Emily H. Minnesota

Hospital Costs

Hospital costs in the United States need to be lowered.

Dear Next President,

I am writing in hopes that you will hear me out and consider my opinions on an issue. I believe that hospital costs should be lowered because there are many people in America who cannot afford to go to the doctor's office or the hospital. When people can’t afford to go to the doctors when they are sick, they tend to get more sick, and could possibly die.

A study from Harvard Medical School states that 45,000 people a year die because they can’t afford medical care. The study shows that hospitals are charging between 331% and 1000% more than the actual cost of a procedure. This is outrageous and unnecessary.

For example, people are being overcharged to have a baby. According to studies done by the University of California, San Francisco in 2014, Labor costs can range from $3,296 to $37,227. This makes it one of the most expensive health care costs in the United States. Many people have turned away from having a child because it is so expensive. By people turning away from having babies, our population will soon decrease because the death rate will be higher than the birth rate. If this happens, it will affect our economy, which is an even bigger problem.

I am fortunate to have been to the doctor’s office many times, but everytime I have gone, I have been overcharged for medical care. I broke my toe and went to see if it was shattered. I had two x-rays and they both came back that my toe was only broken. The doctor then proceeded to give me a referral to another doctor to figure out what I could do to help my toe heal. This doctor visit cost my family and I $300. We paid $300 for the doctor to tell me that I had to go to another doctor’s office. There has to be a more efficient and cheaper medical care option. Not everybody is as fortunate as I am to be able to afford this doctor bill.

I was also fortunate to have insurance. Insurance had brought the cost of the medical bill down for my family. It could have been double or even triple the amount we paid, if we didn’t have any insurance. The government needs to be concerned about the price hospitals are charging for service because there are so many people without insurance.

People think that they will be able to cover the cost of their medical bill, but a lot of the time, that is not the case, even if they have insurance. Many people end up in debt after receiving medical care. According to Harvard University, 62% of personal bankruptcies in the United States are due to medical expenses, and 72% of those people had some type of health insurance.

My uncle had brain cancer a few years ago. He went through many surgeries and hospital visits in the four years he had it. My uncle and his family had insurance so they thought they wouldn’t have to pay much. They ended up paying a lot more than they anticipated, and were in debt afterwards.

Major Media companies and politicians say that Obamacare will help pay for your medical bills. Unfortunately, Obamacare has some major problems. It is still too expensive for many people and we are not getting the critical mass of people to sign up. History shows us that there are not enough healthy people paying premiums for the amount of sick people requesting benefit, therefore making it ineffective. Another reason Obamacare does not work, is that the insurance companies are not charging enough to break even, so they are withdrawing their support of Obamacare. This makes Obamacare more expensive and less reasonable for many families.

Unless the government can create a more affordable and more effective type of insurance, the only way to make medical care more affordable for everyone is to lower the prices the hospitals charge. According to the National Nurses United organization, hospitals charge anywhere from 331% to 1000% higher than the actual procedure or checkup price. This makes health care unreasonable to many families in the United States. If we could lower the cost increase a little bit, it would make health care that much more affordable.

All in all, I believe hospitals are charging unreasonable and unaffordable amounts for services, and it is making families choose between debt or health. This shouldn’t happen and it needs to change. The only way for this to change is if the government makes the hospitals lower their prices, and that’s where I need your help.

Thank you for your time,

Emily Hinze

10th grade

Mendota Heights, MN

Henry Sibley High School


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