‘Why Is It So Expensive?’ We Asked People From Around the World What They Think of U.S. Health Care. Video by Chai Dingari, Adam Westbrook and Brendan Miller
From the comments:
One day I had a serious hemorrhage and was taken to a nearby public trauma hospital via an ambulance. As the doctor was frantically trying to stop the bleeding in the emergency room, I kept rambling incoherently (under powerful anesthetic) to confirm that the hospital was “in network” – the healthcare workers reassured me “you are fine.”
When my friend fell and couldn’t get up she insisted that no one call an ambulance. She called her brother and waited – in excruciating pain – but she was more afraid of the cost of the ambulance.
I worked for a major medical company (Think of big health insurer they are all the same) when Obama care came around. Did we worry? Nope, because their profit was built in. healthcare companies just wanted to “reject” preexisting conditions . We knew, all the health plans would go up…listening to our “elected officials”, us lemmings in the office KNEW IT WAS A LIE… everyone knew the cost of insurance would GO UP.
We had unpaid claims that sat in our database FOR YEARS, never paying them because in a decade…that 50k is cheaper to process and it would just stay in a “round robin” appeals process that goes on forever. (literally we had claims that SAT unpaid for a decade or more because paying a 50k or 1 million dollar claims/debt from 10 years ago is cheaper, we talked about it openly)… All our executives made huge paychecks, huge paydays….. Its ridiculous. Meanwhile the rules are made by companies to pay as little as possible…I loved working for an insurance company, I had the Cadillac of Cadillac of insurance…. Literally it was the only redeeming quality .
Median home price is a much better measure since it is less skewed by huge transactions at the top end. Median is still bad at ~$560,000.
The same report has median stats too, up 30k since last month.
Sheesh. That’s bad news for us wannabe homeowners.
Seriously, how do people just starting off afford houses now? I’m lucky enough to have bought our first place 13 years ago when it was still possible to by a place with a 2 in the starting digit. How can people just starting out even hope to buy a house for half a million dollars minimum?
Is everyone up to the eyeballs in debt?
its a lot of out of state money coming in. Sell their home in Cali or New york for way more value and pay cash here.
And I imagine investment firms as well just gobbling up properties so they can rent them out at exorbitant rates.
Joyce Barnes sometimes pauses, leaving the grocery store. A crowd shifts past, loaded up with goodies. Barnes pictures herself, walking out with big steaks and pork chops, some crabmeat.
“But I’m not the one,” she says. Inside her bags are bread, butter, coffee, a bit of meat and canned tuna — a weekly grocery budget of $25.
The shopping has to fit between her two jobs. Barnes, 62, is a home care worker near Richmond, Va. In the mornings, she takes care of a man who lost both his legs, then hustles off to help someone who’s lost use of one side of his body in a stroke. The jobs pay $9.87 and $8.50 an hour. Barnes gets home around 9 p.m., then wakes at 5 a.m. to do it all over again.
You buy food at school, if you can’t you get debt.
reach a certain threshold and you can only get a PB&J or some shit. nothing else
Fucking hell. Free school meals was massive when I was growing up. It’s a social mobility issue as well. Poorly fed kids can’t concentrate, fall further behind and the cycle of being poor and staying poor continues. Breakfast clubs are now in a lot of UK schools so they kids that need it are able to get at least 2 meals. Not sure how lockdown changes that, but when the first lockdown was announced a lot of teachers I know’s first concern was a load of kids aren’t gonna eat now. And aren’t going to be seen by a responsible adult for months. Heart breaking.
But lunch debt is taking it to a whole other level.
Fun Story: One school was literally threatening to put children into foster care if their families didn’t pay off their lunch debt so a CEO offered to pay off the families’ debts for them and the school told him no.
But there is another factor at play: Californians, fleeing high home prices, are moving to Idaho in droves. For the past several years, Idaho has been one of the fastest-growing states, with the largest share of new residents coming from California. This fact can be illustrated with census data, moving vans — or resentment.
Home prices rose 20 percent in 2020, according to Zillow, and in Boise, “Go Back to California” graffiti has been sprayed along the highways. The last election cycle was a referendum on growth and housing, and included a fringe mayoral candidate who campaigned on a promise to keep Californians out. The dichotomy between growth and its discontents has fused the city’s politics and collective consciousness with a question that city leaders around the country were asking even before the pandemic and remote work trends accelerated relocation: Is it possible to import California’s growth without also importing its housing problems?
“I can’t point to a city that has done it right,” said Lauren McLean, Boise’s Democratic mayor.
That’s because as bad as California’s affordable housing problem is, it isn’t really a California problem. It is a national one. From rising homelessness to anti-development sentiment to frustration among middle-class workers who’ve been locked out of the housing market, the same set of housing issues has bubbled up in cities across the country. They’ve already visited Boise, Nashville, Denver and Austin, Texas, and many other high-growth cities. And they will become even more widespread as remote workers movearound.
CYNTHIA: About the end of February, close to March, they laid us off because of the pandemic. And during…
CAMP: She was surviving. And then this pandemic, by no fault of her own, took her job away, took away her ability to pay her rent.
CYNTHIA: They laid us off. They sent the letters, saying, sign up for employment.
CAMP: She struggled to apply for unemployment benefits.
CYNTHIA: So I signed up for unemployment. I didn’t get unemployment till four for five months.
CAMP: And in fact, through the better part of last summer, she did not even receive unemployment.
CYNTHIA: I’m trying to find a place to live. I can’t find nothing. I can’t find another job. I’ve been looking and looking. It’s been a whole year now – you know, going on a year. I still can’t find anything.
SHAPIRO: We’re not using Cynthia’s last name because she doesn’t want this story to affect her future ability to find a place to live. She’s 52 and lives in the St. Louis area with her two adult kids, who’ve also struggled to find work, and her 8-year-old grandson. They’re all in a house where she owes about a year of back rent. There is sewage backing up in the pipes, and the landlord wants them to leave.
CYNTHIA: And I know these people want us out of this house. I want to be out of here just as bad they want us out ’cause I’m not like that, not paying my bills and don’t want to pay. I want to pay.
Amid protests across the country over retail and service jobs that pay little better than the minimum wage, it’s easy to forget that this income benchmark once meant something slightly different. In the past, a minimum-wage job was actually one that could keep a single parent out of poverty.
Since the 1980s, the federal minimum wage has kept pace with neither inflation, nor the rise of the average worker’s paycheck. That means that while a federal minimum wage in 1968 could have lifted a family of three above the poverty line, now it can’t even do that for a parent with one child, working full-time, 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year (yes, this calculation assumes that the parent takes no time off).
My insulin fell out of the fridge and my kid put it back in the freezer by mistake and thereby destroyed and insurance won't replace it so that's $800 which luckily I have because if I didn’t I'd simply die, which is what happened to one of my students. So time to get to work.
Your daily reminder that the insulin I’ve used for 24 years, Humalog, has gone from $21 a vial to $275 a vial with no changes to the insulin or even the packaging. That’s a 1200% increase on a hormone every human requires to live, but my body can’t make. I die in 48 hours w/o it
Today, a worker must earn $23.96 an hour to afford a modest 2 bedroom apartment – $5.74 more than the average tenant makes. As a result, 18 million families are paying over 50% of their income on housing. We need to raise wages and build 10 million units of affordable housing.