Ridiculous, seemingly arbitrary price markups are a defining characteristic of the $4-trillion U.S. healthcare system — and a key reason Americans pay more for treatment than anyone else in the world.
But to see price hikes of as much as 675% being imposed in real time, automatically, by a hospital’s computer system still takes your breath away.
I've written on it for a very long time.
Reality is that health care is a business. It follows the same rules as every other business. Absent regulation or effective competition it will find ways to gouge you and screw you to within an inch of your life. When the good or service is something you cannot, at least some of the time, say "No" to it gets even worse.
Nobody cares if your toys are price-gouged. If you don't like the price -- don't buy it. That self-corrects for this reason; "what the market will bear" is a nice nostrum and for non-essential, discretionary purchases it is true.
This is not true for essential goods and services without which you die.
If the price of immediate surgery when you were just shot is your house or entire 401k will you pay it? Yes, unless you decide that leaving it to your heirs is more important than your life. Some people might make that choice but left alone the medical system, if it is allowed to collude, will always wind up with that being the price because in that situation you cannot refuse.
15 USC Chapter 1 prohibits price-fixing and collusion. It's a felony to attempt it; you don't have to succeed. The mere attempt is good for 10 years in the slammer. Twice the medical industry has tried to argue that there are legal "exceptions" for them; they lost both cases (Royal Drug and Maricopa County) at the US Supreme Court in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This should have resulted in myriad felony criminal charges against hospital administrators, doctors and others over the next 40 years -- but didn't. A "law" that the government refuses to enforce is not a law at all, and absent that law you will get ****ed.
The entire reason we have hundreds of thousands of dead people from *****-19 in this country today is that refusal to enforce the law. Indeed it is why they think they can (and have been able to) get away with refusing to allow you to choose to obtain and consume known-safe medications that might work against *****-19, and have instead used a drug (Remdesivir) that has failed three times on safety -- including in the most-recent against Ebola where it increased the mortality of what was already a nasty virus that killed fully half of those who got it.
To even contemplate using such a drug against a virus with a mortality rate 1/10th of Ebola's even in seriously morbid people, and less than 1/100th of Ebola's in people generally, would, but for such refusal to prosecute and jail people, have resulted in an instant set of handcuffs and prison sentences being applied to nurses, doctors and hospital administrators all over the country and beyond.
I leave you with one question:
If the government will not enforce the law and their refusal kills hundreds of thousands, the very definition of violence, why are you still willing to let those jackals roam the streets freely, never mind admonishing and threatening you in public?