Let's see. How to put this? I know: Doctors are in it for the money. Hospitals used to be community-based institutions, often built with bonds funded by local citizens, owned by the community, but have since been bought up by private corporations (and the Catholic Church) who use the letters "E.R." as their gang insignia. The doctors all make obscene amounts of money, live in palaces, think they're Gods, and mostly do routine work. And don't even get me started on the ones who are drunk or drugged for much of their careers, while the AMA covers up for them time and again. The real killers are the ones who got their education paid for by taxpayers by joining the military, and as soon as they get out they charge Three Million Dollars a year for their services. Not so much moved by patriotic fervor when it comes to robbing the citizens of their community blind.
I just got one of my first bills for my broken bones. For the trip to the emergency room. I saw a doctor for about 15 minutes total in the emergency room and was charged $1,200.00. That works out to $4,800 per hour. He was a nice doctor. He didn't save my life. He didn't even treat me. He didn't even touch me. He sat in a chair and asked me what happened, looked at my leg, sent me to x-ray, told me "Yeah -- it's broken -- you'll need surgery -- go to the orthopedic doctor's office tomorrow and schedule your surgery." He had the nurse give me two vicadin, a cast, and some crutches. The nurse was nice too. Everybody was nice, even the receptionist who told me all about her DUI while I was waiting to be seen. Even she was nice. I told her to lay off those prescription pills if she was planning to drive. But other than that -- nice lady.
But nobody is worth $1,200.00 for 15 minutes of chatting. That's more expensive than phone sex. The entire medical industry is hosing America, robbing us blind just like Wall Street does, paying enormous bribes to our politicians so nobody will stop them. They should be riding through the corridors of the hospital on horses with masks over their faces and guns in their hands: "This is a stick-up. Hand over your wallets and nobody will get hurt."
Ask a doctor how they would feel about having an hourly rate which is posted in their office, so everybody knows in advance what they're getting into. Doctors are horrified at the thought. If they told the public how much they were charging per hour, they'd probably all be strung up at the edge of town. So they don't want an "hourly" rate. They just want an obscene rate.
I waited for my insurance company to come back with some adjustment to tell this ER doc that he was nuts, this was way too much for him to charge. They did nothing. I've got a big deductible, so I'm paying the bills. I'm one of those citizens who supports the following healthcare reform: national healthcare for all people, free of charge, paid by taxes on rich people. In particular, there should be big taxes on ER doctors who charge $4800/hour for their services.
I suppose if I was uninsured and broke, they would have spirited me off in a taxi and dumped me on skid row, like they did to this poor old lady who had broken something, had "confusion" (i.e. dementia), but the hospital dumped her in a hospital gown on the streets of skid row. That is the "fabulous" medical care system that the Republicans keep talking about. I think they said she was 63. If she'd been 65 and had Medicare, they probably would have kept her, done lots of needless surgery, run up a $100,000 bill. If she'd had Medicare, paid for by the taxpayers, then she would have received the same healthcare as the Republicans do. Instead of dumped on skid row in a hospital gown, with no shoes, at 63 years of age with dementia, and left to die.