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Comparing hospital bills
I just finished reading a article in the Phoenix Republic that said private hospitals charge more that US Government Tribal Hospitals. It stated that a joint replacement cost $30,259 at Tucson Medical Center or $15,527 at Tuba City Regional Health Care. On the surface I would agree that 2X the charge appears to be a rip off. The private hospital has hospital charges, doctors fees, and other costs .... the tribal hospital is funded by the taxpayers, the doctors on salary, and all medications provided at no cost. The funding to the BIA is in the trillions of dollars. If I were to do the math, the cost to the taxpayers to operate tribal hospitals exceed private hospital fees.
The government pays $1 for every $4 charged in the expenses to patients 65 and over on medicade. So to level the playing field the charges are in excess to receive the minimum. If my cost was $100 I would charge $400 to break even.
The BIA system can only take those with a BIA card ... private hospital must by law take all patients into emergency treatment. This is used by illegals and those with no capability to pay. Thus those who can pay and have insurance make up the difference for those who receive services and never pay. There is no free lunch ... someone pays the bills for those who get "free services".
So the debate is: Is there really a difference in billing or is it illusionary? If the tax called Obamacare is implemented will the costs be different or will the cost remain hidden as they are now with the taxpayer carrying a heavier load under a more restrictive system?