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The Impact: The curious case of the $629 Band Aid


Introducing The Impact, a new show from Vox hosted by Sarah Kliff.  The Impact explores how policy affects real lives. This season, we’re focusing on healthcare, and the first episode tackles with one of thorniest questions in the American healthcare system: prices. Subscribe to The Impact wherever you get your podcasts.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello, we'd listeners. This is Sarah Cliff. I am in the studio by myself. I am not doing a solo episode of the weeds. Instead, I'm here to introduce my new podcast, the impact is show about how policy affects real people. I am so excited about the show, because it is finally a chance to take all those white paper ideas we talk about on the AIDS and see what happens when they actually get implemented. If you remember weeds and the wild, this popup show we were doing last year. It's pretty similar to those episodes are for. he's, then, is going to run for eight weeks, and we are looking at health care policy
we are going to look at everything from six hundred and twenty nine dollar band aids to why doctors offices are super reliant on fax machines. There is actually a policy story there. We are going to play your part of the first episode seeking at a taste of the podcast. If you enjoy it, its super easy to subscribe apple pie cast stitched overcast wherever you get your shows, leave us a rating, send an email at impact and boxed outcome. We would love to hear from you and with that I'll turn, it. or to the first episode till it would have been about. When you told my wife's, Sarah was cussing her fingernails. This is I'll, come buried. He's got a british accent. Buddies lived here in the: U S! For the past two decades he's talking about a fingernail incident that happened back and twenty fifteen pinky right she's to fall.
the end of the finger and there was an enormously large amounts of blood. She was reading her book at the time and the blood was already Sarah collated with my oh, my god. What have you done here Malcolm and Sarah were really worry. They had injured their daughter, it was the weekend and the emergency room was the only place that was open, so they bundled collect up. They wrapped up her finger in this big wad of toilet paper, and they took Danbury Hospital in Connecticut you a brand new parents, we will freaked out. This is the first time anything bad. They got tree urge this doctor he goes No it's fine- and he explains at the end of your fingers- is full of capitularies. Save you cut the end of your finger. It bleeds exponentially more than if you just cut yourself anywhere else. The doktor gave collapsed Dade and sent the family right on home. The mandate actually fell off a little but afterwards, but Malcolm was completely happy with this visit
The doktor was helpful and nice collect. Thank goodness was okay. It really felt like it in all's. Well that ends well situation, except it did not end there yet. So we got the bill here for six hundred and twenty million dollars Six hundred and twenty nine dollars for a band aid and the hospital. It too ITALY's stood by this bell. welcome to the impact a new show on the Vocs media podcast network, about how policy affects real lives. I am your host Sarah Cliff. And I have been dying to make this series because I think too often, policies are treated as these can a theoretical white paper ideas but they're, not they have actual packs and shape the real world that we all live in
this is- and we are focusing on my favorite type of policy health care on the federal local. Even hospital level and we're going to look at what health policy means for real people across the United States, I wanted to start this season. This entire series, with a story of Malcolm's astronomically expensive bandaid, because It really shows what I think is the key problem in american Healthcare right now. we don't regulate our healthcare prices in this episode. We will talk about what that means, we will hear from an emergency room doctor who thinks our high prices make total sense. An economist who strongly disagrees Anna grad student, who is stuck paying an emergency bill that is even bigger than Malcolm's. but let's start with the basics: what does price regulation even mean to accept
I am bringing in some of my favorite colleagues here at vocs a hello. This is done, Scott. He is a awesome healthcare reporter and we're going to pretend right now. that Dylan is the administrator of a hospital in a country that is nearing dear to my heart, Canada, and I think I've been about it for a while. I think I wanna be from Montreal foreigners who, to this ok cool, so Dylan run Monterrey, hospital, I and the canadian government in this situation, I am paying the bills for all the patients who show up at Dylan's hospital. I kind of just get to tell Dylan how much. when to pay for a band aid or an x ray or doctors visit. It goes something like this, so I think a doctor's visited your hospital should be about thirty dollars, well, on the other hand, are doctors. I went to medical school, they have really big student loans. We have to pay our nurses, we have all. This is fine, but, like we have thirty dollars to pay rigid actor visit
but we really need ninety. In order to make you know our bank accounts work and everything. I think we need money so deal and I hate to break it you, but I literally ensure all of your patience and thirty. Two hours is what we ve got. If you don't accept that, like you're, not can have any patient that year Somebody Montreal higher telling me that it's either thirty dollars or zero dollars. Yes! Well, then, I guess we have no choice but to make the thirty dollars work. Good luck at your house that off so obviously the conversation is not quite that simple, but this is basically how healthcare pricing works in a lot of countries around the world, the governments at the prices and if the hospitals won't have any patients at all, they have to accept the government pay says. Can I be you as you guess, for the sake of this exercise. Matthew glaziers, who co hosts the weeds with me, is to be an american hospital administrator and I'm not playing the? U S government this time I am just,
Sarah Chimera from my small little insurance company. I dont cover everyone. I cover some small portion of the United States population so where's your hospital. My hospital is in the great american City of Toledo, ok, so in Toledo match the America. ass, the administrator, how much do. You want to visit with the doctor, your hospital, the customer, ninety bucks freedom, you ass, a that is a way to highlight, seems like a lot of waste is going on your hospital. We wonder you guys thirty dollars, nothing, so forty You know I'm talking to this other insurance company as recline co, and they seem pretty ok With covering the ninety, so you know I'm just gonna hundreds gonna see their patient safety. Here's what you know! Maybe you know one clients. The fact is, if you want to cover p When Toledo they're going to want to come to my hospital in one? Ninety bucks? Ok, I will pay you. Ninety dollars, just data network milk, Rita.
This is also very simplified, but it shows why the prices in the United States are higher for everything the average doctors visiting. Canada, where I grew up it really is. Thirty dollars compared to ninety dollars. In the U S, even though American doctors charge a lot more. There's. Not really since they are making us any healthier is this one report, I just love from the International Federation of Health plans. It looks at all kinds of medical services preschool drugs? Memorize doktor visit, see sections and it compares the prices. You pay here too,
price you pay in another country like Sweden, England or Australia, the! U S is routinely number one as in we're paying the most for everything, because when american hospitals get to set their prices, of course, they set them sky high. We are going to take a quick break, but we will be back to talk about those sky. High prices was to an emergency room doctor who defends them and tell you what happened with that? Six hundred and twenty nine dollar bandaid. That was the first half of our first episode. If you want to hear the rest go over to the impact feed subscribe, leave us a review, tell us what you think of it and get ready for a whole bunch of exciting episodes. We have in the works right now.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-13.