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What if all US health care costs were transparent? | Jeanne Pinder

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In the US, the very same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away — and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. Journalist Jeanne Pinder says it doesn't have to be this way. She's built a platform that crowdsources the true costs of medical procedures and makes the data public, revealing the secrets of health care pricing. Learn how knowing what stuff costs in advance could make us healthier, save us money — and help fix a broken system.

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56 Comments on What if all US health care costs were transparent? | Jeanne Pinder

  1. Sumit V Bhardwaj // 11th March 2019 at 3:46 pm // Reply

    Yet another wonderful video from TedX team. Really appreciate.


  2. They’re needs to be a universal healthcare system put in place, that’s the only way.

    • +level Joe The first cardiac pacemaker was invented by a Canadian electrical engineer, John Hopps, who was researching the effects of radio frequency heating on hypothermia in 1941. He found that if the heart stopped beating when its temperature dropped, that it could be restarted artificially, using mechanical or electrical stimulation to make it beat. This research allowed the development of the first cardiac defibrillation machine, which was used by Hopps to start a dog’s heart in 1949.


    • +level Joe Thank you, for reinforcing your idiocy. Have a great day!

    • +WolfeCanada Did you think a cardiac defibrillation machine was the same thing as a pacemaker?
      You have a great day too grandpa!

    • +level Joe At no point was I speaking of a defibrillator, which is a piece of external emergency equipment designed to restart a heart. A pacemaker uses a process of defibrillation to maintain a constant heart rhythm. Are you that ignorant, or just out of touch with reality?

    • +level Joe Never mind answering that, it’s blatantly obvious.

  3. Tandav Koushik // 11th March 2019 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    37 likes 2 views YouTube is high

  4. Black Vito - Moneyology & Philosophy // 11th March 2019 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    The healthcare system needs to be improved. Left/right we should be able to agree with that

    • Robert Bishop // 11th March 2019 at 8:38 pm // Reply

      If you want a total reform of healthcare, then we should adopt a “laissez faire” approach to a free market, forcing medicine to survive without subsidies and artificial controls. 
      +Brenda Rua

    • Busted American // 11th March 2019 at 9:06 pm // Reply

      ​+Robert Bishop so essentially you want a dog-eat-dog system where the oligopoly of drug, insurance, and healthcare providers can just dictate to consumers what they have to pay? Without any control or regulations and somehow just expect good things? Show me one place in the developed world where that type of system has worked to improve the health of the citizens.

    • Ana Beatriz Leiroz // 11th March 2019 at 9:51 pm // Reply

      I do live in a 3rd world country and in brazil we have a público health system. And as a Professional working exclusively on público health I can say: we have lots of problems, but we are also full of stories that finished well. My biggest proud as a brazilian is having an universal and equal law that provides us healthcare. We are far away from The objetivem, but we are millions fighting and studying for its improvement. And soon becoming a physician, I can only think of working in another country where healthcare is public.

    • Ana Beatriz Leiroz // 11th March 2019 at 9:54 pm // Reply

      One of my friends had to live in US for a year because her father was invited to develop a technology over there. She fainted at school and they called The ambulance. Well, it has been 8 years since that and only in 2017 her family managed to pay all The bills relate to this event.

    • +Robert Bishop Well, yes that would be a total reform lolol

  5. If Health Savings plans were made more available, prices would be totally transparent, and competition would bring amazing reductions to cost throughout all of healthcare. When people pay for things themselves, prices go way down due to competition. The real problem with healthcare is that few care about the price because insurance (someone else) is paying the bill.

    • Noob Attempts // 11th March 2019 at 3:51 pm // Reply

      That only works if you can save. I know people who are thousands in debt for college and is working a minimum wage job. So you think they can save

    • Lenard Segnitz // 11th March 2019 at 5:10 pm // Reply

      Sure prices would go down…if you could shop around. In moments of acute need most don’t have the time or mental faculties to go shopping.

    • Soletestament // 11th March 2019 at 6:25 pm // Reply

      +Lenard Segnitz And that’s why they get people. Understand if people could google medical prices like the speaker was suggesting however you know it’d make a difference. That said acute need…. is the uncommon or rare occurrence. It’s the sudden accident or heart attack. In most cases where illness is involved however…. you have the time. People make time for the things they want or need to do. If you’re finding yourself telling anyone you don’t have time to do something that doesn’t require a specific time/date…. you really just don’t want to do it.

  6. Jorge Amado Soria Ramírez // 11th March 2019 at 3:57 pm // Reply

    Or you could just go with a Medicare For All system where you don’t need to shop around for “the best prices” when your life is on the line.
    “Sick. Help. Sick. Help.” – Denzel Washington in “John Q”

  7. Your Favorite Lifecoach // 11th March 2019 at 3:57 pm // Reply

    It doesn’t matter if the truth gets out there, people still care more about kylie jenner being self made than health care..

  8. They are when you have to pay cash for everything yourself.

  9. Joe DiGiovanni // 11th March 2019 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    Ms. Pinder – thank you SO MUCH for doing this! Years ago I recall asking a provider for costs up front, and I got a puzzled reaction and don’t recall getting the information. I’d love to hear my Congressman’s reaction to a call for full transparency…

  10. karma Healing // 11th March 2019 at 4:01 pm // Reply

    Omg the price of health care over in the US is nuts.

    • That’s why I’m feeling to be on the brink of death with complications resulting from influenza I can’t afford without health insurance.
      Honestly would rather die than take up $5400 in debt for a damn Tamiflu pack I can get on the street for like $20, as my condition worsens. Only reason I haven’t gone to an ER is that I AM A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER! So I can monitor my symptoms and self medicate to a point…

  11. Haha *as he laughs in european accent*

  12. It’s pretty much as if the entire US system is run by organized crime.

    • To give you clarity; it is.

    • Michael Cook // 11th March 2019 at 5:03 pm // Reply

      It’s not only the US. From Canada we have a different set of problems, but equally or more corrupt, and a population that’s indifferent and complacent. All these systems need a major overhaul.

    • Yes, it’s called the government

    • The US healthcare problem is more the health insurance companies fault than government. The insurance companies like it when pharmaceutical companies keep raising the price for drugs. They simply pass that cost along to your insurance premiums and you pay them along with the now bigger slice of the pie that goes to the insurance company.
      So there’s nothing to keep the drug companies in check. The insurance companies are their biggest clients, paying for most of their drugs. When the drug company raises the price the insurance company says “great! keep it up, more profit for us”. There’s no one to complain about the higher price and say “no, that’s to much, we’re going somewhere else for that drug”.

  13. none of your business // 11th March 2019 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    Transparency brings competition. A free market requires informed consumers to function properly.

    • When you get into a catastrophic accident, you can’t negotiate what hospital you are taken to, what drugs and procedures are given to you. Free market in health-care has not worked anywhere and the statistics prove that single payer systems treat people better, effectively, cheaper and don’t result in bankruptcy.
      You need organizations to negotiate prices down and make companies actually compete and the biggest organization is the state.

    • No it doesn’t. The free market is functioning properly right now. Free market doesn’t preclude monopolistic or cartel conditions. Competition whittles away profits so providers don’t compete, they price fix.

    • +tdreamgmail Statistics and history shows they do exactly that. The optimal stategy is to whittle down competitors, merge and buyout smaller businesses.

      How come every non regulated industry tends towards massive corporations and monopolies/cartels/ price fixing . Name ONE industry that doesn’t in any country in any time in history.

  14. Michael Jackson said it best : THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US!!!

  15. Imagine if the military budget was cut and that money was used to develop other sectors like healthcare, scientific research and the economy.

    • +Pure Logic Killing innocent civilians, using our people as canon fodder, destabilising foreign Governments and seizing foreign assets is not security.

    • hdmat101 That is not what I’m referencing obviously.

    • BottomFragger // 11th March 2019 at 7:49 pm // Reply

      POTUS just released his new budget: More military budget than the Pentagon asked for and cuts to education, medicare and medicaid.
      The US is royally fucked right now.

    • Military spending really has nothing to do with how we run healthcare. Two completely separate sectors. It’s fair to say we should spend less on the military. The video spoke about how there’s no specific method to price treatments. That clearly is not impacted by how much money we spend on the military.

    • Tatiyana Kholomonova // 11th March 2019 at 8:59 pm // Reply

      ‘Imagine’ /John Lennon/ ✌

  16. Busted American // 11th March 2019 at 5:20 pm // Reply

    This screams as reason #10,412 pointing at the NEED to have #Medicare4All.

    • Busted American // 11th March 2019 at 8:51 pm // Reply

      +Netro1992 glad you finally read it. You didn’t absorb any of it though as you didn’t address my points at all. You’re avoiding them.

      I stated the average costs of single payer and universal healthcare systems for families of 4. Them compared it to our own average prices and how we pay double what they pay. You just completely ignored addressing that.

      I didn’t just state a libertarian source claimed that, I clearly stated “Libertarian or standard academic.” You’re focusing on one aspect and not the whole of my comment. Showing yet again, you’re not at all absorbing what I’m spelling out in plain English.

      How is it a bad description of a Medicare For All system? You realize to make a claim like that, you actually have to state what was bad in what I said huh?

      Technically there was four paragraphs in my original reply to you. The first just happened to be 3 small lines, but it’s none the less a paragraph. Aside from that little nuance, you did misunderstand me. I clearly rebutted your exact comment about obscure pricing and how the video above addressed it. You even admitted it and now you’re trying to obfuscate your way out of admitting you owned yourself as Ms. Hope so elegantly pointed out.

      Those numbers are direct comparisons. In fact the studies are quite extensive and break down the costs per sector. The Mercatus study is 24 pages with citations leading to 3 other studies and the UMass PERI study is 205 pages long with at least 12+ citations for external studies. I suggest YOU read the studies and quit being willfully ignorant of reality because you believe a false narrative.

      Lastly, you act as if Canada and the UK don’t invest in new procedures and treatments (lol @ cures). I mean just recently Senator Rand Paul had to go to Canada for treatment because their procedures and outcomes for his specific condition were so much better. He risked the negative press of going to a socialized medicine country to get treatment and even paid out of pocket when he has free healthcare. How about you prove your claim that new procedures and treatments would stop because we go single payer. Find me a single example of where that’s happened in the developed world.

    • Busted American // 11th March 2019 at 9:01 pm // Reply

      ​+Netro1992 Oh and on your second comment directed at Ms. Hope; you’re not one to talk about other people having ideological blindness. Also I love how you come at her about supposed comments about contradictions and she said nothing about that. Just that you owned yourself. Which you did in fact do, but just seem incapable of admitting it.

      Cash only payments is something that the rich do and it’s not something that normal people do because they can’t afford to pay cash. The whole system is engineered to make cash payments preferable to providers because they don’t have to spend countless hours squabbling with insurance companies about coverage and procedures. Do you have any idea how much time providers have to spend begging insurance to cover simple tests and procedures? My guess is you don’t have a clue. Their time is valuable and someone paying cash means they don’t have to waste that valuable time cutting red tape for patients.

      How about instead of asking a continual barrage of questions, you instead listen to answers already given and maybe address those? Rather than trying to find some kind of gotcha or unrelated nonsense to assuage your ego bruising on owning yourself above.

      Edit for a missing word in the second paragraph.

    • +Busted American
      Hope comments in support of your comment stating I contradicted myself in the nature of obscure pricing is not a comment about contradcition in obscure pricing because hope didn’t write the comment Hope was agreeing with? How does that even work? If I state the sky is green, and you agree, no one can criticize your for agreeing the sky is green because you didn’t say the sky is green?

      And that’s just false. Unless you are claiming a full 10% of all people in the USA are actually wealthy millionares, which they aren’t, then no, cash-clinics and cash-hospitals are not aimed at the rich only. And yes? So you are agreeing that the cash only clinics go around the main drivers of the costs for healthcare? And you can see how this relates to a video about how knowing the prices of healthcare right away leads to cheaper services because you can ignore the 552$ option for the 19$ one?

      As for a barrage of questions, I asked, I think three through out all my comments, and two aren’t even direct at you, soo… sure?

    • Busted American // 11th March 2019 at 10:26 pm // Reply

      ​+Netro1992 I never said anything about contradictions either. So don’t try to put your owning yourself off on me. Just admit you made a mistake in your original post about obscure pricing and we can move on from that point.

      Do you even do any research before making your claims of falsity and asking even more questions? Approximately 11.7% of all households are millionaires or above. Citation:
      We have the highest concentration of millionaires in the world in fact. Strange you didn’t know that.

      Cash clinics and hospitals? Show me a valid citation that shows there are entire hospitals that take only cash. I can believe the clinics as a lot of them are generally in inner cities and extreme rural areas that charge essentially cost for very basic services. Just so people have access to care. The remaining ones are in obscure states like Oklahoma and Texas. Where the clinics take mostly upper class patients and give them massive discounts to pay only cash. Heck 63% of Americans can’t even afford a $500 emergency. What makes you think they can afford thousands for care at cash clinics? Citation:

      Cash clinics don’t “go around the main drivers of the costs for healthcare.” They are obscure and rare in the US. Either serving the very poor and under-served at drastically low prices (to help patients, not providers) or the elite who can afford to spend thousands on the spot for massive discounts. I will say that insurance companies do drastically increase the costs and time at all levels of healthcare. Not only do they charge outrageous prices for coverage, but they cut a massive amount of time out of the work day for doctors and their staff. Single payer does away with the high costs as there’s no shareholders demanding profits and the time needed begging for approval from insurers so the shareholders get those profits. Toss on top the outrageous prices for medication and getting approval for those from insurers. Like a medication that was at one point free and now costs over $375k.Can you pay cash for that? Citation:

      You can see how not having to worry about paying for *ANY* procedures, services, or medications at the point of service with single payer is preferable to either cash or insurance systems. Especially since it will save us a ton of money in the long run and no American is without healthcare.

    • +Busted American !!!BOOM!!! Again!

  17. Sean Napolitano // 11th March 2019 at 5:53 pm // Reply

    what? you dont agree with 87 dollars for two advil?

  18. Basically create an actual free market for healthcare services where cost, quality and voluntary agreements for goods/services creates competition. Yes please!

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