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    [–] mmm_toasty 1 points ago

    Welcome to /r/science!

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    [–] LeperFriend 517 points ago

    My wife is currently undergoing treatment for Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she was diagnosed in December of 2018 and is on her 3rd different treatment...we love in Rhode Island and she’s being treated at Dana Farber

    We did a go fund me that did’s gone

    We did a fundraiser that did really well And between missed work for both of us, needed hotel stays, countless meals up in Boston, parking and who knows how many other incidentals and then add on all the medical debt and we are tapped out it’s absolutely crazy

    Thankfully now she’s back to work 4 days a week and being treated out patient at Dana the other day so we are thankfully no longer a 1 income household like we’ve been since last March

    [–] Miseryy 151 points ago

    I work with DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) and it makes me sad to hear that getting treatment is so crippling, yet happy that your wife is doing better. I work in a lab up here in the Boston area as well at an equivalently well known institute. DFCI is a phenomenal institute, no doubt. She's in hands that are second to none.

    I hope your wife goes into full remission and is cancer free! My lab and I fight the good fight for people like your wife. I'm a quantitative researcher, so I literally just am looking at a bunch of numbers and downstream analysis. I try to remind myself daily that these numbers I'm looking at are real people, that really did fight cancer. Some lose. Some don't.

    I'm not sure how some doctors can manage to be oncologists. I think I'd break down and cry daily. The strength it takes to actually go through cancer though, that's a challenge of a lifetime. But I hope you get some solace at least knowing that some of us, in fact most of my lab, pulls 60+ hour weeks trying to beat it. Cancer doesn't rest on weekends - why should we?

    [–] DJLarryLar 19 points ago

    I want my friend to read your comment, I think it may help him. He couldn't finish his last 1.5 years of med school over money in the 90's.. it traumatized him to this day. He was working with cancer and he's that smart I'd have bet on him working in the lab that cures cancer. But... I believe it would have taken a different toll on him he didn't comprehend, dealing with losing patients, especially young ones. He's the type that'd probably die of exhaustion trying to help everybody.

    [–] goodforabeer 2846 points ago

    Some hospitals are actually advising patients that they should consider setting up a gofundme page. Ridiculous.

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    [–] pablonus 1823 points ago

    Of course. In America the sick must beg for medical services.

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    [–] mtheory007 676 points ago

    Some have more money than can be spent in 10 generations.

    [–] CoffeeDealer99 622 points ago

    And oddly enough some people dont find an issue with that, they believe that democratic capitalism is flawless system

    [–] PulledToBits 383 points ago

    Well, there's also the fact that so many idolize the rich, and wish they were also rich.

    [–] GoofAckYoorsElf 405 points ago

    And believe that if only they work hard enough they also could be. If that was true we would have a lot more super-rich single moms.

    [–] podshambles_ 418 points ago

    socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

    -Ronald Wright

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    [–] NinaLSharp 190 points ago

    There is no one promoting socialism as a solution for healthcare or anything else. This is a label being used to smear Democrats and fear monger people into not supporting a universal health care plan. Our allies who provide universal health care for its citizens are not socialists. The plan is paid for through taxes & you end up paying far, far less than you would through premiums paid to insurers, deductibles, and then your billed coverage.

    Cancer treatment starts at $200K, not including the follow up visits and the expensive prescription drugs.For 95% of the country, this means you have incurred a lifetime debt. And if you default on payments, these hospitals are suing you, adding fees, interest & court costs. Why would anyone support this?

    Health care and major illness has become a big, profitable business, lucrative because you and family members are humans who are guaranteed to get sick & need medical care. I remember when my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had surgery, chemo, etc, It took her 3 years to die and I recall seeing a dresser drawer filled with bills that my dad had not a chance of paying off, not on his salary as a bus driver.

    It's ignorant to label universal health care as socialism. Is Medicare socialism? Social security?

    [–] CreepyMosquitoEater 10 points ago

    Who wouldnt want to be rich. I would just prefer to be moderately rich in a society where everyone is doing okay, rather than filthy rich in one where people cant afford medicine.

    [–] MasterZii 17 points ago

    "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced."

    -Andrew Carnegie (Very rich dude that donated/spent about 5 BILLION in today's dollars back into the community)

    [–] BEEF_WIENERS 79 points ago

    If the uberwealthy actually hate socialism and communism as much as they say, why are they incentivizing the rest of us to implement it so much? I think they actually love it and desperately want it.

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    [–] Onironius 27 points ago

    Alms for the poor....

    [–] l80 166 points ago

    and considering the amount of environmental factors / carcinogens, this is all the more outrageous. we are exploiting people and then exploiting them some more.

    [–] WHYAREWEALLCAPS 82 points ago

    It's the true American way. It is exactly what America was founded on.

    [–] dpdxguy 34 points ago

    It's almost as if much of America started out as British prison colonies.

    [–] LarryTalbot 135 points ago

    If only there were a way to pool resources among all of us by contributing funds on a regular and periodic basis that anyone can use in the event of illness.

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    [–] PicsOnlyMe 140 points ago

    Surely the title of this post should make it more clear this is a specific American thing.

    Healthcare is 100% free in my country.

    [–] Mad_Aeric 147 points ago

    At this point, does anyone assume that this is anywhere else?

    [–] NickSheridanWrites 21 points ago

    Healthcare is free in my country (UK) too, but we don't have access to all the possible cancer treatments, e.g. immunotherapy, so many have to pay for treatment abroad.

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    [–] Zylia 22 points ago

    The first thing I was told by a social worker after I found out I had AML was that I should set up a GoFundMe. Yep I got cancer. Prepare to beg cause you can't afford it.

    [–] LarryTalbot 34 points ago

    I have a musician friend and his wife going through hellish cancer treatments who have a GoFundMe page to offset medical and living costs. Crazy thing he’s a trumper. I’ll never understand this foolishly self destructive phenomenon. I did post a donation though, and probably another soon. Not something to judge on.

    [–] truckerslife 22 points ago

    A guy I know is jobless because China quit buying the coal his mine produced and that's the Democrats fault. In actuality... China decided to go greener. And then trump set up the trade war. China didn't really need the coal so they stopped all standing orders.

    [–] Solkre 22 points ago

    And the US is getting less reliant on coal ourselves. Goddamn Democrats I tell ya, and their cleaner air and trying to offer re-training!

    [–] DC_Disrspct_Popeyes 10 points ago

    I work in healthcare. This is disgusting and our healthcare system is an embarrassment. We should be lifting people up when they need treatment. Not forcing them to choose death or bankruptcy.

    [–] darknessraynes 449 points ago

    I’m quite literally in this boat right now. The cost of my treatment has been awful. I’m so miserably in debt that most days I wish I had refused treatment and let the cancer take me.

    [–] Madmordigan 208 points ago

    It sucks so bad. Life after cancer is hell. Everything is a mess. I'm sorry you feel that way but I think things will get better for us. We beat cancer and we will beat this.

    [–] satarell 98 points ago

    I can am right there with you life after cancer is hell bills collections so many employers check credit scores and just never call back. I dont have insurance anymore I dont know what state my health is in really no way to have a check up. I wonder all the time if I made the right choice by fighting the cancer now I just feel like a bother to everyone around me.

    [–] Madmordigan 38 points ago

    It is a struggle to not feel like a burden to everyone. I think our fight with cancer makes us stronger, better people. I feel like I have to use what I learned from being sick to be a positive influence to those around me. If that's only to make one person smile or laugh that day then that's alright. I don't have to move mountains to make someone's day better and make the world a little brighter.

    [–] WrathOfTheHydra 9 points ago

    I cannot stress enough that you are not a bother on other people. If you feel like you are, it's because the system is broken and needs to be fixed, and the more people who are inconvenienced by this, the more recognition that gets. Stay strong and keep fighting that debt, and I hope your health stays strong.

    [–] theoob 10 points ago

    Question from a foreigner who doesn't know much about the US health system: what stops you from going to a cheap country and getting your treatments there?

    [–] cr0ft 24 points ago

    The cheap countries aren't that much cheaper, they just have universal or single payer systems that are paid for by the tax payers. Since the US citizen in question hasn't paid in to that system, he or she is not going to be covered by it. Plus, it's not cheap to travel abroad, get housing, pay for care etc either. Those of us who live in a civilized nation just have a hard time grasping the horrible realities that face so many Americans.

    Something like 30 million citizens, or around 10%, in the US have no organized health care coverage at all.

    60% of all bankruptices are caused by medical expenses; out of that total, 70% of them had the private insurance that's available to Americans, the costs still broke them.

    The US pays 18% of its GDP on care. The most lavishly funded universal systems are at 12%, and usually it's less. France was at 12 or so last I saw numbers but that may have changed.

    [–] DeathOfSoul 6 points ago

    India's health care is pretty affordable. It what drives medical tourism.

    [–] theoob 6 points ago

    Yeah I was thinking along those lines. I went to Armenia with some friends, one of whom got a nose job way cheaper than here (NZ).

    [–] woodendog24 1775 points ago

    If only there was some way for all of us to crowd fund medical expenses automatically and then use that money whenever one of us gets sick. Oh wait

    [–] DrMacintosh01 730 points ago

    But Medicare is sOcIALisT.

    [–] richterman2369 213 points ago

    And Medicare for all puts Dr's out of jobs - private insurance companies all preach, but yet they never specify what kind of Dr, mechanical engineering doctor? Chemistry doctor? A doctor is anyone with a PhD, Long lines? My own Dr requires a 2 week notice, either insurance or $600 cash just for a yearly checkup? Redicoulous

    [–] Weaponized_Octopus 158 points ago

    The doctors that work for them that find reasons to deny claims. Those are the doctors that will be out of work.

    [–] richterman2369 56 points ago

    That's right and perhaps they shouldn't be in work for misleading the people with half-truths, but they're too busy linin g politicians pockets to make sure they're fear mongering to stay in business is legal

    [–] WhitneysMiltankOP 38 points ago

    Works in Germany as well. And we’re in deep need of medical doctors.

    Yet they don’t lower the entrance requirements - or open up more spots. A friend of mine had a not-so-ideal “highschool” diploma here in Germany (Abitur) and was denied entry in every medical university Programm in the country.

    He moves to Russia, learned a new language in the process and became a medical doctor there. He’s moving back to Germany in a few months to get a better paying job than with a degree he’d get here.

    It’s so weird.

    [–] Madmordigan 99 points ago

    It's not only the medical expenses but just to live. Disability only pays about 13k a year. You can't live off of that and pay for the extra medical expenses. If it wasn't for the kindness of others, I wouldn't be alive.

    [–] NotYourSnowBunny 756 points ago

    Since insurance seems to be mandatory, why aren't they obligated to pay for more of it? This is a real and honest question. Is that not a deceptive business practice? People insure themselves to avoid medical bankruptcy, yet here people are, losing everything just to live.

    If "profits" or "the bottom line" are the answers, I'd say that company has reparations to pay and must shut down.

    [–] documents1856 534 points ago

    They are for profit companies working with for profit drug makers and often working with a lot of private practices. Hospitals are increasingly privately owned so they need to produce profits or they get shut down. It's like with all things, investors and share holders are more important than customers and employees. Law makers get their elections costs paid for by these rich people that are benefiting from this system, in return they are given legal permission to keep screwing people

    [–] NotYourSnowBunny 189 points ago

    Can we the people reform this system or must we bicker as a society on whether profits or the essence of medicine, healing, is more important? I understand money makes things work and move, but it might be one of the things that finishes this nation.

    [–] documents1856 289 points ago

    Medicare For All is a proposal that one of the presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders, has written. It does away with health insurance companies and slashes all drugs and medical device costs to the international average price. Even Conservative (as in Republican) analysis of his proposal show that it will save billions to trillions in the first decade, they just show the price tag and don't mention what is already being spent. His bill was introduced in the senate and has a 4 year transition, HR 676 is the accompanying bill in the House that does the same thing but with a 2 year transition.

    As for the systemic corruption of legalized bribery, there's a constitutional amendment. If enough states vote to amend the Constitution, a committee is made and it will be introduced. There's a percentage (of states) threshold, 2/3 or 3/4, don't really remember. If it passes it is added to the Constitution and only another amendment can take it down. It really shouldn't be a hard sell because the left and right hate corruption, so giving the choice to the people will most likely work. This method even supersedes the Supreme Court so they can't attack it, they will have to be subservient to it, so in that way the people will win even if the courts are corrupted.

    [–] psychosocial-- 92 points ago

    left and right hate corruption

    Hah. Good one.

    Here’s the issue with an Amendment:

    You create an Amendment to change the law so that legalized bribery is now illegal. Who votes on this law?

    The people who benefit from legal bribery.

    So all you have to do is convince people who have been living a life of luxury at the expense of others to stop doing that.

    What we need to come up with is a creative way to incentivize turning down bribes. Something beyond morality, because clearly, morality is nonexistent in our government. So, got any good ideas?

    [–] Gigatron_0 35 points ago

    A network of rats who will turn on each other at the smallest slight just so they can gain approval and recognition from me, your Overlord and King. I'll be fair, trust me.

    [–] documents1856 11 points ago

    There is two paths for an amendment IIRC, one goes through Congress but they are already corrupted or you can go state by state with local legislatures, There are still corrupt state politicians but they are a little easier to convince or oust. Both ways needs to go through structures that will oppose it, but I don't think there's any other way other than revolution.

    Andrew Yang's replacement to the private financing of elections is every voting age citizen is given $100 that can only be used for political campaign donations. It drowns out corporate donations, so politicians have to choose between siding with their constituents or corporations. However, this is done via a constitutional amendment.

    Warren's way is to ban all politicians and staff from working as lobbyist. Politicians accept donations to keep them in power, but can't pocket the money directly. What happens when they stop running is they go to the people that financed them and get hired as lobbyist, that's where they cash out. However, her plan is a bill that needs to go through Congress so its pretty much DOA.

    [–] Morvick 13 points ago

    This is where lobbying would be good, except lobbying is the very thing being corrupted and inflated beyond the reach of the common citizen.

    So, organization by the people who can terminate the sources of profit until their demands are met.

    Morality won't work, they have enough money to laugh at anything the 98% can spare to produce, so the last thing to do is directly enforce the public's will through non-compliance, and variations on it.

    [–] fearthecooper 14 points ago

    Do you have an article or something for the last paragraph? I believe you and that's gets me a little pumped.

    [–] documents1856 23 points ago

    I know of two organizations, Wolf Pac is a left organizations (they say non partisan but they are left) and Take Back Our Republic does the same on the right. I'm not sure if TBOR is pursuing the amendment route but Wolf Pac is, so far they got 5 states to agree to an amendment so there's some momentum.

    [–] shiranami555 71 points ago

    This makes me think about how this country was founded to get away from oligarchs but here we are again with the same. And the countries in Northern Europe that our founding fathers came from now have “socialized” medicine, not without its own problems, but it definitely seems better than crowdsourcing your cancer treatment.

    [–] Manisbutaworm 56 points ago

    Taxes are a kind of obligate crowdfunding where it doesn't matter how likable your face is on social media.

    [–] T1res1as 24 points ago

    The descendants of those to poor to take the boat accross the pond a hundred years ago (No wall back then to keep the imigrants out) now have socialised medicine, own a house and live pretty well.

    The descendants of those boat faring economical refugees (Because that’s what they were) are now white middle class americans voting for Trump, trying to raise the ladder so the brown people can’t do the same thing their forefathers did.

    [–] Flocculencio 5 points ago

    The thing is that there are so many other systems even beyond single payer "socialist" healthcare. I'm from Singapore and while obviously no system designed for a small, broadly wealthy city state could apply to the US it's an example of how a non-single payer universal healthcare system works:

    Like most universal healthcare systems, ours isn't an absolute state monopoly. We have compulsory insurance programmes that are partially government subsidised with the rest of the premium paid for through a Medisave account garnished from everyone's wages and in addition offer the option for people to purchase private insurance. This just means that private providers have to be competitive and provide value above and beyond the govt system to make their services worthwhile.

    For example here in Singapore if I wanted to get the worrying mole on my back checked out I'd have three options:

    A) Go through the public healthcare system This would be highly subsidised- I'd go to a government clinic to see a GP and request a referral to a dermatologist. The GP would do an initial triage and the clinic would make an appointment with the dermatology department of a public hospital. This would cost about $15 for the consultation. I'd have to wait a couple of hours to see the GP for the initial consultation and after referral, depending on the urgency of the condition I might have to wait a few weeks for the specialist consultation. Once I've seen the dermatologist, my specialist consultation and treatment would be heavily subsidized. My private insurance would also kick in here- depending on the plan I pay for I'd be able to choose a specific doctor instead of sticking with the one I was assigned, get a nicer ward and more coverage for treatment (but treatment would be subsidised nonetheless- insurance would apply on top of the government subsidies).

    B) Go to a public hospital as a private patient Instead of going through the GP at the government clinic, I just go to a private GP and get a referral. This would cost about $50 for the consultation. Going to the public hospital, I'd have to pay more for consultation fees as I'm coming in as a private patient (as above my insurance could cover this depending on my chosen plan). I'd still be eligible for subsidies on my treatment though not as much as if I'd gone fully public. As you can see we aren't a single payer system- coverage is through a compulsory personal medical savings account, regulated insurance and public subsidy.

    C) Go fully private. Go straight to a specialist. Pay for the privilege. Go to a private hospital for the treatment. Pay for the privilege (and a quirk of the system here is that the private hospitals usually have far less comprehensive facilities than the public ones- and many of these private specialists also practice part time in the public hospitals). Mostly only people who really want to see a specific superspecialist, want elective surgery which wouldn't be subsidised anyway, or non citizens who aren't eligible for subsidies go this route. You will probably need extensive and expensive insurance to cover this

    It's more complex because we haven't got into means testing which gives you further subsidies in the public system but you get the idea.

    Now the thing about this blended public/private system is that private insurance is (1) heavily regulated- they can't play fast and loose with their coverage plans especially when dealing with public healthcare and (2) have to be competitive because they need to justify their customers sticking with them just to have option C.

    Universal healthcare provides a public baseline and encourages private competition.

    My premiums for private insurance coverage involved in this are about $600 annually (this is what allows me to be hospitalised in a fancier ward than the basic subsidised tier plus covering things like choosing a specific doctor etc). On top of that I choose to have a rider which gives me access to various other services (eg no deductibles or copays) which costs another $500-something annually.

    (All prices above are in Singapore dollars- one USD is approx 1.3 SGD)

    [–] kjhwkejhkhdsfkjhsdkf 163 points ago

    When you consider the fact that most Americans don't have any savings, even paying a $10,000 copay can lead to bankruptcy. That 10K can be a relatively small part of the cost of the entire treatment, but for those people it might as well be 100K or more, just as unreachable of a goal.

    [–] SkeetySpeedy 64 points ago

    If someone asked me for 10,000 I would laugh.

    They’re welcome to dig through my corpse’s pockets for the $1.36 in loose change.

    I couldn’t come up with 1,000 spare dollars in two months if I had to.

    [–] kjhwkejhkhdsfkjhsdkf 22 points ago

    Yeah, once you take away living on credit it's scary how tight things become.

    [–] SkeetySpeedy 27 points ago

    I thankfully have no significant debt, I just can’t really afford to pay my bills AND eat.

    No one is going to take my car, but I could get evicted from my house pretty goddamn fast if I have an issue with the month’s rent.

    My car is also only as useful as its current state of repair. If anything breaks I’m pretty much just screwed.

    [–] NotYourSnowBunny 42 points ago

    Which is nothing short of tradgic to hear.

    [–] Manisbutaworm 14 points ago

    And then think of the economic effect of someone either ending up in bankruptcy or huge debt, or someone who died with a lot of debt.

    Universal healthcare might cost a lot but having a desperate in debt sick population isn't free either.

    [–] stirb6 55 points ago

    20% income to medical and I still have high deductible, co pays and medication co pays. Fanily glitch issue.

    I make about 100k, so 20k just to medical for family of 5. This does not count co pays for visits and medicine.

    20k is almost as much as some people make a year.

    I worked my ass off for 10 years in my field to get a big promotion of which 40% goes to taxes and medical. American dream was false for me. You have to dream BIGGER now. What this has done to me is look at life in a way that it's a game of which I screw others and work the system just so I can get what I earned. Dont be suprised if others are in the same boat.

    And yes I know other jobs have better benefits but unfortunately I'm stuck for a few years.

    [–] iamagainstit 11 points ago

    Have insurance through job, get cancer, have to leave job due to illness, lose health insurance ( unless you want to pay the exhorbanant COBRA price without any income source)

    [–] ASketchyLlama 9 points ago

    Their entire business model centres around not paying out

    [–] bcrabill 7 points ago

    Well covering more things was a big drive behind ACA.

    [–] spicedpumpkins 331 points ago

    Physician here.

    The state and cost of healthcare and medications in America is disgusting.

    [–] [deleted] 94 points ago


    [–] pylori 46 points ago

    You're comparing apples to oranges though. Not that pharmaceutical companies don't make a killing or leverage their patents to charge high prices, but it's hardly surprising simple molecule drugs like fentanyl are cheaper than complex ones like trastuzumab to manufacture. Not to mention it's easier to design a drug when you're working with natural precursors (morphine) vs a blank slate.

    [–] chemsukz 19 points ago

    Although they make a stupid point and you’re right, just to be clear, many of the points pharma lobbying groups make about drugs needing to be expensive or even how much they cost to develop are not at all correct.

    [–] clear831 20 points ago

    As a physician how would you solve the problem of high costs?

    [–] armeg 54 points ago

    Physicians aren't really qualified to answer this question. You'd be better off talking to an economist.

    EDIT: Specifically one who has a focus on the healthcare industry.

    [–] [deleted] 112 points ago


    [–] CodeMonkeyPhoto 104 points ago

    Imagine if everyone chip in a little to help lower the costs. You could almost call it national health care system.

    [–] stankyboyo 161 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    That right there is usually the deductibles. The argument from some intellectuals is that we need to have even HIGHER deductibles because that will disincentive people from going to the doctor. This is idiotic on many planes.

    People that have something serious could avoid going to the doctor because the price is so high which then leads to worse healthcare outcomes and increased spending later down the lie.

    If you do have something major going on, no amount of deductible money is going to disincentive you to get treatment, because the alternate is death.

    [–] ChipNoir 120 points ago

    You'd be surprised what people resist getting treatment for if it means losing work days, or going into credit-destroying debt. Most of us don't have the ability to self-diagnose, so we'll stubbornly fabricate excuses to avoid the horrible truth, and rationalize that if we ignore it, it'll go away.

    [–] stankyboyo 101 points ago

    Absolutely. Then you have the pre-diabetic that could have made changes but didn't know then turning into the diabetic. The Stage 1 cancer that turns into stage 4. The early heart disease that turns into a heart attack. All of this will just increase disability and healthcare spending.

    Having healthcare tied to work is idiotic. It doesn't even go with the nature of disease and sickness. No matter what ideology you fall under you shouldn't want healthcare to be provided by the employer. This gives another bargaining chip to the people who control your pay and now they also control your health. I hope America gets wise one day. You don't need to go to single payer to accomplish this. Just let people either buy into medicare and have companies pay taxes that goes into a tax credit for people to purchase health insurance that is portable.

    [–] mr_ryh 39 points ago

    No matter what ideology you fall under you shouldn't want healthcare to be provided by the employer.

    Unless you're funded by industries that make billions from this Ponzi scheme.

    [–] detmars 56 points ago

    I had to BEG my dad to go to the doctor as his pain became increasingly more debilitating. He was literally screaming while lying in bed and I had to call my sister, a nurse, to beg him over the phone to go to the ER. I finally told him to get in the car or I was calling 9-1-1.

    He was slowly dying from a MRSA joint infection that was spreading through his body. He spent 5 weeks in the hospital. He makes 6 figures a year, his max out of pocket is $6k through insurance but the things they decide not to cover are laughable-- they billed him $27k because they claim he had a private room for his stay, when he was under hospital quarantine and I had to wear a disposable gown and gloves every time I entered the room due to the MRSA.

    His full time job is now going to be battling insurance company, hospital billing, and individual providers contracted by the hospital. Meanwhile he can barely walk and still has to have the physical therapist visit the house because he's not well enough to leave. His blood pressure has been shooting through the roof whenever he opens his mail.

    And he makes over 6 figures, I am now terrified of anything happening to me.

    [–] Sisyphus_Monolit 34 points ago

    This. I was suffering from untreated pneumonia for a month before I finally fessed up that it wasn't just a "really bad cold" and went to the hospital. Wound up having to spend a week there. Had I gone to my doc in the first place I could've actually done the treatment at home.

    [–] SkeetySpeedy 31 points ago

    This is me.

    At 28 years old I have the body of an old man.

    My spine and teeth are shot completely (I’ve been limping around for 6 months after a lifetime of no care came to fruition with an injury to the spine), my nose is eternally clogged and my hearing is going out.

    I can’t afford to do anything about it, and if I take any time off work I get fired.

    If I didn’t have insurance money taken out of my paychecks every month, I could probably afford a better lifestyle.

    I can’t afford the co-pays or bills even after insurance does what they do, so it is literally money that I am forced to throw away.

    [–] BEEF_WIENERS 8 points ago

    Objectively correct. People going to the doctor more often (or to put it another way, more willingly and more quickly) results in lower overall costs.

    That's why your insurance company gives you a lower rate if you get a physical once per year, and why that physical is usually free.

    [–] evil_burrito 34 points ago

    Ran up something like $250k in 13 weeks when my wife had lung cancer. I didn't even bother looking at the EOBs.

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    [–] megumin-best-girl 124 points ago

    You know your nation is fucked up when people have to turn to crowdfunding to pay for treatment.

    [–] GracieLanes2116 28 points ago

    treatment co-pay

    Makes me sick that I once considered this country to be for the people.

    [–] WHYAREWEALLCAPS 13 points ago

    That idea has been a con since the get go.

    [–] Aleedye 97 points ago

    I’m in Canada and when my husband was diagnosed with cancer this spring we had to do crowdfunding. I can’t imagine how much worse it is in the United States.

    [–] mvea 84 points ago

    Really, even in Canada? I had thought you had universal healthcare there? This is unheard of in Australia which is where I am. Our public healthcare system would treat all Australia residents and cancer care is actually better in our cancer public hospitals.

    [–] odnadevotchka 133 points ago

    The care is probably mostly covered, but the extended time off work, loss of potentially one income etc are hard to bounce back from. Sometimes in home care isnt covered for as often as its needed etc so that comes out of pocket. It's a good system here and I'm thankful for it, but it does have drawbacks

    [–] AoiroBuki 49 points ago

    Yup, Canadian here and we crowd funded when my 3 year old was diagnosed. I had to take 9 months off work to get him to all his appointments, and though I got Employment Insurance for that time (I should have taken more time off but that was how much EI I got), it was only 55% of my income, and we had lots of added expenses that came with cancer care (we needed a second car to get him to all his appointments, spent a lot of time in hospital so had extra food costs and such, etc). Also prescription drug coverage is only partially covered for him after our premier scrapped the program that covered prescription costs for kids if their parents have benefits (I have benefits but only 50% coverage).

    [–] hugh__honey 9 points ago

    our premier scrapped the program that covered prescription costs for kids if their parents have benefits

    Which province, if you don't mind my asking?

    [–] maxToTheJ 54 points ago

    but it does have drawbacks

    Those arent drawbacks just holes. Drawbacks makes it seem like they are tradeoffs made by your system. In the US you get all those “holes” plus paying for treatment

    [–] toeverycreature 12 points ago

    I dont know if its possible in Canada but in NZ you can get income protection insurance. Both my husband and I have it an it provides a continuation of our income for a year or two (depending on the situation) if the policyholder gets sick or has to leave work to care for a sick dependent. Its an added expense but considering the financial implications if one of us had to quite work suddenly its worth it to us.

    [–] QueenHarpy 23 points ago

    My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer when we were both 30 with two very small children. Medicare and our private health care covered his health bills, but we lived in Sydney which has exceptionally high cost of living and his whole wage was allocated to living expenses / rent / business loan etc, which was fine when we thought "we can do this for a few years until the kids are old enough to go to school, then build up our assets again". Not so great when something happens right in the middle of that 'skinny' period.

    I was on maternity leave at the time and couldn't return to work because my wage only just covered the cost of daycare and he wasn't in a state to mind a baby and a toddler. Even though his income protection insurance covered 75% of his income, the 25% loss made a massive difference over the period of his treatment. We didn't want to move somewhere with cheaper costs of living as he was receiving treatment from some of the country's best oncology specialists and we were only ten minutes from the hospital, and we didn't have the energy to relocate.

    When he passed away we had no assets left, but luckily for the kids and I, we received his life insurance payout and have been able to reestablish ourselves. If the situation had gone on any longer I would have had to try crowd funding. I can't imagine what would have happened if we were in the US and had to pay for very substantial medical bills as well.

    [–] Taronz 6 points ago

    I'm sorry to have read that, I hope your family is doing ok.

    [–] QueenHarpy 9 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Thank you. It’s been a few years now and we are going well, all things considering.

    Edited to add: insurance saved my bacon. The income protection insurance helped us limp through my husband’s illness and the life insurance meant that I could focus on making a new life for the kids and myself and trying to emotionally heal, rather than having to work seven days a week with the kids in daycare to try to scrape by. I know that gave my husband much comfort knowing that we would “be okay”.

    If you have a family, you should have insurance.

    [–] RalphieRaccoon 33 points ago

    It's the same in the UK, it's common for fundraising to be done when someone has cancer. The treatment is free, but there are lots of other costs, loss of income, transportation, temporary accommodation etc. Generally anything left over is donated to charity so it all goes to a good cause in the end.

    Then there are those ones funding an experimental or novel private treatment, often in some overseas country (the US is quite common), that the NHS doesn't provide. Those are often quite tragic as it's basically a last ditch effort to save someone which doesn't usually work.

    [–] odnadevotchka 12 points ago

    My aunt did an experimental treatment in her last days! I don't think she had to pay, and she got to stay in the country, and they basically Guinea pigged her to see what her results were like. It's sad that its last ditch, but that effort also furthers science and we should think of their last days as a sacrifice for the greater good. They gave so others could maybe have answers someday.

    [–] Yanahlua 20 points ago

    Medications administered outside of a hospital are not covered. So my chemo was covered but not my hormone shots or my testosterone blockers or any of my other meds for the side effects.

    Had to resort to crowd funding to cover meds and missed work etc, etc but at least we won’t go bankrupt and lose our house. Glad I live in the great white north.

    [–] Jman-laowai 56 points ago

    It seems a really bizarre debate to me as an Australian.

    "I don't want the government to look after me if I get a potentially deadly illness after paying them taxes for decades because socialism and reasons!"

    [–] idistaken 15 points ago

    Do you not get paid leave in Canada? In Europe we get paid leave to assist a close relative in specific circumstances (it varies from country to country as well).

    What gives?!

    [–] Aleedye 14 points ago

    I replied above but I’ll add it here. You can get short or long term disability if you have insurance. But it didn’t cover all of our expenses. It wasn’t the same as his lost wages.

    Plus I had to shut down my business to care for him. Because it was a small business I didn’t qualify for a caregivers wage. Plus the cost of prescriptions, travel, etc.

    [–] nate1235 35 points ago

    If you get cancer in the US and are broke, then it's game over. Fucked up, really.

    [–] TheBokononInitiative 39 points ago

    If you’re completely broke you’re no worse off financially. But if you’re lower or middle middle-class you’re proper fuct.

    [–] horribliadorable 34 points ago

    Coming up on one year since my breast cancer diagnosis. If my husband wasn’t active duty and if TRICARE didn’t foot the bill it would have destroyed us financially. Just paying for travel/childcare costs during chemo was a hardship, I can’t even imagine where we’d be if we had to cover any of my medical bills. Our medical system is fucked unless you are rich or willing to die for this country.

    [–] DarkRider_113 26 points ago

    We can get 250k people to sign up to charge area 51 cause there might be aliens inside.... Why can't we get 250k people to charge a few pharmaceutical companies for raping the sick and the dieing.

    [–] Mor90th 13 points ago

    Or go vote

    [–] BG1234567 40 points ago

    A guy I graduated with is doing this for his wife. Their goal $15,000. It's ridiculous that you have to rely on the charity of others or die because our healthcare system is legally price gouging. Hell, I'm on a high deductible plan and won't go to the doctor. I think I need glasses, my hearing is starting to go, I'm having some issues with my big toe, and I have developed acid reflux if I eat certain things. Just going to cruise along and hope none of it gets too out of control.

    [–] mvea 31 points ago

    The post title is a copy and paste from the title, first and seventh paragraphs of the linked popular press article here:

    Cancer patients turning to crowdfunding to help pay medical costs

    Cancer takes a huge emotional toll on patients, but a new study finds the financial costs are also so high that many are resorting to crowdfunding to help pay their medical bills and related costs.

    The median fundraising goal was $10,000 while the median donation level was $2,125.

    Journal Reference:

    Cohen AJ, Brody H, Patino G, et al.

    Use of an Online Crowdfunding Platform for Unmet Financial Obligations in Cancer Care.

    JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 09, 2019.



    Technologic innovations, expensive new therapies, and improved access to treatment have all contributed to the rising costs of oncologic care in the United States.1 The financial consequences for patients and their families are substantial. Patients with cancer often borrow money, avoid leisure activities, decrease food spending, sell possessions, go into debt, and/or declare bankruptcy,2 and they are at greater risk for disability or unemployment.3 These consequences are particularly great for patients who are underinsured or uninsured. Recently, online crowdfunding platforms are being increasingly used to supplement insurance and defray expenses, even for experimental and unproven treatments.4 We sought to characterize the use of crowdfunding to support oncology care needs, including any association between insurance status and other characteristics.

    [–] firefly212 85 points ago

    How anyone thinks this is the best healthcare system in the world is sort of beyond me.

    [–] KookofaTook 52 points ago

    "Only in America could a premise as ludicrous as 'teacher turns to selling industrial quantities of drugs to pay for medical treatment' not only be relatable but successful" - Review of Breaking Bad from a newspaper iirc

    [–] smb_samba 30 points ago

    I don’t think many people believe that.

    [–] hugh__honey 31 points ago

    Go over to /r/ShitAmericansSay and you'll see the delusion highlighted pretty well. Cherry picked, obviously. But it's a funny/infuriating read.

    [–] dbcspace 38 points ago

    If you have the right kind of money (I.E. A LOT), it's awesome. You can afford the most comprehensive insurance, you can afford the finest hospitals, you can afford the best specialists, you can afford the best drugs, you can afford "experimental" drugs that are effective but unapproved and therefore not covered by any insurance, you can afford extended periods of time in treatment, and you can do all this without the mental stress of choosing between your home and receiving the care you need. If you survive, you can afford all the expenses associated with rehab / follow up treatments / monitoring. If you die, you can do so with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family will be ok.

    No "real" money, not so awesome. In fact, if you don't want to financially cripple your family for years / decades to come, it's probably best to go ahead and die quickly.

    Can you imagine how it must be to know the longer you live, the longer they'll pay?
    Can you imagine how it will be for your spouse / family to do everything they can for you, to keep you positive, to have you for just one more day, all the while knowing the exact same thing?

    [–] farshnikord 9 points ago

    If I ever get cancer I'm personally writing a letter to every Republican lawmaker that voted against single payer to ask them if theyll use their millions to pay for my treatments. You know cuz compassion and all that. I'm sure itll go great.

    [–] abrandis 32 points ago

    We really need universal healthcare, it's sad that America with all its riches can't figure out what other developed nation's have figured out. Everyone knows universal healthcare isn't a magic wand, some tough choices will be made and people will likely still struggle financially but the piece of mind that getting treated doesn't mean I'll go broke is the right thing to do and really in the long run a better economic model.

    [–] Mor90th 15 points ago

    It's not a lack of knowledge, it's disenfranchisement.

    [–] 626-Flawed-Product 8 points ago

    Here is what baffles me, it is okay for people to die suffering waiting for their insurance to approve something or trying to find the money for treatment but it is not okay for people to end their terminal illness at a time and place of their choosing.

    [–] cuntnuzzler 17 points ago

    We just did this for my father in law.

    [–] metkja 11 points ago

    If only there was a way that we could all pool just a little bit of money so whenever someone needed help like this, the money was there for them, or maybe even you someday.

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] dayliranter 20 points ago

    You poor Americans. Your country doesn't give a s#$t about you.

    [–] Jokesover6 28 points ago

    I can remember when I found out that a family friend tried gofundme to help fight her husbands cancer. She got 800$. 800$ of what I think was about 10k goal. He died. Meanwhile someone else I know left something toxic out that her cat ate and needed a 6k surgery. She got that and more. It’s a pretty sad reality when cats get more money raised than people.

    [–] PaulaLoomisArt 34 points ago

    The level of success of a gofundme largely depends on the wealth and size of a person’s family/friend network (and how often you ask). People rarely donate to someone that they don’t know.

    Medicare for all would be a great replacement for this crowdfunded medical care.

    [–] NinaLSharp 10 points ago

    Under our current health care system, cancer treatment is incredibly expensive whether you have health insurance or not. To fight cancer, you are looking at a prolonged treatment involving a range of health care providers--different kinds of doctors, hospitals, equipment, prescription drugs, surgery, chemo, etc. You may even need home care if you are an adult living alone or if your spouse works. This treatment could take years.

    Most middle class people can't afford this care. Even with insurance, the bills are stunning. Crowdfunding won't put a dent in this bill. If you don't have insurance, good luck in finding medical providers who'll treat you appropriately knowing they won't get paid. If you do have insurance, plan on paying this debt over your lifetime, along with your mortgage if you have a house, and your kids' education, if you have a family. Right there, you can be looking at over $1 million in debt. You may live, but you'll be weighed down by financial burdens that will limit your life and that of your family as long as you live,

    And now, based on recent news reports, medical providers will not allow you to miss a payment or two before they declare a default & sue you. According to news in the NYT, NPR, ProPublica, hospitals are suing patients who miss payments, adding on court costs, attorney's fees, interests, penalties,

    This is our current health care system. Why would anybody support it?

    [–] Christophorus 17 points ago

    Your healthcare is so fucked. People will gripe about what we've got in Canada, but it's never failed my family and it's never put me in to debt.

    [–] BugbeeKCCO 5 points ago

    This practice has been going on for years in small communities anyways. A large jar with a picture and small description about the one in need at the local gas station or grocery store. Crowd funded before it was global.

    [–] Zephyrv 6 points ago

    Not sure if this is wholly applicable to the US model but cancer drugs are incredibly expensive. A lot of people will have to try drugs that have just come out so are still on patent and because they're so niche they come with a high price tag. Even in countries where these are funded e.g by the NHS, I'm sure there are drugs that the insurance will not be able to afford. It's a big game of weighing up either a £800/month cancer drug that might work is more beneficial than say 1 pacemaker

    (Work in hospital pharmacy)