Healthcare cost in the US

I occasionally rant about stuff that is just unfair and this is one of those moments – so why does it cost so much in the US for healthcare? I mean it’s quite a lot for the same treatment when you compare against India where I have personally experienced paying for healthcare. Here’s an example. In 2013, I experienced sever pain due to kidney stone and ended up going to ER. I stayed there for couple of hours. I was promptly attended to and had a full body CT Scan done. I left with prescribed pain killers and a suggestion to just let the stone pass naturally. Within a few days I was relieved from the suffering. However, I was shocked to see the bill I received a few weeks later. My ER visit cost me $8,000+ and since my deductible hadn’t met, I ended up paying close to $2,500 out of pocket. It all seemed ridiculous to me for 2 hours I spent there and for receiving pain killers and advise to wait it out.. such is the misery one has to go through here. The CT Scan alone was quite expensive and I am not sure if there was a need for it. Yet another example is when I went to a dentist and was asked to do a procedure that I didn’t need to – removal of wisdom teeth. Many will argue that it needs to be done eventually. However, I am yet to be convinced that I needed that done. In my family alone I haven’t heard of any complains about wisdom teeth from my father, mother or sister. They all live in India and haven’t had their wisdom teeth removed. Granted they probably don’t ever go to Dentist but even if they do I doubt if the Dentist in India will suggest wisdom teeth removal. So, why was I recommended? Nevertheless, I ended up getting that done too which set me back by a $1,000. Additional follow ups to the same Dentist led to even more suggestions about other procedures I can wait for until a few years but were expressed with such a sense of urgency that I couldn’t understand why? Eventually, I stopped going there… Another story heard from some Indian folks here in the US about a case where someone needed appendix removed. They ended up getting a bill of $20,000 and paying close to $7,000 out of pocket for a procedure that doesn’t cost more than $500 in India. My mother regularly visits a GP and pays $5 for a visit. She recently got an Ultra Sound done that cost $10. Here in US it’s close $1,000. I can go on and on but I think I am done ranting. It’s really sad to experience these costs in this great country when actually the opposite should be true. Healthcare should be affordable to everyone.

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