The real reason American health care is so expensive

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Hint: single-payer won’t fix America’s health care spending.

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Americans don’t drive up the price by consuming more health care. They don’t visit the doctor more than other developed countries:

But the price we pay for that visit – for a procedure – it costs way more:

The price you pay for the same procedure, at the same hospital, may vary enormously depending on what kind of health insurance you have in the US.

That’s because of bargaining power. Government programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, can ask for a lower price from health service providers because they have the numbers: the hospital has to comply or else risk losing the business of millions of Americans.

There are dozens of private health insurance providers in the United States and they each need to bargain for prices with hospitals and doctors. The numbers of people private insurances represent are much less than the government programs. That means a higher price when you go to the doctor or fill a prescription.

Uninsured individuals have the least bargaining power. Without any insurance, you will pay the highest price.

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  1. Mark Harris

    @Armando ruiz, pedant. Not one Amercan I have met has introduced themselves as a "US citizen".
    I did laugh though, to be given a geography lesson by a member of one of the world's most insular societies is hilarious!

  2. Calallenbrian84

    You literally stated it's the government that forces them to take the money, so they allow them to charge the private insurers more. So it's the US government is why the price is high. They don't regulate it becasue they don't care to regulate it. They are funded by the pharmaceuticals. We don't have accountability in our society. If someone is unhealthy and they dont' do ANYTHING to curtail it nothing happens to them. That's why single payer would never work here. Too much lobbying.

  3. Calallenbrian84

    See how many visits the public side does compared to how many visits the private sector does.

  4. John Elias Yusuf

    US medical system is in part private, but far away frota being a free Market

  5. Apollinaris

    it's not that they're spending more money on the same treatment. the US is spending money on BETTER treatments

  6. Finguywhowatchesstuff

    As a Brit i knew that the us health care system was bust but I didn’t realise how much this video would generate my disgust for the us

  7. Prak Descott

    A smart kid I knew growing up later became an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. He makes over $100,000 a month🤯. Another friend I had in jr high, his dad was anesthesiologist in 1996 and made about $200,000 a year. I don’t know how we’re going to fix this mess, how can we ask healthcare workers to take a 50 percent pay cut?

  8. sharerofcontents 2.0

    Morrocans: I hurt my knee
    Koreans: fly to our country (visa free) and go get free treatment in Seoul.
    Morrocans: thx S.K

    Hospitals in Korea are required by law to provide FREE health care

  9. Jay Be

    its all how they wanted to control price and regulate who gets what

  10. Bonnie Belle

    Do the best doctors end up moving to the US so they can get paid more?

  11. Louvenia

    This is the video that changed my views on universal healthcare.

  12. Taras Rakya

    I've never understood why those who advocate the privitastion of health care are always against the same with the military or the police.

    Paying your taxes for healthcare isn't a human right, but paying them to have an unstoppable military power is?

  13. Dosenbrot 96

    I as a German thinks it's ridiculous that you still have a system like that. Two weeks ago my kneecap was out and now I still have 4 weeks of complex and expensive treatments. But guess what I don't have to pay for it. If needed to pay for it I would be homeless or smth. So i can't understand people who still want that system

  14. Nikola Jokic

    In Europe, you pay money to the government for healthcare. In America, you pay money to insurance companies for healthcare. Hospitals don't try to rob people, they try to rob insurance companies and medicaid.

  15. dingledongle69

    Knowing Vox. Before even watching the video let me guess it's either Capitalisms fault or racisms fault

  16. Matthew Eraci

    California’s GDP is 5x bigger than Sweden. Why don’t they do Universal Health Care???? If it is so perfect, let them Canary… if it works, awesome I’ll pay -$500 and it will be adopted on the federal level…

  17. 4thaLulz

    There's something wrong when "the richest country in the word" doesn't care about the health of his citizens. Health is a Human Right, not a business… those prices are a nonsense.

  18. Skeletor The Alcoholic

    Maybe just maybe private healthcare has risen because Private companies need to compete with the Government because if they don’t they’ll go out of business. You wanna look at anything eliminate the government from healthcare

  19. Lacerne Dixon

    "Health care is one of those things that government can do cheaper and better"….I disagree. That would statement would make Milton Friedman roll over in his grave.

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