“Total bill: $42,156.50, covering emergency surgery, scans, laboratory testing, and three hours in a recovery room. His insurer has said it will pay him about $8,184 (7,260.40 in Swiss francs), which is double the procedure’s price in Switzerland. This left him to cover the remaining roughly $34,000.” NPR
Presidential Candidate Tim Scott says America has the greatest healthcare system in the world. Yet this same procedure would cost about 1/7th the price in Switzerland, which is not exactly a backwater. Wait– no, it’s 1/10th (the insurance company voluntarily paid double). This is Switzerland- not Thailand or the Philippines (not that there’s anything deficient about health care in those countries).
If you took anything produced in some other country and gave an American company 10 times what it cost in that country and said see if you can produce one that’s better, well, heck, yeah, I think they probably could. They could certainly equal it. So if an American company could produce, say, a hockey stick for $1,200, I guess they could say it was the greatest hockey stick in the world and they might be right. If you want hockey sticks to cost $1,200.
Does that make the American company “the greatest”? I would argue that if it cost that much to make a hockey stick when everyone else knows how to make one for 1/10 the cost, they might be the worst.
And I’ll bet those sticks would break just as quickly as the $120 Canadian sticks. In terms of health care results, that is demonstrably true (life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than most other developed countries, including Canada).
The most depressing part of the story is the long list of itemized charges on this guy’s bill. It’s like this giant mechanical octopus with 100 arms wrapping itself around you and sucking as much blood out of you as it can. You’ll live, but those suction cup marks will be around for a long time.