Re: The US system - my experience
While on business in Texas, I had the worst flu I've ever had, and needed to get hold of a blue inhaler. Since our travel medical insurance is for nasty stuff, I was told to pay for it and expense it. I visited a place called an Emergency Room. As far as I can tell, by the way, Emergency Room is a brand name for what is the rough equivalent of a GP Practice/Polyclinic. Emergency Room has a Hummer converted to ambulance (coolest looking ambulance I've seen). Financially, it broke down as:
- $200, just to see a Doctor
- But this includes mandatory blood pressure and diabetes tests
- For paying cash (well, Amex), he wrote the prescription for free
- I then went to the pharmacy counter, at the local supermarket, handed over the prescription and paid the full cost of the drugs.
Back at the office, an American colleague told me about her experience of giving birth in Australia. They'd just paid for all the medical services associated with having a baby, and couldn't believe how cheap it was compared to back home.
In the US, I think the Medical Industrial Complex takes everyone for a ride.