Wednesday, August 5, 2009

$210.91 (or more) for this??

At present, the U.S. is in the midst of a rather fierce ideological battle on the topic of health care. On the right, we have freemarketeers who prefer to give Wall Street even greater influence over a system wherein profits trump patients. On the left, we have progressives who believe in a role for government in keeping healthcare accessible, cost effective, and top quality (e.g., Medicare, Veterans Affairs). And the fog of war is obscuring many simple, verifiable facts.

What's the relevance to Enduro Africa, you ask? Recall that I recently went in for preventive medical care in anticipation of traveling to rural South Africa, where there is a slight risk of exposure to things like Hepatitis A, typhoid, malaria, and other nasties. With excellent health insurance in hand, here's what it cost me to get inoculated here in the U.S.:
  • Typhoid vaccine (4 pills): $42.03
  • Anti-malarials (25 pills): $25.00
  • Hepatitis A vaccine (2880 ml): $128.88
  • Physician office co-pays (3 visits): $15
That comes to $210.91. And I pay only a small fraction of the actual costs, which could be many times higher. Just thinking about these exorbitant fees makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over -- or is that one of the side effects?

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