Monday, March 22, 2010

One Simple Question About Health Care

Why would surgery on a broken ankle, however difficult, have a total treatment cost in excess of $200,000?

It is not that I don't know the answer to this question. But it is the length of a book and it has lots of political landmines, having to do with the equation between expenses and incomes. Ultimately, though, we cannot afford this price tag as a country (just compare it to the median incomes), and I don't see how the new health care bill would address this.
Added later: Yes, this is not the day to think such thoughts, and I AM mostly pleased that millions more people will get coverage. But the health care sector still suffers from a few chronic conditions and long-term treatment is indicated.

Added even later: This case is not intended to reflect the average costs of ankle surgery but to point out that if we have too many outliers like this they will pull up the average over time.

Gah. This is a really stupid post.