To this day, it genuinely shocks me that there are still millions of Americans without health insurance.
Now, I understand that health insurance can be extremely expensive. So for those of you who desperately want health insurance, but simply cannot afford it, I’ll give you a pass. But do whatever is in your power to rectify that situation as soon as possible.
But to those of you who have the financial means to obtain health insurance, but simply choose not to have it…you’re a complete moron.
Why Some People Don’t Buy Health Insurance
Here are some reasons I’ve heard from actual people for why they don’t have health insurance:
- “I haven’t been to the doctor in over five years and I’m perfectly fine!”
- “If something actually happens to me, I’ll pay out of pocket instead of spending hundreds of dollars monthly on something I’m not using!”
- “Only stupid people get hurt!”
- “Health insurance costs way too much money, I just can’t afford it!” (But of course they can afford brand new iPhones, laptops and designer clothing)
They’re all idiots. For whatever reason, a whole lot of people seem to misunderstand the basic principles of insurance. The idea of insurance is to provide protection in the event that something undesirable happens. It’s not a health spending plan. It’s completely irrelevant that you may not have to go to the doctor. The idea of health insurance is not to make sure you spend The point is that if you do have to go to the doctor, without health insurance you are screwed.
My Hospital Story
What some people don’t seem to understand is how broken America’s healthcare system is. If you don’t have health insurance, understand that even a trivial accident may completely ruin your life! I’ll give you an example from my own life.
I once had to go to the emergency room on a holiday because I got a completely random and bizarre infection from a simple bug bite. It was diagnosed as a blood infection (sepsis), and I was told that it could have potentially led to organ failure and death. Incidentally, after about an hour after the administration of antibiotics via an IV, I was completely fine. The doctor printed me out a random fact sheet about sepsis that she literally printed off of Google, and they sent me on my merry way.
The bill for that approximately two hour long emergency room stay?
About three thousand dollars.
Now of course, I didn’t end up paying that much because I had health insurance. I simply had to pay the emergency room copay, which I believe at the time was roughly two hundred dollars. But the point is that if I didn’t have health insurance, I could have lost three grand over the course of a single day. Or about $1500 an hour. All because I got bitten by a bug.
Guess what? Bugs bite people all the goddamn time. And no I wasn’t bitten by some exotic poisonous creature during a vacation in far away lands. I was bit by a common horsefly. So next time a bug bites you keep in mind that if you don’t have health insurance you may be cutting your friendly neighborhood hospital a check for a couple of Gs very soon.
The Real Costs of Healthcare
Now in my example above, my emergency room stay cost around three thousand dollars. In actuality, that’s really not that bad. Hopefully, the loss of three thousand dollars wouldn’t bankrupt any financially stable person. However, keep in mind that my emergency room visit was about as simple as it gets. I went in, they ran a test, gave me an IV, and kicked me out of there. In and out in less than two hours. Three thousand dollars.
The costs go up exponentially if you are faced with any kind of situation where you actually have to stay overnight at the hospital. Get hit by a car and have to be hospitalized for a week? Expect a hospital bill in the tens of thousands.
According to one study, the cost of the average hospital stay in 2012 was over ten thousand dollars. The average cost of a hospital stay involving surgery was over twenty thousand dollars.
Average costs of common medical procedures according to the IFHP (rounded to the nearest thousand):
- Appendectomy – $14000
- Child Delivery – $10000
- C-Section – $15000
- Hip Replacement – $26000
Now the exact numbers don’t matter. I did a lot of research into finding exact figures, but they all tended to vary quite widely. What is important is the fact that all of these studies always come to the same conclusion.
Healthcare in America costs a fuck-ton of money.
By now, I hope you understand that living without health insurance is inherently no different from gambling. You’re wagering that nothing will happen to you. Even though things happen all the damn time that are completely outside your control.
If you’re right, you saved maybe a few thousand dollars a year. Less if your company subsidizes your health insurance (almost all non-shitty companies do). If you’re wrong, you may have ruined your life. You may have just gambled away your entire life savings, you may be saddled with crippling medical debt, and you may have to file for bankruptcy because you had a single unforeseen emergency room visit.
Gambling is for imbeciles. Get health insurance.