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Angelo - To answer your bandaid question 1. Because they can 2. To cover the hospital's fixed and variable costs (infrastructure, nursing,energy etc) the hospital sticks ridiculous prices on bandaids and aspirins. It would make loads more sense, certainly PR wise, to simply add a "hospital costs" surcharge to the bill which would more closely reflect the effort and cost involved in caring for each patient. It would still be an enormous amount but would not be as infuriating as being billed $40 for a piece of gauze. Insurers, of course, do not pay, but if you are uninsured you are in big trouble. (Two friends recently had $40,000 hospital bills (for two or three day stays) and insurance paid the hospital, in full in each case, about $3500. No insurance and you would be lucky to get away with a negotiated $20K.)
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2007 on Enron and Newspapers at