Why is healthcare so much more expensive in the United States than every other country in the world?

Last year my son had to get his appendix removed. His appendix started to rupture while he was at school, so I picked him up and took him to the nearest in-network hospital (I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas). The hospital said he needed surgery, but they didn't have a pediatric surgeon on staff who could... show more Last year my son had to get his appendix removed. His appendix started to rupture while he was at school, so I picked him up and took him to the nearest in-network hospital (I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas).

The hospital said he needed surgery, but they didn't have a pediatric surgeon on staff who could perform the procedure. So we had to get an ambulance from this first hospital to another in-network hospital where the surgery was performed. After the initial surgery he had to go back a week later for a lingering infection at the wound site.

My out of pocket costs last year were around $13k which includes $3,000 in annual premiums, a $6k deductible, and about $1k in co-pays. The ambulance ride was not covered by my insurance and cost about $2,700 ($500 pick up fee, $500 drop off fee, plus $100/mile). I fought with my insurance company over this, but they simply refused to pay and threatened to send the bills to a collection agency.

That's $10k in additional costs BEYOND MY MONTHLY PREMIUMS. This ate up much of my savings. My wife and I had hoped to put a down payment on a house, but now we have to save for another 2-3 years. I had to pay that stupid ambulance bill because I couldn't risk the hit to my credit.

Does anybody really think this system works?
10 answers 10