True Cost of Health Care6 by Dr. David Belk, MD (featured above) also reveals a number of shocking details that help explain the exorbitant cost of American health care. For example:
- Generic medications can cost 100 percent less than their brand-name equivalent, and usually cost less than most insurance co-pays. This means you might actually pay LESS by purchasing a generic medication out of pocket, compared to using your insurance if you have a co-pay. In essence, going through your insurance amounts to paying extra for the privilege of being overcharged…
- Hospitals routinely bill 10 or more times what they expect to be paid for any given service. As I discussed in a previous article, most hospitals end up receiving just 35 percent of what they bill, yet they still manage to make tens of millions of dollars in operating profits each year. Some hospitals, including Sloan-Kettering and MD Anderson, who are tougher in their negotiations with insurance companies, end up getting around 50 percent of their total billings.
- Most diagnostic tests and procedures are inexpensive to perform. However, the charges for these tests and procedures typically have no relation to the actual cost. Each hospital has an internal price list called a chargemaster, which contains every single item you may be given or come in contact with during your hospital stay. The problem is, no one quite knows how the prices in the chargemaster are created. What is clear is that there’s absolutely no market feedback to regulate and control the prices that are charged.
- Health insurance companies deliberately manipulate these costs to maintain their profits. As explained by TheTrueCostofHealthCare.org:7 “Health insurance companies can manipulate a patient’s out of pocket payments to make it appear as though health care is more expensive than it really is. Insurance companies sell security against financial risk. If no one really understands what that risk is (because all prices are hidden or deceptive) then the price of the security (insurance) can be grossly inflated.”