The Jaw-Dropping Cost of a Bandaged Finger Exposes the Issues ObamaCare Isn’t Fixing

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Excerpted Via IJ Review: Obamacare was touted as a way to make healthcare affordable for every American. In reality, it has not done that and, through excessive regulations, has instead driven up costs and made the problem worse for many.

Despite Obamacare, healthcare in the U.S. remains expensive. Take, for example, what one man was charged more than $8,000 for. NBC 4 New York reports:

Last August, Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski, of Bayonne, accidentally cut his finger with the claw-end of a hammer. He says he waited a few days for it to heal but the cut didn’t seem to be closing, so he went to the Bayonne Medical Center emergency room to ask whether he should get stitches.

*The nurse practitioner determined no stitches were necessary, he says. There was no X-ray either.

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While he was (somewhat understandably) charged $180 for a tetanus shot, $242 for sterile supplies, several hundred for the nurse practitioner’s services and $8 for antibacterial ointment, $8,200 of the bill was to cover the emergency room visit.

And who is to blame for the massive “emergency room visit” fee?

Dr. Mark Spektor, president and CEO of Bayonne Medical Center, blamed the high ER bill on Hanusz-Rajkowski’s insurance company — United Healthcare…He says Hanusz-Rajkowski’s bill was so high because United fails to offer fair reimbursement rates.

*But Mary McElrath-Jones, a spokeswoman for United Healthcare, suggested Carepoint is pursuing a predatory business model that avoids cutting price deals with insurers.

The insurance company ended up covering  $6,640 of the bill, and, eventually, the hospital agreed to write off the remaining debt. That’s a great ending for Hanusz-Rajkowski, but what about the countless other Americans who face similarly outrageous hospital bills for menial services?

Increasing government subsidies or nationalizing the system is not a viable solution to problems such as this one. So what is a better way to address healthcare’s high costs? Share your thoughts below.

 

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