Controlling Health Costs

Archive Report

Turmoil Over U.S. Health Care Bills

Concern About Nation's Future Ability to Pay

Last november a woman checked into New York University Medical Center to have a portion of her stomach removed. Three weeks later, while still recuperating in the hospital, she received a bill for hospital charges up to that time. The bill totaled $10,000. The surgeon's fee “for services rendered” came to $3,000. The anesthesiologist's bill was $700. Luckily, the woman was covered by Medicare insurance, for without it, her life savings could have been wiped out.

Stories like this are not uncommon in the United States any longer. For the cost of health care is spiraling. One night in a hospital can cost $200. Intensive care can cost over $300 a day. The cost ...

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