After my last post on healthcare costs I was asked whether I could put data on some individual conditions together for a comparison between Britain and the US. And when I did one thing leapt out at me – hospital bills in the US are something the hospital expects you to haggle with. Do so!
In my last post about healthcare costs I compared the amount spent under the British system to bills from the American system, and it was far my most popular post so far. One of the most popular questions was about costs by procedure or condition, something which lead me to do a little research as last time I checked the American data simply wasn’t available – it now is.
In my last post about healthcare costs I compared the amount spent under the British system to bills from the American system, and it was far my most popular post so far. One of the most popular questions was about costs by procedure or condition so I started doing some research. And I ended up breaking the follow up post into three; one for Brits, one for Americans, and a nerd-post in which I share my workings. This is the nerd post; feel free to scroll past – that’s why it’s separated out from the UK and US healthcare posts.
It’s coming up to Christmas – and I’ve already spoken about the Salvation Army. There’s one other Christmas warning: Monopoly is only slightly a more suitable game than bare knuckle boxing. Just don’t do it.
There are plenty of people who say monopoly sucks. And as a game played at Christmas they are right. But Monopoly is very good at what it was designed to do (part of why it’s lasted). It’s just not suited for a family game (but is far better if you use the actual rules).
There are regularly stories (either in the news or viral) about how much American healthcare costs. I’ve blogged in the past about some of the causes. British healthcare is free at the point of delivery, so the patient doesn’t see the cost and people don’t know how expensive healthcare should be. But British internal prices are public information, so it’s easy to see approximately how much things cost in a well-run health service.
The prices do, however, need some interpreting and the government’s “simple guide” runs to 72 pages. I’m going to explain the system in a single (long) blog post. And then I’m going to take estimates of how much a British hospital bill would get for each of the linked hospital costs. The current costs are here (next year’s includes a 3.8% “efficiency saving” (read: underfunding)).
People who are active online, especially on Twitter will have noticed something called Gamergate – which among other things includes a campaign of harrassment including driving people out of their homes and threats of terrorism. If you don’t know what it’s about, Wikipedia has a summary of the facts – and on the subject of the facts I’m with Cracked when they said “do you realize that if what they’re saying is true, then this is still the most pointless fucking bullshit anyone has ever forced us to read?” Which leads to the question of who they are and why they are doing what they are.
The Senate Torture Report is out (largely thanks to Obama who banned torture on his second day in office). People are deservedly appalled. But there was always precisely one defence of torture – it saved lives. Does the report show it does? In a word, no. There was not one single case of a terrorist plot foiled by torture.