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Steven Brill Bitter Pill Essay

867 words - 4 pages

U.S Health Care Systems Professor Asi [HSA 3111] Assignment #2 – Bitter Pill

Reading up on Steven Brill's TIME magazine article Bitter Pill has been a very informative and great read on the current standings of the healthcare industry. Before listening to Brill and the new healthcare reform under ObamaCare, I was under the assumption that the Unites States government was doing all they could to keep healthcare costs to a minimum. I was sadly mistaken.

In all 25,000+ words Steven Brill assigned to the topic of price gouging in U.S. healthcare, he covered all the aspects of why the healthcare bills are so high. He left no stone unturned, shed perspective and exposed the current ...view middle of the document...

.. Reason for a seemingly simple operation costing tens of thousands dollars burying uninsured patients in crushing debt and ultimately bankrupted.

In my opinion, the critiques focused on things like life expectancy and birth and death demographics. I see that they wanted to disprove Brill by comparing prices of pharmaceuticals to other nations, but I feel they didn't go far enough in their research. If anything, they just contributed more insight on semi-related issues. Although I cannot vouch for the accuracy of numbers Brill accumulated in his data, it definitely gave an enlightening overview of the value of "arm and a leg" in healthcare, and it’s disgusting. Brill accurately dubbed our current healthcare as "a profit motive with no accountability". There’s no way anyone can justify how a 3 mile trip to the emergency room should cost the same as an international flight to London. Or a box of gauze tissue should never costing $77, and a single niacin pill for $27. Never. All those ridiculous profits are going toward some affluent CEOs penthouse and Ferrari, while a family that can't even afford a car is getting evicted from their home due to preposterous healthcare expenses.

So it’s difficult to really say if we are getting what we pay for with healthcare. Fundamentally, the answer is no, isn’t black and white either; I look at it from this perspective. If you’re cured from Stage IV cancer and you had to pay $100,000 in medical bills – it’s probably worth the cost. However, if you fracture your ankle in a slip and fall, and get rushed to the

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hospital by paramedics, you’ll end up paying around $45,000 after...

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