Going under the Knife in the USA


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600 comments

  1. Great stuff I can relate to.
    The multicultural professionalism you experienced is the one I had through my medical training. This is how I see America and for this reason I cannot relate to large part of the discussion in the political arena, which imho exaggerates Rism etc..

    On the other hand, the insurance and billing issue is real and it mostly hits the middle class , hard working people who keep the country alive and going. Everyone gets treated, some dont have to pay, others can afford it, but the majority blue and white collar workers with families get hit with uncertainty, tall bills and potential bankruptcy.
    This is one issue that really needs change.
    Get well soon and stay awesome brother!

  2. You might call me 爷 instead of 大爷 because I’m so much older than you, but I preface this way so you can get a feel for when these things I say happened.
    .
    Before I was born I was told by my grandparents that there were hospitals for the destitute where doctors and nurses regularly donated their time and skills to treat indigent patients. Kind of like how lawyers then would donate their services to the poor for free. These places were always short of supplies, staff and medicines, etc. Rich patients went to private clinics.
    .
    When my mom had me in the hospital in Oregon City (1953) she had healthcare insurance. She was the only one at the time there who had such insurance. (Dad was working for the City of Portland.) Everyone else there was paying for their healthcare out of pocket. The nurses “borrowed” mom’s hospital-provided supplies to use for the other patients. Mom’s insurance was billed for the stuff that went to the other patients. In those days, hospitals were non-profit orgs. Mom spent the better part of a week in her own private room including recovery after delivery. If you had no money you went to the county hospital and they had to treat you, without fee if you could not afford to pay. I saw the bill from the hospital. About $100. In those days my grandma called the doctors there “pill-pushers.”
    .
    20 years later (1973) Nixon signed the HMO Act as a favor to his buddy Edgar Kaiser, (of Kaiser-Permanente) and hospitals became for-profit enterprises. This was the time when the healthcare share of family budgets in America really began to rise from near nothing. Federal funding became involved, and so did federal regulations. Ever since, like half the cost of healthcare became the cost of record keeping involved in following the myriad federal regulations to obtain their funding. Hospitals had staff whose job was to keep current with the regulations then. It was no longer illegal to profit from healthcare, but every tissue used by each patient had to be accounted for. Still, people with insurance subsidized a lot of the healthcare of those who didn’t. But the insurance industry gradually began to push back as they became larger – buying each other out. Also, the legal profession were targeting the healthcare industry as their cash cow. It used to be that only shyster lawyers were called “ambulance chasers”, but by then hospitals also had to have lawyers on staff.
    .
    Forward 47 more years and BO’s Affordable Care Act exacerbated the problems. I’m a boomer. By 2010 boomers were getting healthcare issues. BO Care was popular with the boomers. The mandated insurance requirement for the Millennials and XYZ generations helped subsidize boomers healthcare costs. The other gens were healthy and did not really need health insurance. But they were forced to buy it because of BO’s deal: Buy it or pay a hefty penalty on your income tax. Windfall profits for the insurance companies. Boomers’ (and those whose lifestyles were unhealthy) healthcare was being subsidized by their (and others’) children and grandchildren. Insurance costs of healthcare went up many times again. Healthcare costs themselves didn’t come down. Also, if you refused to buy insurance and they figured you could afford it, hospitals were not required to treat you. They stabilized you to the point where you could be shipped off to someplace else (anywhere else) and that was it. The poor were paid for by the government – but again, government regulations doubled.
    .
    Voters were not happy. They tried to vote in people who would undo the damage done by the government tax and spenders, but they just got other politicians who said the right things but who were in the insurance company and healthcare industry’s pockets. BO Care could not get repealed, nor could the healthcare industry be reformed to eliminate the massive corruption fraud and abuse. Then C19 hit and almost everything’s been shut down for a year. Shambles.

  3. This is why I would never live in America, there’s basically no social safety net. Luckily I’m British, so I will never have to worry about not having money for medical care, medication, a place to sleep for the night, or food to eat.

  4. In the future, you should call your insurance company to find out which hospitals it will work with in your area. They can also tell you what doctors they work with, how much your prescription co-pay will be, etc. Sorry you had such a run-around. Insurance was so much better before it was nationalized 10 or so years ago. My son before insurance was nationalized- I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, had to have c-section, son was in NICU for 5 weeks. My cost? $200 for the first hospital, $300 for the second hospital, and $100 for the ambulance when I was transferred between hospitals, $40 to the dr. My second baby came 7 years later. The cost was $7000 to the hospital, again a c-section, no NICU stay, and I made so many payments at the same time as my visit to several doctors that I lost track of the total amount, but my cost was over $2000. Then four years later… $9500 to the hospital, about $6,000 to the dr that did the delivery, again a c-section, no NICU stay again. Costs have just soared since we nationalized healthcare. We should get rid of insurance to help make healthcare more affordable. Since that won’t happen, the lesson you should take from this is: have as many babies as you can as soon as possible- they’ll just get more and more expensive. lol

  5. Long live the European system. The insurance companies in the US pretty much price gouche and function as the much talked about death panels… Greetings from Belgium.

  6. Best wishes for your recovery Winston….and your experience makes me thankful i live in Australia with its universal health care and none of this insurance BS and disclaimer stuff. I feel sorry for the American people that many are brainwashed into believing that the system i enjoy here would be seen as an evil form of socialism if it were implemented in the US. A simple 2 percent tax tacked on to your income tax and people are treated equally and humanely in every public hospital in the country.

  7. Your wife is a DOCTOR and you were dilly-dallying about what to do??? Gimmie a break….in the USA we refer to that as having your thumb up your arse, Did either of you go on the Internet and look up your health insurer for more information???

    In the USA, if we have health insurance we ALL know inclusions and exclusions before we pay the first month’s premium. I hear the overtones of a European-centric world view. That is, do you really think that all of those hospital workers were somehow working on a green card from ICE??? Grasp that is what the USA is all about. We believe that if you were born here or naturalized then in fact you are American. Doesn’t matter where you came from or what your what color your skin is or even if you have not lost an accent: you are an American with rights under the law like everyone else. It never occurs to me to think…”Oh, they must be Chinese or Spanish or white or black..” that’s why the USA is such a great, workable experience. Europeans have never understood that.

    Consider yourself fortunate. My appendix had burst twice – with little pain – while living in Tunisia. I had to pay UP FRONT before they would treat me. That was after the surgeon told me I had an hour to live.

  8. USA has the best hospitals in the world, I don’t mind paying for the best service and quality care 👍🏼🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  9. Insurance companies are guaranteed monopolies in each state. The Republicans have been trying for over a decade to allow insurance companies to sell insurance in every state. This would drive prices down by using the market. The left (and some of the right) has been blocking it.
    Insurance used to be a lot better before the ACA trashed it.

  10. As for the insurance, they give you a plan when you choose it, so I know I read it and know how to use it before I have an emergency. I’ve never had a hospital not be covered, except when I was under an HMO, in which the name of the insurance was the also the name of their hospital. I think we all just know this being born here.

  11. There’s the kicker – as you get older and you experience health problems, healthcare becomes more and more important to you. If you’re rich, America is the place to get sick (if you will); if not, America is *not* the place to get sick.

  12. I’ve undergone two liver transplants over 18 years, and only recently finished paying off the leftover charges from the second one. We have some of the finest medical care in the world. It’s the payment system that needs reworking.

  13. I love the medical professionals in the US… Doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, support staff, etc. But yes, insurance and the bureaucracy is out of control. I don’t think we need universal health care, at least I don’t think that will ANY problems, but I’m not opposed to it either. Perhaps address the actual problems and reduce costs as much as possible before throwing trillions of dollars at it. First, perhaps they need to cut down the insanity that is charting, coding, etc…

    Pro tip for everyone, if insurance says they will not cover a procedure or specific code ask them specifically what related codes they could cover. Then call the doctors office and ask them if they will change the code and resubmit it to insurance. It’s a major pain in the butt; however, it can literally save you thousands.

  14. Yes it really sucks there in the US, you should had moved to Taiwan where they have one of the best Health Care system in the world. since you are now living in North America consider the Health Care in Canada.

  15. I totally agree that it’s a mess, but we’re used to navigating it. There was probably another number on your card you could have called and a website you could have checked to tell you your covered providers. You’re right that it could have been so much more simple.

  16. I’ve only got experience with Sweden and the UK.
    The queues in Sweden are insane, you sometimes have to wait for weeks to get something sorted, and it always feels rushed. The UK is a bit hit and miss –it all depends on whether your postcode is near a good hospital. Mine fortunately is; I’ve gotten same-day admittance 3/5 times I’ve called.
    I even get free private healthcare through work, but the public hospital has been great so far.

  17. You get what you pay for, the Americans don’t want a comprehensive general taxation based health system free at the point of use, they point blank refuse to contribute to any other persons health care, they want to pay for their own and only when they need it,
    Why didn’t you get the wife to do it on the kitchen table? 🙂

  18. Health insurance is expensive but you live in one of the most expensive states in USA. I moved out for that reason. Beautiful state but expensive

  19. Your first mistake: When you are hurting too bad to concentrate, get your butt to the ER…

    As for the list of acceptable hospitals, you insurance company should have a website… however, when you are hurting, just go to the nearest ER…

  20. As an American, our Healthcare is the worst thing about the country. The quality of care is good, but the cost and hurdles you need to jump through is ridiculous.

  21. Wow. As a Canadian, I have heard of the US system, but, I have to say, I much prefer ours! Here, we go in, show our card – or not, if they know you, and no money every changes hands that one can see. No worries.

  22. The medical system and the insurance system are completely different animals. Physicians and nurses take care of patients Hospitals and insurance companies try to cost shift and rob each other. 5 premiums are paying for 7 patients. Your operation and 4 others pays for 2 other’s who have no money but still need their appendix out. I did medicine for 35 years and anyone that showed up on my table got an operation and cared for with the standard of care. This is America why are you surprised at the diversity? All that BS that gets spewed about racist this and hate monger that has nothing to do with America.

  23. Yeah the nurse line is useless, I agreed!,, I recently had a minor surgery too. I called the nurse line for the first time for additional help like you did. OMG they asked a ton of questions but practically offered nothing in their assistance. Their assistance was no assistance and my health insurance is considering a pretty good company BlueCross/blue shield . Wait until you receive hospital bills in a few weeks you might be shocked like the rest us. There will be For facility, surgeon, medicines, anesthesia dr , So on and so on. In my opinion, The most terrifiing In the US , is not the police force, but bills from hospital when ur sick. 😂

  24. You are approaching the insurance issue backwards… the medical service providers cannot answer a *business* question.

    Guideline for people new to the system… check out what your provider covers *before* you need to go in to the hospital.

    Most people, especially those under the age of ~40 have never really needed much in the way of medical care, especially from a hospital, so most people don’t take the hour of so to find out which providers are covered by their insurance plan.

    Your biggest financial exposure is if you are a member of a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) like Kaiser… even then, while they really want you to go to their hospitals, if you are in really bad shape, get to the nearest ER, and let them sort it out with the HMO.

  25. I ended up in the hospital for a week due to gallbladder / liver issues. Without insurance. The bill was $65,000. The hospital cut the bill in half since it was self pay… I was 39, did not anticipate keeling over, so wasn’t worried about insurance.

  26. Also ask for a itemized bill and they’ll take out some of the random charges like bandages and stuff like that, they can’t add random stuff if you ask for it

  27. BTW3: about “free market”:
    You said that hospital staff, albeight being polite and professional, has seen you mostly as a way to your insurance money.
    Supposing the economy tanks further and you end up losing that, what heppens when the “free market” see you as great organ source ?
    This is BTW happening ALL OVER EU for quite some years.
    People dying in their sleep and donating their organs are daily “business practice” here.

    Also, how come that you are still basically unemployed ?
    Free market is all bout supply & demand ying/yang, so how come there is no demand for
    human work on that scale ?

  28. BTW4: about “freedoms”.
    Would you say you are now about as free as an average HK resident ?
    YOu can, if you wish go to “mostly peaceful” demonstrations and join either side.
    You are also free to choose among 200 or so Chips & cereal versions and flavours.
    The fact that you lack access to some fundamental product or service ( in this case,
    access to health care) is obviously peripheral to you.
    If so, are you really free ?

  29. in the US, you simply must have a normal job with a good health insurance or you are well fucked. running your own business and buying your own insurance is terrifyingly expensive. but if you have a good job with nice insurance its all sorted out no problem.

  30. Glad you and (your wife) survived the insurance nightmare and, oh yes, your surgery! I’m at the other end of life and just received our 2021 “Medicare & You” booklet: about 150 pages of details to be aware of, along with decisions about regular Medicare, Medigap policies, and Medicare Advantage plans (HMO, PPO, and PPO-Plus). How do older, less mentally agile seniors deal with these details… who knows? It takes a lifetime of involvement with this type of thing to just begin to figure things out. Tip: Make sure you and your wife know about the hospitals and doctors you may need to see in an emergency before the emergency strikes (I know you know this now, of course!). That way, you will be able to get to covered hospital A instead of not-covered hospital B if you have another emergency, and you won’t have to worry about insurance coverage by ending up at the “wrong place.” And there’s some fine advice from some of the other commenters on this video, too; for example, asking for an itemized list for every charge. Bottom line: Great to see that you’re recovering quickly and back with your lovely wife and children. And thanks for speaking out about the medical insurance mess we have here in the States: It shouldn’t be this painful. Shout out from Oregon, USA, from me and my Chinese-Filipina wife of more than 40 years (how did she survive that?). 👌

  31. I work in insurance sales. I often walk the customer thru the insurance company website. Usually you can search what hospitals and doctors are in your plan on the website.

  32. BTW5: about democracy.
    Now that you don’t have that “ghastly CCP” looking over you, you are free to tackle the problems on your own.
    Presumably through elections & shit. Or perhaps not, as you said that you’d rather walk around sensitive topics.
    So, how do you intend to democratically solve problem of inaccessible healthcare ?
    Could you educate the rest of us about it with you next podcast ?

  33. Welcome to America, Winston! I worked in US healthcare about 3 years, it employs some of the most despicable people on the planet. Try to visit Europe one day, or at least Canada. In any case, I wish you full and speedy recovery.

  34. I always call the insurance agents instead of whatever nurse on call or from the hospital. If you are not careful, the medical bills can indeed bankrupt you. You should always do your homework regarding the “in-network” hospital to keep your bill minimal. Even with careful planning, the hospital bill can still be bad.

  35. Sounds like a nightmare and makes me feel grateful what a wonderful, top-notch medical system we have here in Switzerland. I’m sorry you had to go through so much trouble, Winston and wish you a speedy recovery.

  36. Sorry to hear about your bro Winston, mine also passed when getting his bowel removed. So many factors come into surgery as your wife has probably explained. If she convinced you to get it done she’s a keeper 😉

  37. Sorry but I keep thinking you call the ins company itself to find out what hospital they cover.
    Not the nurse not the hospital you drove to you must call the ins company that you pay every month.

  38. Well, Winston, congratulations! You’ve passed your first test. Welcome to the USA. And I’m happy the op was a success. You are totally on point. Also, I went in for a detached retina and my doctors were Chinese and Korean (I had flown home to the USA because I didn’t want any Hong Kong Chinese nonsense. What your wife said about deposits is true). Btw, did your insurance cover the expenses? You never said. Also, get the hell out of California! Stop over-paying!

  39. Try getting sick on a cruise ship. About 18 months ago my wife had some breathing difficulties (they never 100% figured it out, but the treatments given worked anyway). The care given was actually pretty impressive considering the obvious constraints, but three visits to the ship’s medical facility cost US$12,000! At home there’s no problem (I’m Canadian), but that wouldn’t help in this case. Fortunately, I have separate private out-of-country insurance cover and they paid the whole thing (whew!). Be aware and be cautious. And Winston, I wish you the speediest of recoveries and all best wishes for you and your beautiful family in future.

  40. Do you guys have Kaiser HMO down there in So Cal? I have it up here and it’s very simplified. One stop shop for pretty much everything. I never had to “think about it”. It’s the closest experience to being in a country with a socialized healthcare.

  41. Your story makes our UK National Health Service seem fantastic. The only problem we have is that it has been abused for free treatment at a cost to us UK tax payers by immigrants and foreigners.

  42. Thank you government regulation for raising our healthcare costs. Just let people buy what plans they actually need without the excessive taxation. Businesses spend their money way better than politicians.

  43. Man I feel you on this I just had Surgery too reset the broken DistalRadius bone in my lft arm. Dr. , RN’s CNA’s were all Kind and professional. I give them all an A+++.
    But like you its the insurance crap that will about put you in the Hospital with a Massive Heart attack. I just got the bill from the first hospital I went too. they did X raysGave me an I.V and knocked me out with about 50 Mg of Kedimen. But all they did was reduce the break by only getting it partially back in place.
    Then today here it is a couple weeks later I get the bill and it was over $1,200.00 bucks. Thankfully insurance is supposed too eat the bullit on that.
    What I am waiting on though is the other shoe too drop. From hospital #2. Where it was about a week later I was sent in for my pre op.+ covid test. Schedualed for surgery on the following week. So I had too go though all of that again. Only this time they finished setting it and installed two Titanium pins in it. That they want too remove once its healed up in about 6 – 10 weeks. I can only imagine what that bill will be.

  44. I’m glad things seem to have turned out well. Maybe you can find a job, part-time job, whatever, just for some decent, affordable family health insurance. I work for a City govt. and we pay very little with Kaiser insurance.

  45. You’ve been in China too long. In the US, there are a variety of plans — Do you have an HMO or PPO? Contact your Primary Care Physician when you have a question (like when you are wondering if you should go to the ER.) They are ultimately responsible for your medical care and may have to sign-off on procedures (depending on the Plan you have.) Your physician’s staff will likely direct you to the medical facility with which your doctor is affiliated. Btw, by law, the ER cannot turn you away even if you don’t have any insurance. And most insurance plans will cover the ER if you are admitted to the hospital. (An ambulance is legally required to take you to the nearest hospital, period.) ALL hospitals have some sort of PATIENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM — contact your hospital’s financial office. (Illegal immigrants often use this method to get out paying their medical bills — The cost is passed onto the other patients.)
    btw, considering the amount of travelling you do, you should have a PPO (NOT HMO! ) to cover you anywhere in the US and make sure you have a rider for incidents “abroad”. HMOs are the cheapest because you have to stay in their affiliated system. i.e. you can’t leave the state.
    Another edit… word of advice for those people with children: Get the plan with the low/no cost co-pay when your kid starts school. There will be lots of visits to the doctor for falls, fevers and coughs. 😉

  46. Health care in this country has become such a money making racket that its become pretty much impossible to get a medical care system that covers every citizen.

  47. For those who rattle on about possible bankruptcy from a hospital visit, I’ve found that every hospital and specialist’s office that I go to has some sort of charity program for people who do not have adequate coverage.

    These almost universally consist of a combination of reduced fees *and* low to no interest financing.

    The medical care providing community does not want to bankrupt patients, much as they jack up the rates on covered people to pay for those who lack coverage.

    It’s not impossible to go bankrupt and end up on government paid healthcare (Medicaid), but short of really major long-term illnesses like certain cancers, it’s not the least bit likely.

    And, those of us who have dealt with massive HMOs – like Kaiser Foundation Health – and survived their abysmal “care” do not want anything to do with a scheme like the UK’s NHS…

  48. i love you Winston and i’m glad you are recovering. however, going forward i would suggest finding a PCP (primary care physician) covered in your plan and see that doctor annually at a minimum. one call 24/7 to you PCP could have removed all of your questions regarding coverage and where to go in this type of emergency.

  49. I’m glad you are recovering so well from your surgery. Having gone through a recent surgery myself I can recommend you take a good one-a-day multivitamin. Any of the usual suspects will do. It took about three days but then I could feel it kick in and my healing was fantastic thereafter. I hope the rest of your recovery goes as well.

  50. Medical treatment and litigation are a big thing, not only in the US. But that convoluted process you just described is ridiculous.
    Even with our relatively high tax rates, I’m very happy we have universal healthcare in this country.
    Better than some greedy bastards salivating because they really want to show you exactly why “your health is your wealth”
    when they fleece you of it.

  51. The nurse on the phone can’t tell you which hospital to go to because they’re prohibited to do so by laws. If not, they have the incentive to point you to the lowest cost one, although it may not necessarily the lowest quality. This is clearly something a hospital system would lobby for. The people at the ER won’t tell you whether you’re covered or not because it’s not in their interests to do so. Once you’re in and become “chargeable”, the rest is irrelevant to them. The whole industry is a scam: insurance companies, hospitals, medical device makers, and big pharma. If you asked any doctors in the US, they would tell you that the problem is with the insurance companies. Of course they would be cause the insurance companies fight with the providers on how much they can charge while at the same time doctors and nurses get paid a lot compared to the same jobs in other developed countries.

    There’s a proposed law (proposition) in the upcoming California election that would require dialysis center to have a licensed doctor. Clearly this is another way of creating more jobs for doctors. This is basically the same as polices and firefighters have it in their contract that no matter what the emergency is, both will show up when you called 911 … and probably charge you for it: you can’t protect your job if it is not deemed important/critical.

  52. Winston – Being an American that gets north the good and the bad from friends outside the US, you did an EXCELLENT job summarizing shortcomings in an insanely expensive system. Hospitals suck regardless, but having been in the hospital two months ago for a few days, I gotta say you’re really spot on with this, and very unbiased in the reporting.

    How was the food in your hospital? The one I went to had the best mashed sweet potatoes ever, and may have had some apple in them. The friends from outside the US couldn’t believe the quality of hospital food over here either.

  53. As an american i always say the healthcare system is screwed up. Unless you have pockets full of cash. i always go to another country when i need anything medical

  54. sorry i don’t have to pay where i from the NHS in England is very good at there work, My friend kyle who lives over there in USA says the health care over there is not as good as the NHS over here in England usa your paying for all off the health care over there.

  55. First, thank goodness you are okay and are recovering. Second, yes health insurance is a nightmare. The Obamacare made it even worse. I served in the US military for 20 years and qualified for health care for retirees. “Socialist” healthcare isn’t very good either. It’s called Tricare, but everyone who has it calls it “Try to find Care”. My husband who is covered by it went to the hospital for an emergency and received an $8000+ bill with someone else’s name on it. It took him 6 months to straighten it out. After, the hospital got it straight they only charged the insurance company $500. The rest was dismissed per the agreement they had with the insurance. My husband and I are still trying to figure out how that works????

  56. I am an Insurance agent, you could reach out to me anytime, I would happy to help you, I really am not trying to solicit, I just like to help people while going through heck, I heard many stories like yours, I was able to give good advice

  57. Hope you’re feeling better & recovery goes quickly! – & that’s inexcusable for the insurance company and hospital to not be able to advise if they accept your insurance coverage- they should have that info available immediately as well as tell you if there are copays, etc., though the overall bill would obviously be processed afterwards. Sorry you had to go thru that. Make sure you get an itemized bill & if insurance rejects any portion then dispute it or have the hospital rebill them for those items.
    The hospital should also have someone in their office who can assist you with any billing questions or issues- it’s all part of the service.

  58. In United States you don’t get sick they make you sick,.loll when you get pains fever dizzy or any sick feeling wait it out it will go away excerise eat healthy.

  59. Five more years in the US and your wife will speak perfect English. She’s a very intelligent woman, always impressed by her. This was an interesting albeit very vicariously frustrating story time. Thanks so much for sharing and I’m glad you’ve recovered well.

  60. Here in nz you do not have to fill out insurance forms but there are waiting lists/priorities for certain surgeries. For example when I broke my leg I got surgery the next day but the bloke in the bed opposite me with a broken arm had to wait over one week. Oh and they had to do my surgery twice coz the system is full of students

  61. In Finland this would cost you around 100 dollars. We pay a lot of taxes to keep the free public hospitals running, but things are starting to change because of zero economic growth and big unemployment. Private hospitals are getting more popular all the time and companies buy health insurances for their employees. Its a long and improbable way to american model, but some hybrid version would be the best. You noted that even after insurance you had to pay 35000usd for childbirth. Here that would have been free too. Im happy to pay taxes for our current system.

  62. They were checking your white blood cell count to see if you had an infection and how bad it was and if the antibiotics were working.
    I know this cos I didn’t think twice about going in to my local A&E recently when I had another cellulitis attack (never dislocate & brake your ankle >_<) the only thing I did do was call 111 (UK's non emergency number) to see if I could go straight to A&E (UK's ER?) cos of C19... Then I was in and out for about 2 week on intravenous antibiotics and blood tests, scans and lots of tea as I sat around waiting. Only think I had to worry about was getting better and not being told I was staying for a few nights (cos who likes that O_O) Hope you recover soon! <3

  63. Oh so you’ve discovered “defensive medicine” in the US. Yes, sadly it’s out litigious society, which is far, far worse in CA. Edit: Once you get on your feet financially, upgrade to Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is the most commonly accepted insurance at hospitals. I had a back operation in LA that billed my insurance over $400k for a one-hour operation. We didn’t know if BCBS would approve my surgery until I was leaving the OR prep room. The hospital gladly accepted BCBS, though we didn’t know BCBS had to approve the surgery as well. Glad to see you better!

  64. I know from a friend who writes software for hospital management that the hospital is highly focused on making sure they get every dime out of insurance. However generically blaming greed doesn’t really explain the whole story. Hospitals have massive overhead and as such pulling in as much revenue as possible is seen as a financial security. This applies to non-for-profit hospitals as well and means any hospital is structured to provide as many services as possible including ones you don’t really need like 5 different nurses seeing you because you’re on the night shift. This means hospitals have enormous revenue but also enormous overhead and outlays. It also explains why non-for-profit hospitals also tend to have the most revenue. For-profit hospitals restrict their services to more profitable services.

    Personally I don’t really see this as a fault of the hospital system. I do think a national hospital system would be a good idea for the US in places where there isn’t enough investment from private parties. But the structure of hospitals tends not let them run rampant with greed largely because that’s not really possible from the hospitals perspective. Healthcare is not a commodity as much as they try to make it one. While for example drugs or aesthetic surgeries definitely are. In other areas like medical equipment is a mix between you want to throw enough money at something that they won’t be incentivized to skimp on costs while also there’s price gauging.

  65. I had appendicitis when I was visiting China in the early 90s as a young teenager with my Parents. The experience was horrible. They wouldn’t perform the surgery until my dad paid for it first. They also wouldn’t give me my antibiotics to prevent infections after my surgery until my dad paid for it first. I was also put in a recovery room with 30 other people with no A/C in the middle of July in southern China and my recovery bed would best be described as a fold up party table.. and there were geckos crawling all over the walls and ceiling in there. My dad paid the premium to put me in a recovery room with A/C and there was only one other guy in there with me which happened to be the mayor of the town. There were also geckos on the wall in there. Oh and I was awake for my surgery….. All I got were epidurals. When they cut me open.. I knew it and blacked out.

  66. Underwent triple bypass heart surgery here in Australia last year, seem less and 100% free, my cardiac surgeon was the highest qualified cardiac surgeon in my state. Best hospital service was fantastic

  67. @serpentza So… your wife is a doctor (as you’ve reminded us countless times), why call a nurse over the phone to seek advice when you live with a doctor???

  68. you need to get he hell out of california it’s a shit state…besides new york it’s the most expensive state to live in and now a lot of rich people are leaving because the taxes are going up so you might consider moving to a more stable state…

  69. I had an aunt in Long Island who needed heart surgery. And despite having Bluecross, she still needed to take a second mortgage out on their house to afford the procedure. Healthcare in the US is a beaurocratic business, full of red tape that’ll nickle and dime you on everything till your wallet runs dry. Mind you, they are extremely good. My mom’s old boss who was a CEO of the Canadian sector of a major global entity, had pancreatic cancer and used American facilities for his treatment. We have good treatment in Canada yes, but the US has the best IF you have the money.

  70. We have socialized medicine Here in canada . I have never had a medical bill.. I can see any doctor I want and go to any hospital I want .. That sounds Horrible!!!!! Isn’t the US the richest country in the world?? WTF … I hope you and your Family are safe

  71. I wish you a speedy recovery and I’m glad your surgery went well. I agree with you completely about the complexity of the US medical system. As someone who has had to deal with the system quite a bit, I have a small suggestion for you. Instead of asking “is this covered?”, ask whether facility X is “in your network”. They should be able to tell you that. If not, you can look that up on your insurance carrier’s website. Also, I don’t know if this is true in your case, but in my experience most insurance carriers will always cover emergencies at some level. You may have to pay a bit more, but I’m pretty sure most all policies have some emergency coverage, even if it is out of network.

  72. They cannot discuss financial issues until after you see the doctor. That way if you have crappy insurance they will tell you to go elsewhere. Started back with FHP days. Research EMTALA.
    Also docs are contracted and may not be the same tier of coverage as the hospital.

  73. Good to see you recovering well! Thankfully they got that rotten thing out before it ruptured! I realise I’m lucky in the UK with free point of use health care but I’ve had good and bad experiences. I sometimes wish we had a tiered system to negate the huge wait times and see a specialist quickly. Being in horrible pain for years due to miss diagnosis is not a good thing. Get well soon 👍🏻

  74. Surreal, especially to myself, who lives in Wales UK, where everything is free, including meds, prescriptions, dentist etc. It amazes me that somewhere like the states can afford trillions onwards each year on war but can’t or won’t give free health care. Can any society call itself a society without free basic health care? I dunno. Recover soon Winston, sending my love to you and your family.

  75. Personally gladly pay hispitals bills for the excellent tech, I fection rates, and outcomes. You can always fly to China and pay cash, whats their i fiction rate? With they use a DaVinci robot? Have a safety time out to prevent errors? Anesthesia with the latest glidescope for difficult airways? Hell yeah! Effin USA all day everyday. Crap you all don’t even see, know or think about. This tech is not free nor should procedures. When your wife has an issue he’ll yeah your going to wa t the best, and it sure ain’t Cuba, China, UK or Canada

  76. Had a burst appendix in February, walked in to the closest hospital, then got transferred with an ambulance to another since they didn’t have a free surgeon at that time. Stayed in hospital for a week with severe peritonitis. Didn’t see any bills, only papers i had to sign was for discharge 🙂 Got paid social insurance for that week and another two during recovery. Contacted my optional life insurance, they paid me too xD EU life 🙂

  77. In Canada, Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are covered for almost all (80% and up) expenses. We don’t have the worry about finances at the hospital or a doctor’s visit. Canadians in Ontario do need to pay for 20% of the ambulance fee and 20% of the hospital room cost, but the actual surgery, nursing staff time, supplies required are free. Canadians pay with their high taxes.

    Both the birth (congrats) and appendicitis operation would have been covered largely at no cost to the patient. Drugs are excluded, but we have a regulated drug market, which costs a fraction of the US cost. Get well soon.

  78. Here’s a good medical system hack that I’ve spent my whole life doing: Just go to the hospital, let them do what they need to do, then leave the hospital and (here’s the kicker) NEVER PAY. You see, by law a hospital cannot deny you their services and ALSO by law they cannot forcefully extract money from you in any way unless you make an initial payment. By making your 1st payment you have agreed to their conditions at which point they CAN take legal action against you to collect the remaining debt. So just don’t ever make that first payment & you’re golden 😉 i’ve racked up over $60,000 in hospital visits over the coarse of my life but i’ve never payed even a penny. I’m 45 & i’ve never had insurance, btw.. I don’t need it because I still get treated and it costs me nothing haha =)

  79. Doesn’t most medical insurance in the U.S. cover emergency procedures if you are in network–or out of network no matter what hospital, as long as its a life threatening situation I believe. Your coverage may differ on the deductible and other charges depending on your plan…correct me if I’m wrong.

  80. Healthcare in the USA sucks ! I’m a doctor. I deal with insurance every day. It’s terrible for both patients and my practice.
    **Vote Democrat** to end this nightmare! No other first-world country has such a terrible system.

  81. The problem with the “healthcare system” is the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations that must be complied with, and those are different from state to state.

    Unfortunately, the public seeks answers from the same government who wrote the hundreds of thousands of regulations. And the governments only answer is more regulation: when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  82. Yea, a rattlesnake bite will set you back $250,000 out here.
    Being “Judgement Proof” is something you learn about in America, basically you are so poor they cannot take anything more away from you.
    Yea, they are so nice, since they know you are paying for it, hookers are nice as well, for the same reasons.
    Happy to see you alive, happy they took out the right stuff, this is not always the case.
    Usually they screw up and take the wrong thing, that is why it’s so expensive, it’s to cover all the lawsuits they create for themselves.
    Ever hear of Iatrogenic death? Iatrogenic death is death due to the medical industry, or the doctors taking both kidneys rather than the right item.
    You are just lucky, it’s time to buy a lottery ticket, since you are on a lucky streak.

  83. Winston, come to Canada! Universal medical coverage! Our system is a breeze! No private insurance scamming. PLUS, I have ten motorcycles in the garage for you to sample! West coast, so you need only head due north

  84. Apparently the traditional way health care was in the past was that the doctor was only paid if the village was healthy – you don’t get paid if people are sick. With a mobile population this would be impracticable, however hospitals should not be run for ‘profit’, staff should be trained and paid well. Just like other infrastructure if it is crap your functionality and ‘profitability’ goes down the toilet.
    As for appendicitis, I know of a few people who were sent home from the A&E (local accident and emergency non hospital clinics) with pain medication. Some died. Some, thankfully after going to other clinics were sent to hospital in time to save them from a ruptured appendix. For those who don’t know what that is and the long term effects of this Duck, Duck Go it… Rest and recover Winston. Aroha to your whanau.

  85. Here hospitals a large connected building and one part of it is called the emergency ward. And everything that happens in that section of the building is massively expensive. When they give you a Tylenol it comes out of the same pill dispenser from the manufacture that everybody else in the hospital gets. It’s just 15 times the price in that part of the building.

    They don’t have emergency room CT scanners or emergency room this or that it’s all in the hospital whether you’re there by appointment or you’re going in for your emergency you use the same equipment usually. And again depending on which door you came into the hospital the amount you’re going to be charged for using that same equipment is night and day.

    I’ll agree on that part about the united nations, every doctor I’ve had has been from somewhere else and they all give excellent care.

  86. Sorry for the red tape you had to go through but in general most hospitals have great medical staff. Hope you feel better soon. God to see Sasha and your daughter on video, man your little girl is so cute and growing so fast.

  87. Looks like you had an epidural for post op pain control. Any idea why? Its not due to opiate abuse, its about research and your progression back onto your feet and peeing and pooping. Not staying in the hospital for 4 more days from constipation. Soon much you took for granted during your hosputalization…

  88. Welcome to the US. The health care system is so fooked up. I could tell a few stories, but basically, you have to live your life in bondage to the system if you want health care, or be an illegal immigrant.

  89. Basically, it breaks down like this:
    You can have a free national healthcare system…or you can have dievershitty/mass immigration and the current system.
    You can’t have both.

    Sure, Europe can brag about their free healthcare, but for how long? Very soon the effects of mass immigration are going to overwhelm their socialized systems. Once that happens, you will see a rapid decline in both the quality of care and accessibility.

    If and when I have a health crisis, I will probably be looking at medical tourism before trying to navigate this convoluted and generally fked up system we have here in the States.
    Works great if you’re wealthy. Not so much if you’re working class.
    Don’t get sick.

  90. Please take it easy before you try doing your normal things. I took a week off of work after getting my appendix removed and I could still feel the effects of anesthesia late in the day, seven days later. We all get over it at a different pace. Just my two cents. Get well soon my friend.

  91. It’s complex and convoluted on purpose. The billing system is extremely opaque. Most hospital billing offices are not actually in the hospital itself; most likely it is handled offsite by First United Contractual Services – Unlimited (FUCS-U… OK I admit I made that up) medical billing services in Pennsylvania or some other place 1500 miles from where ever you are.

  92. Hey Winston…. I wish you a swift recovery. You are 100% right… I am American, and I agree with you… Our “medical system“… Or lack there of… Is absolutely horrendous to navigate… Many Americans like me refer to our medical system as “legalized theft”. It has been a huge topic of political discussion over the last 20+ years. My wife and I run a small business, I can’t imagine being able to render my services without ever quoting a price upfront… LOL and to make matters worse… Most hospitals are registered nonprofit companies, which means essentially that they don’t pay any taxes, or property taxes to boot….. yet they have the unmitigated gall to charge us thousands of dollars for services that take a few minutes. Unless you work for the federal or state government… And you have insurance that covers every little thing… Small business people can’t buy insurance like that because those planes are not available to the “proletariat” like us… when you get the bills for your medical treatment… You can hire an advocate, to hold the insurance company and hospitals feet to the fire… Don’t forget you can dispute the charges… These people have business tactics that are similar to those used by the mafia…. I have always received professional care in the hospital itself, the doctors and nurses are always wonderful… its the guys that work in the corporate office that run the hospital that are the villains…. (I was able to negotiate a $15,000 bill down to about $7000 in one case) all for a night in the hospital…🙈

  93. the business part of healthcare is just corrupt but the actual “care” is ideal on the most part. hospitals have to admit u if u have life threatening condition that is bonded by law. the sad part is a lot of people abuse the system for example homeless junkies who jump through hospitals to get narcotics and services. Sometimes they just simply pretend to be suicidal to be admitted in the facility.

  94. FREE MEDICARE in Australia. Ambulance =FREE……Online Health Nurses = FREE. …Emergency visit= FREE……specialist surgery =FREE…hospital stay in single room=FREE
    But apparently the filthy expensive US system is better😂😂😂

  95. i am in health insurance field. Yes, US health care system is indeed complicated. Way too many plans and options. Most people don’t read the fine print of the SPD booklet the insurance sent and no idea what they signed up for and what affiliated hospitals they designated to if HMO plan. I am glad you are recovering and well. Stay healthy.

  96. Turns out the healthcare system in the US is more broken than I though…why isn’t there a federal law stating that healthcare insurance should cover all hospitals, and what changes should be things like the insurance cost, the maximum amount to be paid by the insurance and the part of the final cost you have to pay by yourself? What is the point of a health insurance which works only at times? Btw, to everyone pointing out in Europe we pay this in taxes: of course we do, but if you look at the pro-capita expenditure in healthcare, you will see that in the US it is twice as much than most other “1st world” countries…

  97. Every time I hear someone talk about their experiences with the american healthcare system its like a horror story of hidden cost. Every single time there’s something that isn’t covered and ends up costing thousands of dollars.

  98. Canada, took a year to approve a biopsy for thyroid cancer on my wife. She waited 3 months, went home to Ecuador. 1 week for biopsy, 3 weeks for surgery and came back for radiation therapy. Thankfully the >$5K US was deductible. Might have been a different outcome if she had waited any longer. Still better than the rip the US system can do to a family even with Obamacon.

  99. I went through the same thing, but I did it all by myself (4 days in hospital, surgery). At least you had your wife with you. At some point after you’ve been in the USA for a while, you’ll realize that things are just different, not necessarily better or worse. You’re complaining about every country you’ve ever lived in! As to coverage, your health is your responsibility and you should have done your research when you signed up for insurance to make sure that you understand how it works. The information is in your policy, but did you read that properly? You’re blaming the system for failing you even though you’re the one who didn’t do your homework. You basically expected to be taken care of. How very liberal of you! The USA doesn’t work like that! But to be fair, when I moved to the USA from Europe (where they babysit you) I complained about the same things. I just didn’t make a video about it 😉 You’re going to run in to more things like that but in the end you’ll understand that in the US, because the responsibility is more on the individual, there is more opportunity. As long as we don’t turn socialist.

  100. It is true that the administrative side is a mess in the US. And that you either have to be able to afford good insurance or be poor to get the treatment at a reasonable (or no) cost. However, the actual health care you get (actual surgery etc) is the best overall in the world IMO. To resolve or mitigate the admin issues, you need to be proactive and find out beforehand what the limitations of your insurance are, where you can go at less cost etc. Not rocket science exactly. For example, I do know that I can go to any ER in the US by ambulance and will not have a copay of more than a specific low 3 figures total, ever. For top-notch care. The insurance will pay everything else. (Now, this is not a cheap barebones insurance plan, of course, but I’d rather buy that than cable TV and other BS wasteful stuff.) For less time-sensitive issues, it is, however, less straightforward, admittedly, and you have to do due diligence to not be stuck with high bills. Ultimately, you get the level of care you are paying and arranging for. Which is totally reasonable, of course. And that can be very good indeed. But can be complicated in some cases. OTOH I do also know first hand about nationalized medicine in Europe, though, and can attest that people in one country I am very familiar with will buy private insurance and go to private hospitals whenever they can to get better care than through the government system. How does 2 years wait for cataract surgery sound when you’re half-blind but on a govt plan? And have to be pay high taxes for that. Also, keep in mind hospital costs are higher in the US because many people don’t pay anything at all and often use ERs routinely for minor things without money or insurance (they can’t be turned away by law, even if illegally in the country), so of course the hospital passes on the cost to paying customers. So, pick your insurance carefully and you will get what you pay for. Finally, at the end of the day, what matters is, would you rather pay a few hundreds or even a few thousand dollars, say, once in your lifetime for an appendectomy in the US and be 99.9% sure you’ll come out perfect, or get a much cheaper surgery under perhaps much more dubious conditions like in some other countries?

  101. Good to hear that you came through it alright. A burst appendix can kill a person, if they don’t get medical attention.
    As to the medical insurance problems… you can blame the Obama administration for that! Before they rammed through ObamaCare, the system wasn’t perfect, but it was a far cry better than it is now. That’s because ObamaCare killed most of the private insurance options; and forced people to use crappy insurance… essentially run by the same kind of bureaucrats that mismanage the government. That’s why you see so much red tape; and how all these health care professionals are double and triple billing patients.
    “Affordable” Health Care Act, my eye! That’s why the DemoKKKrats are freaking out so much. They know that if Trump gets in for a second term, he’ll finally be able to tackle the next phase of the health care issues; and for the DemoKKKrats that means a huge loss of $$$$$. Insurance is supposed to help people… not make them destitute.

  102. The biggest problem in US healthcare is the lack of transparency. If they were forced to have costs readily available online like every other industry most of the problems would disappear overnight.

  103. So thankful for our system hear in Canada, yes we pay more in taxes but should the need ever arise I have no fear of losing my home to pay the bill. Glad you survived and are recovering well. Stay Awesome

  104. Times like this I’m glad I live under the Australian system which is fair and works for most people. You can have private insurance if you want it and that does fine if you are well off.
    The system works by being taxed a small amount, around 1% of your income, If you are unemployed or a pensioner it’s mostly free and your prescribed medicines are mostly subsidised. Some medicines are not included but most of the common ones are.
    The drawbacks are that you must wait your turn, but in the bigger cities with major hospitals most things can be dealt with fairly quickly. I am a diabetic and pensioner so my insulin is subsidised heavily and frequent hospital visits are free. The system does work but can only work to this extent because of a capitalist economy.
    The dental system is a mess and very expensive for most people insured or not. You have to wait if you can’t afford regular dentists and the waiting list is VERY long.

  105. In Italy people complain when they have to pay 50€ ticket because they went to ER with very minor things (instead of visiting their family doctor: ER is open 24/7 so it is more practical)…oh, and for emergencies like this one it is completely free…

  106. You’ve got to get out of LA man, go to Utah, Kentucky or Tennessee. Part of the liability thing you’re talking about is there are all sorts of people living in LA who are horrible people who have abused the system and sue anytime they get a chance. I prefer a more homogeneous society from those states I just listed.

  107. I am so sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, as an American, when you have health insurance, this is the first thing you research ‘What Hospital Takes Your Insurance’. The health care workers do not know about this information. Sorry to say this but American health care is about MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. So watch out for yourself or you WILL be taken advantage of. Sorry this happened to you.

  108. All hospitals will accept your insurance. The only insurance question is what will your insurance policy cover. Depending on what you chose when you signed up. In the future do not worry about what hospital to go to unless of course, it is a mental hospital. Just go to the nearest hospital or the one you favor above others based on reputation.

  109. You are not wrong on any count. in 2014 I had to have my gallbladder removed over Christmas….oh happy day that was…and the cost for the two ER visits I had to have leading up to the doctors telling me I needed to have the procedure to begin with was almost $400 EACH visit, and the procedure itself cost over $18,000.

    I was a teacher at the time, my insurance sucked, and I am STILL trying to pay it off.

  110. As nice as “freedom” is, the US has it’s own special kind of fucked up. Yes, it could be an issue if time is of the essence, but I have been looked after by the public health system in my country. I’m not huge on paying into it for people who’ve been here for like a year, but it does work.

    The litigation
    Bail bonds system
    Prison system
    War on drugs
    Overbearing cops
    Health system

    These are all things I can support the left on being things that need to change. It’s like turning a cargo ship with a lot of those things since they’re so set in their ways.

  111. Wow. $35k.
    Actual cost for medical staff, stay etc. etc. Couldn’t possibly be over $5k (right??)
    And the rest goes to some unnecessary middleman? Damn.
    *Laughs in european*

  112. LA streets have potholes? I can get free hospital care in my home country of New Zealand, but we have the terrible old “universal healthcare”……….OMG isn’t universal healthcare “socialist”? “Socialist?” Americans have no idea what “socialism” is! You “trained” doctors in the English language.

  113. I’m sorry to say, Winston, but you’ve just had a very authentically American experience. It’s a shame you can’t vote(yet), but this travesty of a healthcare system is the cause of much political polarization here. You can probably see why. Get better soon, and best wishes to your family.

  114. I flew into Oz and figured, I might bother to get this broken bone sorted out. They told me my Medicare card expired years ago and I can’t have another one due to being out of country for more than five years. I pay into the Japanese health care system and have done for years, figured I would get my bone sorted in Japan long before my decision to get it sorted in Oz. ‘Oh this will be bery (hehe) expensive’ Said my dear Japanese doc at the renowned ‘broken bone hospital’. So stuff it I flew to Oz. Stuff it says I and just let the bastard heal. Years later I decided to take on any old mongrel job in order to show I pay tax in Oz and I told them I have intent to stay in Oz. Shazzam, a brand new Medicare card ensued. Problem is, Medicare for all is another way of saying that you will receive SHIT care…….might as well call is SHITCARE. We have ‘Doctors’ from um….whereeverland that tell us they are fully qualified Doctors……………Sure they are. p.s. These um ‘Doctors’ don’t come from China, they come from another very heavily populated country. But that would real off as Hate speech …………I like to call it reality.

  115. In general; if you don’t use medical insurance and you pay cash out the door, it will cost 70 to 80% less than if you used insurance. If you done the math that would be equal or less the monthly premiums and copayments you would pay.

  116. When it comes to the USA, California is the worst of the worst. You’re better off not being there. The USA has some of the best medical care available, but the Insurance companies and all levels of government have fucked it up.

  117. I am sharing your pain listening to your story. When we face life and health threatening issues, we see with different eyes.
    I am glad you are well and back on your feet. Get well soon and stay awesome!

  118. They should be sweet and nice, they are taking your $. No one would go into hospital if they took your $ and were mean and nasty. Can’t run a business if you don’t have customers, I mean patients.

  119. Had a complete shoulder replacement. Had surgery at 11am. Left the next morning at 9 am. I knew to get the hell out as the bill was growing. Bill was $69000. Medicare dropped it to $2600! So it pays to be old! But since you are in CA, just tell them you are an illegal. No charge. Thats why the rest get soaked.

  120. My buddy went to the e r and was told he need surgery and when the hospital found he didnt have insurance they tryed to convince him to take a taxi to the county hospital while he had a catheter on. He had to refuse a bunch of times.

  121. Your first mistake was calling that nurse hotline, I, and everyone else, never even heard of that. If you have bas pains, go STRAIGHT to the ER/Hospital. Doesnt matter which ER or Hospital.

  122. This is how I got my acute appendicitis done in the EU: Go to physician, she tells me to go to the ER, go to the ER and get checked, get put on operation schedule, get operation, pay 100 euros for 3 days to stay in a luxury bed ( wanted to be alone and a 100 is nothing to me) that’s it. No bullshit, no costs except the ones I wanted, no hassle.

  123. Im halfway through, not surprising at all. Going to a hospital where your insurance covers is important. Also, if you do some tests that are sent to a lab, it is possible it gets sent to a lab that isnt covered, which is basically a scam

  124. Um… Welcome to America! Like I told someone, it’s cheaper for you to FLY overseas, get cancer treatment, then fly back rather than to get get one treatment here

  125. The American drs are the best. I’ve been to a ER so many times. I’ve never had a bad experience. I had my appendix taken out. It was nothing compared to me back pain I’ve been in for the last 20 years.

  126. Seems like you omitted the part where the administrator repeated about 10 times to contact your insurance provider….BTW I don’t believe ER would have turned you away even without insurance …..if you were here illegally you would have access to many more resources in a sanctuary city…..and even if the procedure depleted your entire life savings you could file bankruptcy against your creditors and still maintain your channel under a new LLC 🐸

  127. Its almoust funny from an Europeans point of view that you kind of ”saved” when you have an health insurance and you still pay tens of thousand for a trip to the er. Its super funny (Well sad to be honest) that everything costs a life there. I gotta ask just how much the doctors make in us or where does that money flow. Here you can get your knee surgery for 3-4 grand and thats using private clinics. And i can day the doctor made under s grand of that and still its a hefty pay for a few hours Job. If you would use general health system its tens of dollars as the rest would be financed by the goverment. The us system is frikin insane. Im sad for every people who needs to go the doctor in the us.

  128. Yes, medical insurance administration in the US sucks. I once saw that 45% of the cost is administration. However, medical care in the US is the best in the world. You don’t see Americans traveling to other countries for medical care. We get many people coming here for treatment.

  129. I think this is the first video i’ve seen of Winston criticising the USA. For those (like me) who were incredibly tired of Winson’s one-sided criticism of China, whilst ignoring the similar faults in the USA – perhaps a year or so of negative videos towards the USA will help balance things out lol

  130. Both you guys. I’m more worried about your health than anything. Insurance here is pretty crazy to say the least. When my son was born I didn’t know that I needed to add him to my insurance when he was born because apparently he needed to be covered too. If I had not done this the bill would have been $50,000! Yes it was he who paid the bill, not my wife who was covered!! Covered California is a joke. You have to pay while illegals don’t! Gavin loves us! Get well! Not fun!

  131. The UK’s NHS (national health service) is number one!
    If I need to I can get teeth fixed for free at 24hrs notice due to low wage, medical bills are covered by a small tax called national insurance.
    Yes, we pay for the Walfare can’t or won’t work ppl but we (everyone) can also get the benefit of being treated for major surgery for free should we choose. .

  132. I broke my leg dirt biking at 56yrs of age on a Sunday and drove to an emergency room 2hrs away but back near my home where they x-rayed my leg and confirmed that yep it is broken. I then had to see my Primary Care Physician the next business day to get permission to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. My Primary Care Doctor couldn’t recommend anyone to me nor a hospital. I ended up selecting a Doctor/Orthopedic Surgeon from the list of 12 names from a list my insurance company provided and got lucky as he was well known at the hospital where he repaired my leg. He had me report to the emergency room there and use his name and they took care of me right away. What’s really sad about all of this is, I’m retired US Military and my healthcare is not accepted everywhere. I got very lucky this time and can’t imagine how this would have worked out if I were 20 years older. Welcome to the USA!

  133. I enjoyed watching this along with your many other topics. I am a nationalistic American, but unlike my brittle Chinese counterparts, welcome your observations and criticisms. We are far from perfect. I hope when we fix the insurance problem we don’t screw up what works (the hospitals and great staffing). I’ve had several visits with family and friends, and the medical community is very caring and professional.

  134. U.S. Medical System: It’s just like China – the people (doctors, nurses, staff, etc.) are amazing, but the system is a nightmare. (That said,
    the food tastes better in China.)

  135. What is the purpose of America? To extort its own sick and injured and tell them they’re free?

    I officially want out of America. Why can’t this country have universal healthcare like the rest of the industrialized world? What do people think is going to happen?

  136. That’s why regulations such as “certificates of needs” that artificially limit the number and capacity of health care facilities should be eliminated, which would push prices down. Also the cost of drugs could be cut drastically by allowing healthcare professionals to import drugs (the very same drugs and even brands are available abroad, including in europe, at much lower prices). Regulations that limit the number of doctors trained in univercities should also be removed.

  137. It’s a similar situation with hospital staff in the U.K.. I actually worry sometimes about what it must be doing to the countries that they come from, that we hoover up the best and the brightest from around the world. I mean I get it that they’re just trying to get the best possible standard of living for their families, but it doesn’t feel right to be taking so much of a precious resource such as good medical staff from around the world, especially if they aren’t here to escape persecution or war. There’s still the hippy in me that wishes we could send them back home, whilst somehow not losing their talents or causing a drop in their living standards, just so they could train up new generations of well-educated medical professionals.

  138. “The major hurdles”: there are loads of parties involved in your healthcare, their employees are all as dumb as planks and they all want to rip you off for the greatest amount of money ! Also: A doctor sticking his head round your door qualifies as a ‘consultation’ and comes with a 4 figure price tag.

  139. BTW6: one more question about the “freee market”:
    As advertised, it is your free choice to stand behind your personal interests in dire situation
    and hold your own against heavilly paid and well prepared legal teams, working for
    insurance companies and hospitals.
    Those teams have seen many cases like yours and hat the time to prepare
    the scene for the slaughter – lobby for laws, seek for loopholes, establish and test vareious schemes etc.
    So, if you like particular offer, you are “free” to vote with your wallet and go elsewhere – this is supposed to be
    market eqailizer.
    How is that working for you ?

  140. This would be in unbelievably annoying – I cannot understand why the majority of Americans defends this system and opposes a change. Thanks for sharing and a speedy recovery!

  141. National health care is the only way to go. You should have moved to Canada. It is a more civilized nation. In the 80s when I was in Health Planning administration, when managed care was starting, we were told to say no to any claim, as sick people find it harder to argue with insurance companies. Thus, people like the senator and former governor of Florida became multi millionaires. The worst thing is passing or NOT passing a kidney stone. I thought I had pain tolerance until this.

  142. Glad to hear you’re doing better and it’s all over!! I witnessed incredible, nightmarish experiences in the medical field. MMS would have prevented you from all those bad moments. Best medical insurance you may get.

  143. Welcome to the USA. Here health care is NOT a right unlike the civilized nations of the world (France, Germany, England, Canada, et al). Trillions of dollars for war, but not for health care or education.

  144. 1. GET. OUT. OF. CALIFORNIA….. NOW. … IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH in the near future. 2. You’re lucky they actually covered most of your $35,000 bill….. and for a surgical procedure, especially via ER, that price is (disgustingly) not all that bad….. 3. USA’s medical insurance (and entire industry) is so bad, I’d rather book a round trip flight to Taiwan and get my health needs taken care of there — it would not only be better care overall, it will be vastly cheaper.

  145. I’ve seen a bunch of Americans going to Costa Rica for medical treatment, especially dental stuff… might not be valid for something time sensitive like your case but might be worth your while to look into other options 😉

  146. There’s the legal aspect and the medical aspect of medicine in America. I will contend with anyone that the medical aspect is top notch. The other part of healthcare is run by lawyers, politicians and bankers so make of that what you will.

  147. No wonder all you guys want to come to Australia, under the public system Medicare , the cost is $0.00
    For non urgent procedures there is a que, to jump ahead most people have private insurance
    It’s $300 a month for Top Level Family cover, you can choose your hospital too, we are so sad for Americans ,
    Health care is a necessary need , NOT an option.

  148. In NC if it’s an emergency visit it doesn’t matter which hospital you go to your insurance will cover it. When talking to the billing rep make sure you state that you want an itemized list of all charges. Hospitals will shift costs to you to help pay for people who don’t pay their bill so don’t let them. The whole experience is the way it is because of all the over-regulation and the implementation of socialist health care dogma into a capitalist system. It gums up the works and jacks-up the cost. It should allow people to buy health insurance across state lines and allow people to enter into cost sharing plans. Lastly brother, get da fuck outta Commiefornia. It’s a beautiful place with great weather but it is run by fucking corrupt marxist hateful retards. Glad to see you made it through and are doing better. Hug and kiss the wife and child, you never know what’s around the corner in life brother.

  149. LOL…you asked your question to the wrong people. You should have called
    your insurance, asked them if they are contracted to cover medical expenses
    at that particular hospital. Why would you expect the hospital to know what
    your insurance going to do?? duh!

  150. American here, let me give you some advice… to find out where you are covered and for what, you need to ask your insurance provider, not the hospitals. Hospital workers will have no idea what your insurance covers. Your health insurance will provide you with a provider network directory which you use to pick hospitals/doctors/clinics/etc…

  151. As one political commentator said about healthcare: there are three elements, universal coverage, affordability and quality. It is hard to properly balance all three and usually one factor suffers.

  152. I think it is especially problematic in a society where people spend every dime they have and don’t save up any money resulting in them have to take out massive loans just to get a vital surgery done.
    For someone coming from a country with working health insurance this is just mind boggling, for someone from the US this is probably just the way live is.

  153. The best paid people in the medical industry are the lawyers. The biggest reason for failure in America Healthcare is too many regulations and too few explanations.

  154. Medical billing is the US is convoluted af. Even if you don’t have insurance and you simply ask what the costs for things you’d think are very straight forward like routine doctor checkups, prescription drugs, etc., you’ll rarely get an answer upfront because the check-in receptionists you interact with and their supervisors have no way of truly knowing until after they’ve submitted a claim.

  155. Dude you just got bad insurance! I have florida blue. They have an online portal where you can see the hospitals in your Network, and all the specialist as well. Always opt for an epo or ppo. That way have you many options Rather than hmo, which only has one or two locations. Hmo is cheaper because of that, And ppo, epo is more expensive due to more flexibility. Millions of american have so much medical debt. We just don’t pay it. It ruins your credit but you won’t get arrested or anything like that.

  156. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The health system here is great. Every Emergency Room must take all emergency’s regardless of insurance. There are City, State, plus charitable organizations that will pay all or partial medical bills if you have inadequate insurance.

  157. The American health system ( like everything else in the USA ) carries the weight of blood sucking Lawyers on it’s back and unfortunately Lawyers make up our Congress as well so it will not change . You cannot defend yourself from a bloody criminal who breaks into your home for Christsakes without fearing some bloodsucking Lawyer will try to incriminate you as well and also help the criminals and their family sue you for damages , we need a Lawyer to protect ourselves from other Lawyers . AND on top of everything else YOU live in California . My advice ( should you desire ) is get out of California and explore other Medical Insurance , you were getting the run around by people who didn’t want to be bothered and who were watching their backs instead of yours . However the actual experience once admitted to Hospital was the norm in this Country , you are treated with respect and receive excellent care from all .

  158. I got a HMO plan. It has a yearly max deductible of $3000 and everything past that is covered. When I went in for surgery once they got the scope of my coverage I was like a king in that place. I got a private room, given constant pain killers, and had people checking up on me every time their monitors blipped or hourly. Generally it comes down to PPO and HMO plans and the big blue cross on your insurance card. But the thing to know about insurance and hospitals is that almost all big hospitals will accept any insurance. The actual coverages under your plan might be different but the hospital will accept it. Clinic’s, private doctors, and stuff like urgent care might have limitations but hospitals are different in that they accept anything.

    Now the thing that really sucks is how every single person who treated you sends you different bills. Our system is setup where the people in the hospital are really not an “employee” but a contractor. The hospital has their bill and then the nurses, the doctors, the surgeons, the anesthesiologist, the radiologist, etc, etc, etc. I had like 15 or so different bills and various forms that I had to sign and call my insurance, or pay out of pocket to get everything taken care of. I would get 1 bill and it could get lost at the post office. I had no idea of this until I get a call from a collections agent months later! Then you have to deal with the fact you got a hit on your credit report which is another mess altogether. To tell you the truth this system was put together by people who have way more money then the average person and who have teams of assistants that deal with this stuff for them. Because these are the people that make the rules they don’t understand how much trouble it really is for the average person.

    Also a tip. Call your primary care doctor first! If your primary care is not available and your pain is not that big, go to an urgent care. If it is something you can deal with and schedule an appointment, find a specialist. The ER is a last resort and only for extreme situations. It’s called an emergency room for a reason. They WILL CHARGE for this. Just to walk in the door generally at my local hospital is like $700. You won’t see it right off the bat and no one can tell you because the hospital is LEGALLY REQUIRED TO HIDE THEIR PRICES! Only the president of the hospital and the people in the billing department can see this information. They are legally required to not disclose this until after services are rendered. That doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day it could be a life or death situation. Just know if the bill is high enough a trip to a bankruptcy lawyer and $1200 can make it all disappear.

  159. I get it man, true its frustrating. I see the benefit of a different system, but, it has merit as well. Once you get to know your insurance workings, its pretty easy. I look at healthcare as the true tipping point. Give the government power of healthcare and their balance of power is overbearing. There are other very nice countries with social healthcare, but I dont want to live there. In those countries the government controls too much for me.

  160. Glad to hear you’re doing fine! I’m very surprised about the insurance company not being able to tell you their “preferred providers”. All insurance companies I’ve had give me a list of them prior to issuing an insurance card.

  161. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but Medical Costs were not always this way in the United States – it has grown into this monster over the last 30 years due to a lot of complex factors and deregulations. It’s incredibly sad and disgusting.

  162. Sounds like you’ve bought into a PPO (where you can select your own doctors). I been with Kaiser (HMO) for over 45+ years. The system does suck for some and the horror stories abound. But you determine what you need based on how you use the system. You get a great comprehensive system with a lot of expertise. You also get coverage anywhere in the world until you are ready to be moved to a Kaiser facility. I signed my name three times for all my kids way back when … not even a deductible. They and their family also have Kaiser and they are now in their 30s-40s and doing well.

  163. There are already more than a thousand comments here, so mine has probably already been expressed by somebody else, but I’ll share it anyway. Winston hit an important point early in the video: businesses are afraid of getting sued. I read somewhere that 1/2 of all the attorneys in the entire world are American. The number of American attorneys is about the same as the rest of the world attorneys combined!! People in America are SO quick to take others to court over issues big and small. Too much money is wasted in court over ridiculous things because it is incredibly easy and profitable to sue. Businesses such as hospitals protect themselves by purchasing liability insurance.
    Who wins? Lawyers and insurance companies.
    Another factor in the high cost and complicated mess of health insurance is the rampant insurance fraud committed by individuals and businesses. This causes higher costs and inefficiency.

  164. I feel your complaints with the healthcare system here. It fucking sucks. That said, there’s a 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card or a website that you can look up whether a hospital group is in network or not.

  165. 1; American hospitals can not refuse treatment to anyone, you and your wife should have know that,
    2; your general health care/family doctor is not hospitalization. Your wife should have known that. The reason why the admissions and nurses and doctors aren’t allowed to know how payment is procured is to assure no prejudice is casted upon you/patient from the above mentioned which has been proven to be effective eliminating judgment. Hippa laws assure the tourist, foreigners, homeless, and the wealthy receive the best care the institutions can provide.
    It can be quite frustrating when being admitted but remember the volume these hospitals deal with especially in California. Especially with all the illegals using hospitals as their front line healthcare system which hospitals weren’t designed for. Most illegals wait until there sick and show up to the hospital. Colds, fevers, pain, ingrown toenails, warts, instead of a local family clinic or family practice.
    I like your self spent time in another country ie. Indonesia/ Philippines and seen how well I was treated compared to the locals due to my financial status. They immediately assumed I was cash or visa and noticed how well I or persons I as an American I accompanied were treated expediently.

  166. You have to get use to this system. It took us a while. When our first son was born despite of the insurance and network hospital and network doctor the bill they sent us was for about 15K. My wife was on the phone with them over a week and we did not pay a penny. Just never pay a bill, always negotiate and most likely you will pay a fraction of the bill or nothing at all.

  167. Some of the expense is due to the fact that hospitals have to take the uninsured in critical condition (inclluding acute appendicitis) and have to swallow costs if the patient cannot pay. The hospitals basically come up with an estimate of how much they are likely to get stuck with in a year and then prorate that across all patients (and of course they higth side it) THis is why universal health insurance reducees bills, because what you see is only what you used, not what you used plus. The insurance issue is just not resolvable with the current insurance industry. THere are billions spent just on executie pay which is at stake, for one thing.
    Medicare for all is the solution.

  168. All my coworkers never pay their medical bills that are in the tens of thousands. They’re all low income with no insurance, and just rip up the bills when they come in. lol not much ill comes from it on their end since they just cant pay it and nor would they pay it even if they could.

    Luckily I do have insurance and pay around 60-100 a month, it used to be free and slowly been going up in the past 2-3 years. I just make more at my job so I pay more for the insurance. Defiintly made my moneys’ work back on couple thousand dollar bills from stepping on rusty nails (only costed 25-50 bucks total in the med bill where insurance paid 5k a pop) and some other injuries (actually currently recovering from fracturing 5 ribs from a fall).

  169. No … you’re wrong, Obama fixed health care. I’m pretty sure that was covered in the news. 😉

    But yeah, health care is still problematic, insanely expensive, and lawsuits are a major factor.

  170. The number one reason id never move to USA, healthcare system there is insane. Beautiful country and great people but a simple illness can ruin you for life.

  171. Why would you ring Nurse Advise when your wife is a doctor your condition could have killed you you needed urgent surgery .P.S. Why are you living in California when there are more wonderful and beautiful places in the U.S.A.

  172. Take it easy on the stomach area for at least a month. After a couple months start working on your core muscles to recover strength. Don’t worry about the bills, this is America. You can always just not pay it. I had mine burst while they removed mine. Get back to full strength, medical bills will not ruin your life.

  173. Serpenza…Why not just pay cash.? Ijust had a tooth pulled..375$ cash.All the forms you have
    to fill out…basically to excempt the surgeon from lawsuits is tedious.I have no health
    insurance.What you should or your wife asked is how much cash for fixing me..period.

  174. Healthcare in usa sucks 100%. I think the care itself is very good but it needs to change. The only ppl who argue otherwise are insurance or health company employees.

  175. You are responsible, but the reason it is so expensive is there are so many people that believe they are entitled to everything, they wouldn’t drive to the hospital, they would call a City Ambulance and if it is somebody from Public Housing the Fire Department would show up and the Police. they don’t worry about anything.

  176. Yes, glad to see you are recovered. Happy you are pleased with the treatment. Be tough about paying the bill, and go over the charges. I’m glad you were here for surgery. I’m glad it went well. It is a pretty good place to get sick.

  177. I feel your pain as mine was basically ready to burst. I was rushed to the E.R was checked and was in the O.R room within 30 minutes. I spent the next 5 days recovering enough to function well.

  178. Hope you feel better soon Winston! Take vitamin D and helps your tissues heal. yeah it’s a little late now but it’s a good idea to review the paperwork and the online resources with regards to your plan and your network before you need them, so if the occasion arises you’ll know what to do next time.
    Glad you made it

  179. I feel your pain as mine was basically ready to burst. I was rushed to the E.R was checked and was in the O.R room within 30 minutes. I spent the next 5 days recovering enough to function well. We also get a full list of any doctors or hospitals the insurance covers. Be ahead of the game. Its generally all in your medical insurance package of coverage.

  180. You can thank greedy Republicans in congress and other conservative bean counters in corporate America for our crappy health care regime. Many Democrats want to implement a single-payer system similar to what they have in Canada, Australia, and Taiwan, but have been blocked. Get off the Trump train and open your eyes to what’s going on.

  181. Tips to make healthcare less miserable here: figure out your the hospitals and what services your insurance covers beforehand, not during an emergency. Ask for an itemized list and negotiate the charge to lower it. Also look into getting a fsa (health flexible spending plan).

  182. Oh man..I’m really sorry you went through all that. No one I know ever actually calls the health insurance company for medical help. C-milk would’ve been a better help. There are several politicians working toward getting rid of hidden medical costs (not trying to push anyone here, but it’s actually a platform item for Trumps campaign). Actually getting treated is usually great. The biggest downside I’ve experienced though has gotta be the food. Of course, nothing beats home cooking.

  183. Welcome to my America! I’m in my 50s and spent much of my life savings paying the non-covered medical bills of my wife’s mom who suffered strokes for two years before dying. And after my wife changing jobs earlier this year, her new employer’s insurance was going to eat up much of her paycheck. So here I sit uninsured, again. This is the part of the US that has always sucked. 😕

  184. At least for my health insurance (or at least the hospitals around me), it’s not by hospital but by doctor. So every doctor or whatever their title is individually you have to check and make sure they are “in-network” via the insurance company website. Then you get a co-pay and they pay part, but only IF the type of doctor visit you have is covered. Then there’s the deductible bit where they may not pay for some things until you’ve spent however much out of pocket. It’s a hot mess. I’ve lived here all my life and I still can’t get my head around it. A 5 minute doctor visit for them to say “Oh, you have a sinus infection, here’s a prescription for antibiotics” can cost hundreds, not including the cost of the medicine even. It’s ridiculous.

  185. Mr. Sterzel, whatever you do next time, get an itemized invoice line by line and then bargain the price down. They will go along with it, even if you don’t expect them to do so. They figure something is better than nothing.

  186. I’m American; and I don’t have insurance. I broke my toe on a Sunday afternoon, when all the walk-in clinics were closed, so I had no choice but to go to a hospital emergency. It literally took the Chinese doctor 10 minutes to fix my toe. All he did was give me an injection to numb my toe; reset the bone; and tape it up. The hospital issued me a document that estimated the cost for the service would be $500. However, when I received the bill in the mail, it was for $9,000. No, that is not a typo; the bill was for $9 thousand dollars. Screw them, I just didn’t pay it, not one penny.

  187. lol, when you said “24hr Nurse Hotline” I immediately knew it would be useless. The only thing they ever say is “check with your doctor”.

    Ps. You can usually call your insurance to see who’s in your network. (Nurse hotline doesn’t count.)

  188. The doctors love the medical insurance system. You will never hear them complain about it because it’s that corrupt system that enables them to own mansions, private planes, yachts, trophy wives, etc. American doctors are the richest in the world, thanks to the corrupt medical fraud that is the American system.

  189. Most people today want to get out of LA if they can – way too socialist, way too expensive and way too much of a shit whole with all the homelessness etc. And the fact the government can’t manage anything Well, hence all of these fires etc. LA is in decline. So SerpentZA, my question is – wtf made you move there!!?? Lol.

  190. A cousin is a surgical nurse. She says that diversity doesn’t work out well in the hospital. There is a lot of resentment and jealousy between groups. One group scapegoats or tries to bully another. Anything that looks likes favoritism is eagerly pounced on, and the hospital administrator is forced to investigate on behalf of this or that group whether there was, in fact, any wrong committed.

  191. As an MD PhD student myself, I’ve found the medical insurance part to be annoying as well. The only good advice I’ve found from experience is to call the billing department of your hospital directly, talk to them respectfully, and see if they can reduce your charge. I’ve found it surprising how the hospitals can simply change the bill after you talk with them even if your EBO says something else. It’s really a crap shoot at times. Personally, the US can make this process better. But until we have a better way of having clear pricing and coverage for medical exams, procedures, ect. this system will be with us. Sorry you had to go through this.

  192. Yes our health system sucks……its not a secret……but you could always go back to China……or South Africa……Love you bro but be happy it could always be worse smile your an American! (Get out of California) Pro USA! USA! USA! tip…..BE modest.

  193. either way,if you need emergency medical treatment in the USA, you will get it no matter what, then they bill you later. Many around the world picture thousands of people dying in the streets of untreated broken bones and wound infections for not having insurance

  194. I’m glad that you are exposing the US. If you have eyes to see, you will see that this country is every bit as corrupt and evil as China. The American propaganda system is far superior to China’s, and that’s why people around the world are brainwashed to think that America is heaven on earth. Before you say that I’m talking nonsense, I must remind you that we have BY FAR, without equal, the highest percentage of citizens locked up in prison. We are not free in this country.

  195. I’ve had a ruptured appendicitis removal operation over a decade ago and I can understand your predicament given the circumstances. I didn’t had medical insurance at that time and in the end, my parents had to fork out cash to pay the bills, which isn’t cheap at that time.

  196. Tell me about it, the worst health care system in the developed world. I don’t know about CA, but in NYC the doctors were crap and the hospitals were filthy too. I once spent one night at Lennox in Manhatten it was filthy and then came the bill…. A friend of mine(who was insured) had to file for bankruptcy after a minor sergery. I’ve lived overseas for 10 years now and I do not miss American health care system.

  197. Been a while but had to come back for old Winston, we might not always agree but hes still my 2nd favorite south african😂😂 get well my man best wishes… welcome to America its a trip

  198. No heavy wrenching on Worthless Wimps for you Winston. Not for at least six weeks, until the stitches heal. Let Laowhy do some work, let him get his fingernails dirty for once!

  199. Glad you are Ok and wish you a speedy recovery.
    Yes and welcome to America and our health care system.
    Maybe check out Canada as a place to live. Out government is in gridlock and slim chance of a Health Care system for all soon.

    Take the time now to educate yourself as best you can about your insurance coverage about In-Network and out of Network coverage.

    Good luck and don’t let the Bastards get you down! Stay Awesome

  200. I moved from New Zealand to USA and back again. I lived in the USA for a few years and I did notice people were generally and normally “nice” or “polite”, so are people here in New Zealand. However though, I feel the reasons why people are nice are quite different between the two countries. You are very observant so I believe you probably will understand why people are “incredibly nice” in USA. And I am looking forward to hear your thoughts on this in the future. Regarding to people gets treated regardless if you have money or not in the US, it is great especially comparing to the system in China. However in the US, if you didn’t have money nor insurance and you needed a treatment, you would probably end up with two options, either die from not being treated or broke and carrying huge debts. And I’m not sure one is necessarily better than the other. Being broke and carrying huge debts also come with screwed up credit score which could make it even harder for people to try to get back up. Again, comparing to life in China, USA is better but it is nowhere close to where it should or could have been.

  201. Winston. Glad to hear all can out in the rain. Now that you are well, visit your health insurance’s website and there you will find all the information you seek regarding the preservation of your health.

  202. I am so glad I got VA, and the VA hospital here is super good. On a side note, I would like to add that the hospitals and health service in HK were inexpensive and excellent; I could not praise them high enough too! Speedy recovery, Winston!

  203. Winston, with acute appendicitis, its not just a matter of removing the little pinky sized appendage on your intestine. It has likely leaked a portion of the contents of your bowels, which in addition to digesting food also contains bacteria. That bacteria is only meant to live in your GI tract, not be in your abdominal cavity. That’s why you had a high fever, those bacteria must be eliminated via antibiotics. I spent a month in the hospital when my appendix was removed, so you got off easy. Glad you are home and on the mend, let your wife take care of you and Nothing over 5 kilograms for a few weeks.

  204. Even those of us who work full time in healthcare for over 25 years can’t figure the system out half the time on the one hand and want to do nothing but take care of sick people.

  205. I am not taking sides on anybody. You and your family are in a foreign country. The first thing you should research on what happens if your family is injured/series illness, what does your insurance cover, and on which hospital that is available for you. Why do you need to drive, when you can call an ambulance or an uber when you are deep in pain? You are a much travel person, this A,B,C or 1, 2, 3 thinsg on health concern is your top priority since now you got a family.

  206. Welcome to the gang rape that is American capitalist “healthcare”. No wonder so many like myself are longing for a socialist medical answer like so many other nations already enjoy. This, by the way, is at least partially the result of generations of deadbeat congressional representatives taking big medical payouts under the table.

  207. Really enjoy your videos. You are really sincere and work hard. …..Ok, sorry to hear about your situation…….but, please move to the mid-west. None of those California problems.

  208. The health care system is so screwed up in the US since it’s privatized; It’s all about profits. I have my own health issues (be pretty much dead w/o health insurance) and this was my primary factor joining the federal government as a civil servant…spent extra money to get the high option/good coverage. Wouldn’t your situation be considered catastrophic/emergency..because I thought all insurance covers it, even if hospitals are not under the network.

  209. Make sure you rest! the fevers were probably because some of the infection got into the bloodstream or its just your body responding to the trauma of surgery. I hope you recover quickly and have no complications.

  210. Glad you’re on the mend. Yes, our health care is second to none — but our healthcare SYSTEM draws balls! It’s in-flux right now on so many levels, from insurance, to scrip costs, to some fairly-insane outpatient “mouse-mazes” , Americans are working on an entire revamp of healthcare. It might get worse before it improves, but ya never know… They MAY actually FIX it.

  211. Now maybe you understand why many Americans supported Bernie Sanders. Private medical insurance is a huge RIP off that does bankrupt people if something goes wrong in their life. Better to pay a sales tax that after a while becomes normal, than the $400 per month insurance bill or whatever ridiculous amount, in addition to a multi thousand dollar bill when something terrible does happen.

    It is not just litigation that makes it so expensive. It is also or more the incredible greed of the HI companies an executives of them.

    Canada, where I have also lived and worked, has single payer socialized medicine. So nice to not think about a huge bill if someone in the family needs emergency services. And frankly you wait for health care wherever you live. Just dont pay through the nose at the same time in Canada.

    However, the right wingers on here will blather about evil socialism, as if it is just as dualistic a “my team” choice as being republican or democrat. . . Until they develop a preexisting condition or get the electric jolt of the many thousand dollar bill from some misfortune. Ugh.

    Social programs such as Social Security and unemployment and crop price supports etc, are things most Americans would not want to do without.

    Anyway, as you have discovered, private health insurance blows chunks however the US tries to structure it.

    I am of course happy that you had a good medical experience though. American medical care is very good with best practitioners from all over the world.

  212. In Canada you just have to show up to the er and show your provincial health card, for an appendicitis you’re in and out without any financial burden

  213. dont get in the medical system in the US, you will go broke, I will guarantee it, and likely more sick than when you started. Even your illness came on for a reason, like crappy food. LOL, its funny you realie you need to be an attorney to understand your insurance, just waioutt til you try and file your taxes! Trust me, the US has the worst health care of any of the 5 countries Ihave lived in, and I have lived in 2 third world countries.

    Your observation about the worries everybody has about being sued isnt jsut with health care, its with EVERYTHING in the US. You are having negative experiences even quicker than most people that land in the US, buckle up because it gets a lot worse. Wait until they cant accept your refusal of treatment for fear o fbeing sued not by you, but by the state or anybody else, so they run the bill skyhigh and stick you with the most expensive treatment in the world. If you dont pay, they take your assets, so enjpy paying the highest costs in the world for what will turn out to be some of the worst care in the world, if you are adult enough to admit you are getting screwed.

    you know who those attorneys doing all the suing are? They are J/wish, my firend, and they have wrecked the US beyond repair just lke they did in germany. Im right on this, and you will understand it sooner or later, if you dont already.

  214. this is a scam, 35k to give birth???? why do i get a feeling that these insurance companies actually don’t pay anything? instead prices are hiked up so that it looks like they have ‘covered’ a portion only to have you pay the actual amount plus more. they don’t make a loss because you still pay them a monthly fee…. screw anything related to insurance, the same insurance that you can barely use when you actually need it.

  215. The reason that the triage nurse in the emergency room cannot tell you if you were covered is because you have to be seen and assessed by a Registered Nurse before there is talk of ability to pay – aka will my insurance pay at this facility. An assessment for life a threatening condition takes priority. Once you have been triaged, then other determinations can be made. It may seem annoying, but it is meant to prevent people who are suffering from something life threatening from being turned away for lack of ability to pay.

    I am from Canada, and spent 10 years working in the USA as a Registered Nurse. I went to school in Canada, worked north of the border for about a year and then went to the USA. There are pluses and minuses to the medical system in each country. Most Americans believe that in Canada you will die on a waiting list waiting for surgery. Most Canadians believe that Americans face bankruptcy each time one is hospitalized. Each country has the extreme view of the other, yes it is possible to die on a waiting list, and yes, going to the hospital in the USA can be financially destructive.

    Most Americans would argue against socialized healthcare based on the belief that a hard working person, who pays their taxes, is more deserving healthcare than a person from the street who does not have a job. In Canada we tend to see free healthcare as a basic right. That is one of the biggest differences on each side of the border….Americans first and foremost value freedoms and rights of the individual, whereas Canadians place greater value on what is best for the collective. I am not saying this as an absolute; of course there are Americans who believe in universal healthcare for all, and there are Canadians who don’t think it is done correctly here…..

  216. I’ve been to several different hospitals here in the US. I’ve had surgeries, hold over for illnesses and having broken bones set. I’m very good at hurting myself, lol.
    I totally agree with you.
    The health care itself here is A++ but the paperwork can be a nightmare.
    I’m really glad to see you out of the hospital and getting back to being your old self.
    Stay Awesome Winston 😎👍

  217. while they will treat you even if you are broke, that is only good for bums, because if you have anything of value at all, they will take it in court. You ditn mention pricing and the outrageuos costs of healthcare in the US, 5, 10 or 20X other places I have lived, dont forget that big observation, it matters. Im surpised the didnt chastize you for asking questions like they do most people, then ask you what medical school you went to, just because you want to know what is going on. Anybody that dosnet agree that the US mediacl system is the most over.priced, crooked system in the world is not paying attention. There is a reason you couldnt understand the insuracn system, they dont want you to understand it, or worse, ask bout prices! Talk with any American and you will only find two types, those that have insurane and know the price of absolutely nothing in their procedures, or the other 90% of Americans that cant afford to go to the hospital or it they do bc on welfare they also dont pay attention to pricing bc htey arent patying. Who in this world dosent want or need to know the prices of some of the biggest ticket items they will ever pay for, like a heart attack ro surgery Nobody in the US asks pricing form doctors, its the first sign the system is on fire and rife with corruption, fraud and abuse. `DOnt believe me if you dont want, but I ahve already mentioned these things to yo in the past, you will discover them one way or another, like with this incident.

  218. I absolutely understand what you have said about the confusion and complications of dealing with insurance companies, the fact that even with insurance, large hospital expenses can bankrupt a family.
    However – I’ve had too notch medical care of my choice and wouldn’t exchange that!
    I’ve had paid insurance – lost a job due to covid19 and had to experience obamacare and it was awful.
    I recommend anyone who’s paying for insurance to educate yourself on your policy before you need it.
    Don’t wait till you are sick and have no clue. Treat it like you would anything else of value and importance. It’s your responsibility to learn your insurance and be able to use it effectively. Think about how to like this: if you called up your bank and asked advice on whether you should go into a financial venture with a friend- they’d say you need to decide these things. Same here- choose your pcp- establish a relationship and be able to call them to be seen when you are sick. Next- go learn about your insurance coverage and levels- what’s your part and not.
    Don’t wait to be spoon fed.
    You are the owner of the policy.
    You are free to be as uneducated or as informed as you want to be.
    The ER was explaining they are there to care for you- they can’t turn away the sick like other countries can.

  219. It’s not complicated at all- if you make under a certain amount in wages, you qualify for Medicaid. If not, you can purchase health insurance on the market, or qualify under an employer’s health insurance plan. If you’re older, you may also qualify for Medicare.

    That’s not to say that there are no shenanigans going on with billing, but it’s not how you’re making it out to be. I work to administer Obamacare (ACA), and it only gets “complicated” for the people who are behind the scenes processing the requests and making determinations.

  220. Most insurance companies have access to medical care and Customer Service. The questions you were frustrated about were related to Customer Service. There should be a website or phone number for you to ask those questions. Nurses & Hospital staff are focused on patient wellbeing. The insurance company makes contracts with medical facilities and providers. Customer Service and the website should be able to provide that coverage info. Hope that helps.

  221. Waiting for your next video discussing all the fun you’re having with the bills that come in that don’t make sense and are spread out over the course of the next *YEAR* or more. Oh! the incompetence that you are about to experience. One hospital journey ends, another insurance journey to hell begins. Glad to see you are ok!

  222. I blame the ACA, aka Obamacare, for the medical insurance mess in America. I had no problems with medical services until that awful law was passed by the dumbocrats.

  223. The US always has the hospital that are free of Charge . If you do not have money , they still save your lives on the emergency matter. San Jose has Bascom hospital . 751 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 95128
    .

  224. As a canadian I would imagine much cost is the administration costs of all the insurance companies and each hospital finalizing the bills. If its all free as in canada you just deal with the govt of each province to fund the medical system of that province. It aint perfect but I know i it wont bankrupt the family and emergency service is always top drawer.

  225. That’s normal coming from the medical mafia of America. There primary goal is to steal from you through your insurance. If you don’t have insurance your going to be suffering till the end in your own pool of blood. They can’t tell you if your dying even if they know but wait until the end so they squeeze every cent out of you. Be careful next time or will be spending all your life savings trying to pay off your debt for a single broken finger.

  226. You are right about litigation in the medical field. Doctors malpractice insurance is extremely prohibitive…has alot to do with the cost of medicine today. Glad all doctors and nurses were good to you, though!☺ Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  227. I’ve only listened to a couple minutes of this vid, but Winston, you just nailed the biggest problem with the American healthcare system: tort law and punitive damages. America has more lawyers per capita than any other country! I don’t want to get into politics here but I will: The American Trial Lawyers Association is (along with the teacher’s union) is the single biggest contributor to the Democratic Party. Certainly, there are Republican ambulance chasers as well – but note: when Obama was pushing his healthcare plan, you didn’t hear anything about tort reform. When Bernie Sanders talked about free medical care for all, he never mentioned tort reform. When tort reform does get reluctantly mentioned by the politicians, they’ll try and minimize it as a significant factor in healthcare costs.

    None of the countries that provided national, free medical care allow the huge punitive damage claims the U.S. does. I went to the doctor myself yesterday and received excellent care, but before I could see the doctor, I had to sign a bunch forms, essentially promising not to sue the doctor’s office. I have a friend, a former doctor who got taken to the cleaners because of a mistake one of his employees made. He was a very good doctor and well-loved in the small town we lived in, but the financial ruin he faced drove him out of the practice – one less good doctor to serve the community. I’ve gone on long enough and could keep going, but I’ll stop. I don’t want to get into a right-left, Republican-Democrat flame war, but the situation infuriates me: doctors and p.a’s ordering procedures and tests simply to avoid malpractice claims. Until the tort law -punitive damages rip off gets resolved, American medical insurance will continue to be a mess. I’m done.

    I’m glad you’re on the mend, Winston. It wasn’t so long ago that people would die with a ruptured appendix if it didn’t get fixed in time. All the best to you, your lovely wife and precious child.

  228. Health insurance is a big scam, designed to confuse you, you are just a HMO or PPO number, we the people are the one suffering financially and mentally from the stress resulting from it. No politicians are fighting for our rights, they lobby for big insurance corporations instead. We the people are becoming powerless.

  229. I’m a dual citizen US and Canada. I will say, the Canadian medical system is very simple. You show your card and your pretty much done, they take care of you. I also have a private US medical insurance policy, it’s utter bull shit, pardon my description. What you have in the United States, is medical care run by accountants, NOT DOCTORS. Money is the bottom line, not your health, with private medical insurance in the United States. Period! And don’t believe the lies about how you will die in Canada waiting for medical care. You will wait for a nonlife threatening medical treatment. But if you need it to live, you will be treated right away.

  230. Welcome to why I want to leave the US. Medical costs is enough of a reason because I can get everything else I like about the US in plenty of other places.

  231. Don’t get sick, do everything you can to prevent anything near this; you must put your life in your own hands this is what American is, all those services are big problems just like the traffic.
    The standards in the USA have been lowered by a grave amount, people die in simple surgeries now , college degrees are over 10x easier then 1960’s, they take mentally retarded into the military now.

  232. Glad to see your feeling better. Yeah the good thing about this country is if you have an emergency you will be treated. Whether you’ll pay now or later you will pay. But Like your wife says at least you will get treated and won’t be abandoned at the front door. For people who own their business and pay for their healthcare insurance out of pocket its always a good practice to look contact your insurance and ask which hospitals are covered. Its incredibly complex because you can go to a hospital that’s covered but the doctor won’t be covered. It helps to be aware of all these things before an emergency but when your not in an emergency you don’t really think of these things. Glad to see your ok and sending you light and healing vibes. Hope you feel better buddy.

  233. Sorry to say our Hospitals and Doctors are a Joke. Years back I seen a 5 year study done for congress. Congress did another one that was just as bad. Most in the system cant and wont talk because they work in the system and it supports them. A Veterinarian could Diagnose better. ( they diagnose about 15 % of Patients correct) of Emergency is the only time I see them. Want to live a long healthy life? stay away from them unless its needed.

  234. I don’t know what is right or wrong but just questions. What is the worth of your life? Your life or xxx amount of money? Should we take advantage of others when they are in need of such and such? Do what I say not what I do or vice versa? Of course people will say the institution should not charge such and such amount of money. What if you’re the institution are you walk the walk? Have you been there done that?

  235. I avoided doctors for probably 20 years until my wife nagged me enough to start seeing one regularly. I have not even had a bad flu for 19 years. But at 72 I now need blood pressure medicine, but that is all. You have to be careful when they ask you if you want this test or that shot. Always find out the cost first. (And they can’t tell you.) Some doctors in some medical systems are salesmen that must have been trained by a car dealership. An example is “Cologard” a test for colon cancer. A few years ago the local TV station was pushing free colo/rectal cancer test kits that were sent to your home. Now, they have the audacity to charge as much as $3000.00+ for them and after your insurance kicks in you may only have to pay $300 to $600. My wife had the test but when I was asked if I wanted one I told them no way, they are way over priced and used to be free. My wife can’t retire yet because of the cost of health insurance. But, realistically, how do you force a private health insurance company to cover pre-existing conditions? It is a recipe for failure. You don’t go to a junk yard to buy a beat up car, then call the insurer to ask them to make it look like new again.
    Anyway, Winston, I’m glad you’re on the mend, but here is hoping you don’t suffer a “walletectomy” when the bills come.

  236. As an Aussie, I am absolutely shocked listening to this. I had an emergency situation where I needed surgery. I went to the closest public hospital, went to the ER, explained the type of pain I was having and where and pretty much got pushed in front of the line. I got a bed straight away with doctors and nurses looking after me and doing tests etc. When they found the root cause, they transferred me to another hospital via ambulance because the facilities at the other hospital had better specialist and equipment to deal with my issue. When I got there they doped me up with pain killers until the specialists and surgeons were ready to take me in. Long story short, I spent about 5 days in hospital. (well 2 hospitals really) I had a transfer via ambulance, and a surgery. How much did all that cost me at the end? $0. (well, my taxes pay for the service, but you get what I mean.) I don’t even have private health insurance. I’m not saying our health system is perfect, but it’s not going to put anyone in serious debt. When an emergency happens, the LAST thing you want to think about is “how am I going to pay for this!?”

  237. When you go to buy travel insurance in Australia, the US is usually in the highest cost category. Like even more expensive than certain third world countries from which private medical evacuation would be the only option.

    There’s something really off about that.

  238. Damn… I’m not thankful for much in the UK right now if I’m to be honest but I’ll be bugged if I’m not thankful for the NHS a little bit more right now. I have an issue then I go to the hospital, get treated and leave… That’s it. I pay a minuscule amount monthly towards EVERYONE getting the same level of care when it is needed. Healthcare shouldn’t be a for profit business, it should be a right. Doctors deserve all the compensation in the world, these insurance companies deserve nothing.

  239. Just wait till trump kills off obamacare.. then your insurance company will KICK you off when you file your first claim… You pay for it and its worthless… And when you have a preexisting condition it will cost a TON More… you think voting doesnt matter but were about to go back to insurance hell. At least obamacare they cant deny you or charge you a ton for having preexisting conditions… Were about to get hosed even further…. Fing Ted Cruz yesterday shot down preexisting condition coverage again! F’er!

  240. To help US citizens understand how this works in other developed countries:

    My appendix burst one morning before work in Japan. I wasted a bit of time going to clinics thinking it was a stomach flu while walking like Quasimodo. Finally went to a hospital, got X-ray and CAT scanned. Emergency surgery immediately as I was losing the ability to stay conscious. 2 hour surgery vacuuming my guts out. Appendix had leaked through me so couldn’t do simple keyhole surgery. Progressed to peritonitis. 7 days in ICU followed by 8 days recovering from infection.

    Final cost with nationalised health insurance was ¥5000 (about USD $50).

    I assume it would be about the same cost and quality of care in my home country, Australia. US citizens deserve better.

  241. Appendicitis is nothing to mess around with, glad to hear you’re ok.
    As an Australian share your frustration and bewilderment with healthcare in the USA. Health insurance in the USA is incredibly expensive, arcane and convoluted in comparison to Australia.

  242. I mean don’t you go to your insurance website and depending on your plan, it shows you which hospitals/doctors/specialists are covered? Mine shows that, Tier 1 hospital is in network, Tier 2 is out.

  243. I pay for my own insurance and I use Kaiser. I’ve been using them basically my whole life and they’ve pulled me through some major injuries over my lifetime. It’s not cheap but it’s a better experience because they are a HMO and have hospitals and offices all over the state. One stop shopping for a lot of things.

  244. I’m curious how a Chinese doctor would diagnose and treat acute appendicitis — why did Winston have to go through the nurse hotline when his wife is a doctor?

  245. Medical Insurance in America SUCKS!!!! I was hospitalized many years ago and had a $15,000.00 bill I could not pay. No insurance and no savings. I paid nothing and it ruined my credit for a decade. Glad you got good treatment medically. Sorry you are paying the high cost of crap medical insurance coverage at too high prices in America. It is a scam and robbery.

  246. This is BS, but in the US you have to have your go to hospitals and clinics in place before needing it. And make sure you have your prescription plan understood.
    The US system is world class if you can pay!

  247. Glad to hear you are recovering and on the mend Winston. We can imagine how Sasha must have felt being new to the States and with the baby too.
    Good lesson for you. Be sure to have a general practitioner and know for sure what hospitals are covered by your insurance BEFORE anything happens to you or your family.
    100% guarantee you will be listed as a ccp virus case.

  248. Reading thru the comments here it seems if your video complains about America, you get lots of sympathy and tips on how to navigate the system. But if you complain about China then you get lots of verbal abuse. Why? How about an upcoming ADVChina video to explain?

  249. health insurance? what fucking health insurance? they stole my insurance in 2015 with obummercare. filed bankruptcy and will never pay another medical bill.

  250. different in every country. But one thing that is the same everywhere, people that become nurses, are hidden angels. Any time i was in a hospital, it is always the nurses ( male and female) that are the most caring human beings i ever met. They are not the ones that make bills high, they are the angelic beings.

  251. Someone please explain to this man that emergency medical services in the hospital has nothing to do with the financial services that charge you. 🧐 that’s a different part of the hospital. You want the medical staff to do it all? It’s your obligation to inform yourself on your insurance benefits and the hospitals around you that will take it.

  252. In case you didn’t know it, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical expenses, and that has been the case for over 30 years now. Look it up.

  253. I just removed a comment that became way too personal. Suffice it to say I know from my own painful experience that they dont always treat you the same as other people when you have MediCal aka “ObamaCare” and when he said 26 times in speeches to the nation that you can keep your doctor and choose your doctor that didn’t turn out to be true. They give you a book of drs to choose from under headings by specialty and you discover that only the worst one remains with awful reviews and a 1.7 patient feedback rating with NO alternative than to MOVE! And that doesn’t even begin to describe the worst of it. And eventually, when you can least defend yourself they come for the very last of everything you have with absolutely no qualms about it. No wonder our predecessors kept their life savinings in their mattress and this system didnt even exist yet. They knew how important that money is. It becomes a matter of your very survival. Remember that the next time you buy $6 cup of coffee. Our system has gone from being Capitalist to Opportunist.

  254. I didn’t catch if you you went in through the ER or general admittance I don’t know if that matters. But ACA made it where if you go in through the ER, they have to accept your insurance. “Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health insurance plans are required to cover emergency services. They also cannot charge you higher copays or coinsurance for going to an out-of-network emergency room.”

  255. Didn t recognize you without your suit.. Welcome to America… should of claimed asylum to Canada…free health care..you show up at the hospital of your choice, tell them whats wrong. they get a Dr. to look at you and it goes from there. May be charged for crutches if needed but they send you the bill in the mail. BE THANKFUL, quit complaining… and start living your new life. Your experience in China is a communist country…when the American cops act like chinese cops… they get shot.. Communist is as Communist.. does…Commy.

  256. If you like to fight: use the 7th Amendment of the Constitution of the USA.

    Example: I went to an emergency room with broken ribs. I told them I had no insurance. The x-ray cost $65. The doc saw the broken ribs and gave me pain meds.
    They then wanted to do a cat/mri. I said, ‘What does it cost?’. They would not tell me so, ‘I said, ‘no’. The meds, ‘kicked-in’, and I could breath just fine. I told them, ‘Give me a prescription and I’ll be on my way’. They asked me again to take a cat/mri and told me not too worry about the cost. So I said, ‘Okay’.

    I got a bill for 3 thousand dollars. I went to the hospital and read them the 7th Amendment. They got the hospital’s lawyer and …. I paid for only the x-ray and have not heard from their billing department since. That was in 2014.

    Note: the 7th is not a corporate document. Most all laws and statutes are corporate. If you hire a lawyer, you agree to corporate, ‘rules’. The BAR is incorporated, 1879.

    Note: I’m on my 12 year of traveling by horseless carriage without a corporate permit. Two jury trials dismissed on the day the trails were to start. It seems corporate courts are afraid of the 6th/7th Amendments. Its good to be an American.

  257. Dude: I don’t know about California, I live in PA. but I don’t think you need to go through all that. I think it’s same all over

    US. your Insurance Co. has A network of doctors, specialists, and Hospitals in your area. you find A Primary Care Physician

    (doctor) within that network. It’ll be best if you and your family get regular checkups with that Physician.Then if you have a

    Problem like you had you go straight to that PCP and let her decide were to go from there. maybe blood tests X-rays whatever may

    be best then She’ll hook you up with A surgeon And Hospital and all covered by your Ins. You just don’t go into hospitals and say

    I’d like an operation please. you go through the right process and it will be less fustrating.

  258. Yes health care in USA is ridiculous. That’s why it’s always a political topic. Also you’re right: health care costs are the leading reason for bankruptcy in America.

  259. I had appendicitis in Sweden before, I had no insurance but I had to pay around 150 USD total because I stayed 1 or 2 nights in the hospital for observation.

  260. Everyone reading this- make sure you look up hospitals in your area and have a plan in case you have an emergency. Have a backup or two in case their ER has a long wait. Save the address on your maps app. Call around to their billing department and try to see if they take your insurance. Don’t forget to update this process if you change your insurance company or plan. The health industry unfortunately is very broken in this country and you have to be proactive about this.

  261. Most people sign with their jobs insurance, then your paying normal fees rather then crazy fees. Im 21 and in good health but get quotes about 75% my wage while i work at a independent restraunt.

  262. Hospitals etc are indeed like the United Nations in the USA because in the USA, it’s *extremely expensive* to get into the medical field. The last time I picked up a prescription, I got talking with the pharmacist and he was a third of a million dollars in debt, to work in a Walgreens! Any kind of education is expensive as hell in the USA but especially medical education.

    Compare and contrast Cuba’s training of tons and tons of doctors and Mao’s “barefoot doctor” programs. Also USSR, any sane, rational, country really.

    So it’s extremely difficult for a US citizen to go into the medical field, but that’s OK for the capitalists because they can simply import people who learned to be doctors, nurses, etc for free or next to it, from rational countries. This is why you see Indian, Chinese, etc doctors. All nice folks by the way. Doctors are doctors – capitalism is the disease.

  263. Donald Trump signed a new law which, unfortunately for you, doesn’t begin until January 1, 2021. It forces hospitals to be 100% transparent in all costs so there are no surprises. This should lower costs dramatically.

  264. You can blame president Obama for messing it all up with ObamaCare. You can blame the Democrat Party for passing it without even a single Republican vote. If you want it fixed, vote Republican.

  265. If you are in California I would suggest you enroll in a Kaiser Permanente plan. I did in L.A. and now for 30 years in Hawaii and I am SUPER satisfied with the care they provide.

  266. We went for a holiday to USA… just to make sure we take out a extra travel insurance for USA.
    Paid en zo on.
    My girl got half way the holiday an infection and ended up in de emergency room.
    Insurance did not wanne pay because it was pre condition??
    So we ended up with a bill of 24.000$
    The moment we where cleared from the hospital, first flight to Europa where we got treatment and payed about 400€ totaal.
    Wel… that’s the last time we visit USA as a tourist.
    Feel almost sorry for the people in the land of the free,,, don’t get sick or shot.

  267. You are right about the confusing state of US health insurance system. I did hear that the ER area of most of the hospitals are not signed up with the insurance companies, but the insurance companies need to cover them partially. Thus, the huge bills you got when going thru ER. However, it is very difficult to get into a hospital for unscheduled procedures. I just got my eye surgeries done, and I have my doctor schedule them and not going thru ER. Thank God for that. My insurance covered most of my costs. However, my husband had been through an emergency illness that had to get thru ER, and they charged us A LOT!!! My husband fought with them to finally get them to back down. That was due to the fact that the people in ER barely did anything while charging us $1000+. The insurance did pay them a reasonable amount of money, but they still wanted us to pay additional $700+ money. My husband said, “NO WAY!”. He fought them for it and won. I said you should try to fight it if your surgery was in the hospital itself and if it was supposed to be covered by your insurance. My husband told me to refuse the surgery if anyone in the room were NOT covered (in-house) by our insurance. I guess you really could not refuse surgery because you were in an emergency situation. This is why you should locate your in-house doctors before you even get sick and create a relationship with them. I wish you and your family luck with the insurance situation. I have heard my friends from Taiwan that they actually go back to Taiwan for health care if they need major surgery or treatments. Sometimes, even pay out of pocket without Taiwan’s insurance coverage, the price is pretty reasonable. Taiwan do have medical tourism.

  268. Australia in general over bureaucracy and taxes stifles business but medical and auto matters are v simple choice of public or private health feel what’s good with usa is for business people what’s bad is lack of social welfare concept

  269. This from a man, who not long ago told me everything is better in America. We have some big brick walls Winston, you’ve hit one. Other astronomical cost may include a home mortgage in S. Cal and Childs College Cost. Lawsuits, because most Americans dont understand the law, until they get a legal case. Welcome to the “land of the free,” although we have over 2 million laws per year 2020. And “land of opportunity,” Although the people in control are a plutoarchy, who orders the gov what to do, the oligarchy.

  270. They say it’s about lawsuits, it’s incredibly difficult to sue anyone in the medical field, including that nobody knows that they need to get noticed 90 days before you notice them with your lawsuit. Then you need large sums of money to hire lawyers and doctors.

  271. I had two sons born. With my first son, I had a normal insurance plan that covered the birth. With my 2nd son, I was laid off two months before his birth and became a cash payer for services. The first son cost me $6,500 out of pocket with co-pays. The total price for the second birth was $2,300 with no insurance help. That taught me a lot about how insurance works, and I have been a savvy purchaser ever since.

  272. I am not in favor of socialized medicine, but our insurance system (and the litigious aspect of American society) is atrocious. That said, if you’re going to the ER and you have insurance, they’re generally going to cover it… your insurance company will definitely prefer you go to one hospital over another, but the insurance companies in the US generally do not refuse to cover emergencies. Generally, when your savings get “wiped out” from a hospital visit it’s because you didn’t have insurance in the first place.

  273. Winston what you needed to do to avoid all this medical nonsense was immigrate to Australia, the government will pay for your treatment until you declare that you have private medical care, even if you are a foreigner we will treat you for free.

  274. I’m lucky to have been born in Australia. I hope the US can stop all of it’s bickering and fix it’s healthcare system soon.
    Just know if you ever get into a serious health-care related financial situation, I think your subscribers would very gladly help you out with donations.

  275. I once got an ACL and meniscus surgery, cost ? 0$, with free breakfast and 2 days in intensive care, all free with also lunch and dinner included, as a fellows European, I’m so sorry to hear that you had to deal with the most expensive HC in the world

  276. It’s even worse down there if you’re a tourist and have travel medical insurance covering you. I’m Candian and a number of years ago my uncle was down in the states and was in a serious helicopter crash and broke his back and needed emergency surgery. They admitted him into the hospital but wouldn’t do the surgery until my aunt flew down from Canada with $25,000 usd cash because they couldn’t figure out if his insurance would cover it (it did and could have been cleared up by one phone call from them). It still blows me away something like that can happen in a “developed” country.

  277. When you have an emergency you would have been covered by any insurance with the only exception I can think of would be Kaiser and then just go to a Kaiser ER.

  278. I lived in the US of AIDS most of my life, but three years ago I enjoyed the American Dream of leaving America (by which I mean the central part of northern América. To be stuck there in WW3… the biggest target for nukes… nah. Just for my neighbours blasting rap crap at night it’s worth leaving.

  279. Yeah medical is fucked here. It’s not due to not enough government involved either. It’s legit the worst of a full government and no government worlds but the care itself when you finally get it is good. It’s just a royal pain to figure out and afford… Praying for a speedy recovery!

  280. It is funny to read that some folks loving government-ran socialized medicine will gush about how it’s free…. Really? Like thanks to magic money that grows out of thin air…?

  281. The healthcare system is good, but the health insurance causes higher prices. If we paid directly without the insurance companies in the middle taking their huge cut and using their small print to get out of paying, the medical bills would be affordable. As long as doctors know you are reliable, they can be so reasonable and helpful financially.

  282. As a canadian transplant I know exactly what you are sayin. The thing that ppl here don’t see is that this system is broken and the canadian system works so well. Canadians will fight to the death to keep their health care for a good reason! I miss the canadian health care. Getting sick can wipe you out in the US and that is a real horrible reality here. It’s more of a shame on this country. A real shame.

  283. Your problem is you are paying for everyone who doesn’t have insurance, if you go to the emergency room get treated and then disappear you have no bill. That is why insurance is thru the roof. Obama care destroyed the private medical insurance, the rate more than quadrupled . Many families went from paying 500 out of pocket to tens of thousands of dollars. That was planned by the architect’s of the Obama care. Its to make a single payer option where you get what you pay for. The single payer plan is a two tier system one for everyone else and then one for the elite. The ppl at the top have better doctors than everyone else. They also want to tax everyone’s med insurance that many ppls work provides. They will tax death and they do. You can have no long term solutions W/O doing something about litigation it’s a cottage industry and there are more medical malpractice lawyers in the States than anywhere else in the world.

  284. So in the US if you have a medical emergency, your medical insurance policy should cover it no matter where you go even if you have an HMO plan. Like some have mentioned in the comments, you actually know how much you will be max liable when you choose your insurance policy and the paper work they send you, it’s called the maximum out-of-pocket cost.

    So if you’re lucky and visited an in-network hospital for an emergency, maybe you just paid your copays or copay and deductible and that’s it. But if you visited an out-of-network hospital/physician, then you should be protected by your max out-of-pocket insurance limit. But hey, if you visit a doctor now, you don’t need to pay anything more because you hit your max. Or if you did pay, you can ask for a refund for the copay after they process it with insurance.

  285. China used AI to analyse American behavior and psychology (information gathered from Apps like Tik Tok, WeChat , ZOOM and hacking), and predicted that millions would be infected by the CCP virus aka Wuhan virus. Americans love to shake hands , hug loved ones , and Kiss goodbyes. China just killed hundreds of thousands of Americans without firing a single shot. This is clear proof of the genius of the Chinese. That’s why Biden and Harris support CCP China.

  286. Man as a Canadian we don’t have to worry about the insurance like the US has to. I am grateful for that. Feel sorry for my American friends that has that burden.

  287. Make a GO Fund Me Account. – So we can support you.

    I am glad you are ok. Sorry to hear how stressful this is.

    Look this up… Non Profit Health Insurance. They can give you advice.
    It works just like Non Profit Attorney. What you can do is by making phone calls you get information.
    You can also read online for free information. What I tend to do is make many phone calls in order to seek out the info.

  288. A little research before getting the insurance would help. I am not an expert but I could have helped you since I guess you are living in Orange country. You are not just used to it. Calling 24 hours hotline nurse is not necessary in your case. This is the unexpected things most young people don’t expect it would happen to them. Good luck and take care.

  289. In an emergency go to the hospital. The only upfront cost you can avoid is the ambulance, so have family or a friend drive you if possible. Once you are back home and receive the hospital bills for your portion, you can negotiate any discrepancies. Your amount is usually written right on the insurance card. If it matches the bill pay that. If you are over billed, call the insurance company.
    If you don’t have insurance go meet with someone at the hospital business office and explain why it will break you financially to pay that much. They will negotiate what you pay, because they were going to get paid much less by an insurance company anyway.

  290. Hello from Australia, In OZ our Public Medicare System costs us:- gross income from $0 -$26k costs nothing, above this 2% of gross income P.A. Total income of $50k costs $1,000 ($700US), and above $90k you must take out private insurance as well. If your gross income for your family is $90k, then Medicare will cost you $1800($1280US). Socialised medicine is affordable and great value. Your operation is Australia would have cost you nothing and your medicines are free. You walk out and the only thing you give is a thank you.

  291. Yeah, America is far too litigious with frivolous lawsuits abound and abuse of legal contracts to take advantage of people without other choices. China does not have such problems but they do have quality problems and it can be frustrating not to have a way to resolve certain problems fairly. There has to be a balance somewhere between the two but the reality is two terrible extremes.

  292. Concierge healthcare, takes the insurance out and you know exactly what it cost beforehand. Just you and your doctor. Much cheaper $50 a month per adult $10 per child unlimited visits and they make house calls. Unfortunately the corrupt state you live in will never allow it. Follow Ben Shapiro to TN.

  293. Hello, One phone call would have brought an ambulance with two paramedics to your door (no charge), paid for by the State government. Then off to the hospital where you would have been admitted, diagnosed, operated on, care for in-hospital (no charge), paid for by the Federal Government. Your pharmaceuticals would be given to you (no charge), paid for by the Federal Government and they would have given you vouchers to buy coffee and cake while waiting to be picked up, paid for by the hospital. If you had no one to collect you, the hospital would have driven you home, and you guessed it (no charge), paid for by the State Government. Socialised medicine in Australia is truly evil !!!

  294. They must be really screwed up in California. The first thing you are always asked for any kind of medical situation is what is your insurance and they can tell you immediately if you are covered.

  295. serpentza – move in Europe or Canada.
    Once you’re in a medical system you are paying almost nothing for Op, worse case scenario you will pay 10 Euro for an hospital day. You stay in hospital 5 days, you’re paying 50 euro at the end.

  296. Since 2015 we have millions of refugees in Germany, who got privat insurance by the government (covered everything, even better than the base insurance) an guess who pays…the tax of normal people.
    So just come to Germany as a refugee. But be aware: Germany is not German anymore. We lost it

  297. “As a foreigner, it’s confusing” – uh no, for everyone it’s confusing. Basically you go where ever they point you to go and hand them your insurance card and cross your fingers it all works out. Having no insurance is a living hell and could bankrupt you.

    If you think it’s bad with insurance, imagine going in with cash and asking “how much will this doctor visit cost” – and they don’t know!!

    Even beyond that, they try and bilk the insurance company. What is fucking scary now is that hospitals get extra $$$$ if you are COVID19. So hospitals are treating people without COVID19 but claiming they are infected just to make money.

  298. I am so thankful for Australia Medicare and proud to be Australian. My sister had a similar situation. Drove 2 minutes to the hospital. She waited 30 minutes in the waiting room, 1hr for transfered to surgical then out the door next day with follow up in a community clinic. If I was to defend anything, I would defend Medicare with my life.

  299. Nurses and doctors at the hospital are not able to tell you if your insurance covers the visit because that isn’t their job in the hospital. You need to go to the front desk and ask for the billing department or some sort. Also, they check your blood and vitals constantly incase of sepsis which is common if your appendix ruptures, there also other reasons like making sure the content in your blood is within normal ranges and before medication administration that can cause an imbalance.

  300. The same system that told people to go to college so they can get a fancy job like a doctor or lawyer, are behind many of the problems in the world today. College used to be way more affordable and beneficial, medicine used to be more affordable and straight forward, and our legal system has devolved into ambulance chasers and for-profit prisons. There are graphs that show how many things changed in 1971 for some reason.

    With how many spies from China they keep finding in all facets of our society, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out China was behind all of this degradation of America. But for that to be true, China would have had to have been playing the long game for decades, which I haven’t seen any evidence of.

  301. If you wife is a doctor, she should be able to diagnose apendasitis, pretty easy, pain from macbernie point and pain when elevating your right leg – yet you still needed at S.A. on going to the hospital? You sir need to listen to your wife!

  302. Now that I think about it, now that you are living in America, do people question your sideburns? It is definitely not in fashion right now. I assume in China people wouldn’t really have any standards of what to expect from your appearance lol

  303. So glad that you are recovering from your operation and it’s the first time that you aren’t in a suit! However The American System is complicated and expensive.

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