Nice article, H.T., with a gigantic problem looming: health care costs.
I had ankle surgery seven years ago. The surgeon’s fee was (only) $7,000, but the overnight stay at the hospital at USC? $27,000!
I complained, but they said, “Why worry? You have great insurance that will pay all of it.” (And they did!) I wrote letters, complained but never got anywhere. (My overnight consisted of a meal in the evening and a few pain pills.) They kicked me out at 7 a.m.
The surgery went great, and the surgeon was worth more than he charged. The hospital? Criminals! I asked for, and got, the list of charges (about three-feet long). They listed services, e.g., blood tests, “therapy,” and x-rays, etc., I never got: total scammers.
Sadly, my experience is not unique. Most people never check their bill if insurance pays for it. I DO! I check everything, and question everything. Ultimately we all pay for higher (fraudulent) medical costs.
Like you say, we need a grass-roots citizen group to put pressure on the entire medical industry. Where do I sign up?