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It’s no secret that American healthcare is notorious for continually shocking the rest of the world who are well used to being more or less covered in case of health emergencies. And while American hospitals and medical facilities are undisputedly something you’d call ‘world class,’ they are also unaffordable for many.

The numbers speak for themselves: total health care spending in America went over $4 trillion in 2020 and more than 30% of that—or about $1.24 trillion—was spent on hospital services. Hospital costs per day averaged $2,607 with California being the most expensive at $3,726 per day. And if you want to stay overnight, the coast soars up Everest, $11,700, to be exact, and that’s for the ones with insurance.

There’s only one thing that speaks even louder than figures. It’s people who have experienced what it’s like to have their health in jeopardy just because they couldn’t afford the costs. Below are some of the most upsetting cases shared by Americans who, while living in the ‘greatest country in the world,’ would probably not dare to call it that.

#1

Universal Healthcare Is Such A Complex Beast Shares stats

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Lauren Caswell
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This. This needs to be more prevalent. Spam your government with it. They need to hear you, to care for you. That is one of their jobs.

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#2

The American Healthcare System Shares stats

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Call Me Mars
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I cannot say how much I hated reading this. People should never put their love on the line because of healthcare. I hope that something changes soon, but I doubt it will.

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Previously, Bored Panda spoke with Dr. Andrew Carroll from Arizona, who has experience dealing with healthcare insurance companies and fighting for what's best for his patients. Some time ago, we covered a story about how he broke down in tears when a company refused to provide one of his patients a CT chest scan that you can read right here.

Dr. Carroll explained that there are clear financial incentives for the companies that provide healthcare insurance to keep the system, with its high administrative costs, as it is. "It will be very difficult to reduce the administrative costs without overhauling the payment system altogether," he explained. This is why even small step-by-step changes are really hard to push through.

#4

Who Needs Universal Healthcare Just Eat Nuts And Drink Red Wine Shares stats

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Yula Lopez
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

True. We really take it for granted; I'm appalled at these admissions. Sometimes there is a waiting period (luckily never been long for me), sometimes we complain about the care we receive but I've had a life-saving operation with a week in hospital and only paid about 180 euros

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Moreover, Dr. Carroll candidly said that healthcare insurance providers don’t have it in their interest to do what's best for American patients. "Unfortunately, these payers tend not to have altruistic intentions towards their members. They cater to the advantage of the employers paying for the benefits, who want to try and spend the least amount of money they can."

He believes that employers that pay for benefits will need to demand more of the companies providing the benefits or patients will need to file class-action lawsuits to demand that benefits due to them are not unduly restricted, as they are today.

#7

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Lauren Caswell
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2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is disgusting. This whole list is. I rely on the medical system to live, and I take it for granted it seems, this is majorly depressing

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#9

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Marc
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You wouldn't even have to take away anything noticeable from the so called rich people. You just have to invest what you have in a more meaningful way. There's no country in the world, that spends so much money on military and so less on education and healthcare. It's all about priorities.

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Another side of the problem of American healthcare is that the country spends enormous amounts of money on healthcare, but a whopping quarter of the costs are purely administrative. As a result, customers are charged a lot, but not every dollar they pay is targeted at helping them. It’s no secret that there’s a lot of waste in the system although nobody really talks about it that much.

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#14

American Healthcare In A Nutshell Shares stats

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Call Me Mars
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Again, I am going to cry. This is why I am sceptical about authority. Not just because of my skin colour, but because of things like this.

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#16

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Ashley Coe
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Now, imagine if he lived in Canada. Free Healthcare, and a roof over his head. That's democracy.

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#24

Someone Calling It Out. Shares stats

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Tequila4Two
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How can you even have a maximum sick days. It is not like, "Oh, I am out of my sick days, so I am cured now."

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#27

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Luther von Wolfen
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The odds against winning the lottery are pretty huge, but they're still better than working your way out of poverty.

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#28

Big Insurance Shares stats

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Brian Bennett
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dear DR. Carroll - an Insurance company can over rule a Doctor's Order! This is one s**t head Country you live in! Insurance company's should be named after a famous man HITLER!

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#31

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Lauren Caswell
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing huh, when in order to protect themselves they have to treat everyone, all of a sudden they can afford to give you a vaccine. They can afford way more than that. I hope to everything that this kind of topic becomes a thing of the past for more countries, and fast

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#33

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J. F.
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That shows that all that money doesn't even gets used for more equipment - being short on ventilators was and is a problem all around the globe.

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#35

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Julie C Rose
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And the incumbent party is actively negligent and the party that replaces them phoned up Jacinda for advice on how to pandemic only to ignore everything she actually said.

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#38

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BigOrangeTractor
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

'Probably' fine. Just to be clear, when you go the NHS with a funny-looking mole, they will usually just whip that sucker straight off and biopsy it to be on the safe side. For $0. Demand better from your tax-charging government.

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#40

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Kobus Loots
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Suddenly I am very glad that I live in South Africa, where both me and my wife's meds are fully covered by my medical aid

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Note: this post originally had 57 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.

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