Why is medical care so outrageously expensive in the USA?

My grandparents said that they used to pay cash for routine doctor and dentist visits, and that insurance was just for major problems like accidents. WTH happened?

9 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most of the cost of insurance is still for major stuff anyway. Mainly what happened since your grandparents' time is that it became possible to live longer with a major problem; when someone has a major problem that would have killed someone quickly in the time that your grandparents remember, now they live long enough to gets millions of dollars of medical care that didn't exist in the time that your grandparents remember.

    However, the other part of the equation is that medical care in the U.S. costs twice what it does in other countries.

    One of the reasons for this is that a person can't get routine care if they can't afford to pay for it, so they get sicker until it becomes a major problem and then they go to the emergency room, and don't pay the bill. At some hospitals 50-90% of the bills don't get paid, so the hospitals have to charge the patients who do pay (and their insurance) two to ten times as much as their care actually costs, to make up for the losses on the patients who don't pay (and don't have insurance).

    • Erik
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      I would definitely do that, if I got sick.  I can't afford insurance.

  • 3 weeks ago

    There are lots of contributing factors, but the primary is its really expense to do the research to develop new medications (but really cheap to create additional doses of the medication) and the US is bearing an overweighting of those costs.  Until our politicians start getting other nations to bear their weight of the costs this will continue to happen.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    We've become a litigation society where you can sue someone for them hurting your feelings. Malpractice insurance is expensive.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Medical care is a lot more extensive than back then

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 weeks ago

    Our government is run by DBs.  Biggest cost is pharmaceuticals and we're charged more than anyone else in the world...because we have money.  Keep in mind before you blame insurance companies that insurance companies only pay what they're billed and work to keep those fees down.  They don't make more money by paying out more.  They also would love to see Rx costs come down.  Remember that if the costs go up, the premiums go up.  If the costs come down, the premiums come down.  By law they have to spend a certain percentage of the premiums on claims.  If they don't, they have to refund it.  Probably one of the few lines in the ACA that actually makes some sense.

  • not
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The problem is nobody will stand up for themselves. They believe the government who has had a hand in creating the problem will save them. Most of us don't even know what any medical service actually costs to even begin to guess where the rest of the money is wasted.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    They’re allowed to charge whatever they feel like charging. The insurance companies push the cost onto anybody who has insurance. Both entities know that people generally want to live, so we’ll decide to go bankrupt just to have an appendix removed or get cancer treatment. I own a small business. If I had an endless supply of customers who were willing to give me every penny they have in the world in exchange for my services, I’d be a billionaire too. 

  • Greg
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Lawyers suing and politicians getting rich.

  • 4 weeks ago

    ...................

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.