Radio Boston performed a courageous civic service yesterday: It ventured into the numerical weeds of health reform — discussing the new Massachusetts public opinion poll that Martha Bebinger covered here on CommonHealth — and it actually turned a discussion of health policy into interesting radio.
The segment included pollster and Harvard professor Bob Blendon; Joshua Archambault, director of health care policy at the Pioneer Institute; and Brian Rosman, director of research at Health Care For All. It’s a meaty debate that carefully avoids descending into what Brian calls “Wonkland,” and worth a listen. Already, it prompted this striking comment to host Meghna Chakrabarti from “KatyinQuincy” on Radio Boston’s Webpage:
Speak it, Meghna!
We have an HSA insurance account, and see the cost of health care in print- we need to pay most of it out of pocket.
$465 for a 5 minut office visit to reduce my daughter’s arm…
$375 for an infected fingernail…
$1075 for an ER visit that the doc said “she would make if SHE were my child’s mother.” (My baby had a COLD.
I don’t think the DOCS know how much these routine procedures cost.
Oh, and it’s not possible to negotiate a cash cost.
HELP! The people of Massachusetts are drowning in routine health care costs.
(I just have become a much better provider at home. We rarely see the doctor anymore).
The segment also included a call-in from a Newburyport man who was recently in a bike accident, and was so shocked and appalled by the cost of his ambulance and emergency room care — both the total cost and his out-of-pocket costs — that next time, he vowed, he would say “Screw the ambulance” and the health care system altogether. “I’ll recover” on my own.