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Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:45 AM

'Want To Cry': Bill for Uninsured Hospital Stay in Italy Stuns Americans

The disparity between the charges incurred by patients in the U.S. compared with other countries was thrown into sharp focus after a man who underwent surgery and spent a week in an Italian hospital without insurance shared a screenshot of his total bill.

The Italian national, posting to Reddit as byJoi, told Newsweek he suffered a series of bone, ligament and tendon injuries around one of his knees while skiing with friends in the Alps.

"I was immediately brought into the ER, got an MRI and was then scheduled for surgery," he said. ByJoi said he went on to spend a week in the hospital while he recovered and has also undergone physiotherapy since the accident.

At the time, he had feared his medical costs would be substantial as he had no form of insurance when the accident occurred. However, when he eventually got the bill, he was relieved and delighted to see it was just €53.78, which equates to $56.53.

https://www.newsweek.com/bill-uninsured-hospital-stayitaly-stuns-americans-cry-1716807

52 replies, 5539 views

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Reply 'Want To Cry': Bill for Uninsured Hospital Stay in Italy Stuns Americans (Original post)
ck4829 Jun 22 OP
KS Toronado Jun 22 #1
TheRealNorth Jun 22 #2
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 22 #3
They_Live Jun 22 #5
TheRealNorth Jun 22 #6
They_Live Jun 22 #7
Quanto Magnus Jun 22 #33
enid602 Jun 22 #41
IbogaProject Jun 22 #4
Diamond_Dog Jun 22 #8
James48 Jun 22 #17
IronLionZion Jun 22 #25
kimbutgar Jun 22 #9
Vogon_Glory Jun 22 #10
jaxexpat Jun 22 #35
jaxexpat Jun 22 #36
unc70 Jun 22 #11
Oppaloopa Jun 22 #12
erronis Jun 22 #13
Diamond_Dog Jun 22 #21
Volaris Jun 22 #29
Evolve Dammit Jun 23 #47
dlk Jun 22 #14
tavernier Jun 22 #15
keithbvadu2 Jun 22 #16
Marthe48 Jun 22 #18
azureblue Jun 22 #19
geardaddy Jun 22 #20
IronLionZion Jun 22 #24
geardaddy Jun 22 #27
LudwigPastorius Jun 22 #40
IronLionZion Jun 22 #22
CaptainTruth Jun 22 #23
erronis Jun 22 #30
sl8 Jun 22 #26
LittleGirl Jun 22 #28
onecaliberal Jun 22 #31
Ziggysmom Jun 22 #32
Martin68 Jun 22 #34
Evolve Dammit Jun 23 #48
BradAllison Jun 22 #37
LudwigPastorius Jun 22 #38
MontanaMama Jun 22 #39
Unwind Your Mind Jun 23 #46
Evolve Dammit Jun 23 #49
jonstl08 Jun 23 #51
MontanaMama Jun 23 #52
mn9driver Jun 23 #42
jonstl08 Jun 23 #43
Evolve Dammit Jun 23 #50
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 23 #44
The Jungle 1 Jun 23 #45

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:50 AM

1. Good for Newsweek

Now if all of MSM would report on stories like this we might get somewhere.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:51 AM

2. Thats cool the Italians would cover the costs....

But really, situations like this being popularized is going to cause an end to it, because its not really fair to the Italians.

On a side note- the other missing part of this story is that there doesn't appear it took 6 months to have the surgery like Republicans would have us believe. Hell, i had to wait almost 2 months to have my ACL repaired in 1996, and the copay probably came out to around $1500 back then.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:55 AM

3. It's not as though he went there with the express intention of having surgery.

He had an accident requiring it.

I doubt they will pay for anything remotely elective for Americans who imply fly in for whatever.

But that's EXACTLY what it should be like in our country.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:55 AM

5. The injured man

was an Italian.

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Response to They_Live (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:58 AM

6. Ah I missed that.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 11:02 AM

7. Me too, the first time around.

Italian / Italian national.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:19 PM

33. I hear you on the time frame

I suffered a work injury.

Herniated 3 discs in my neck and 2 partial herniations (buldging) in the lower back.

I was hurt in Nov 2007.... Because it was worker's comp and the insurer fought it every step of the way, even though their own doctors said I needed neck surgery, it took just under 2 years for me to get. That whole time, I was suffering out of my mind pain levels and causing more damage to my neck....

Back surgery took another year plus past that.

The big trick is they have this whole process through a 'front line' of people who's whole job is to deny any request. That forces everyone through an appeal process. Then, another layer of denial....

It's a very twisted system. They claim to use doctors, however that's not true. I had a chiropractors making the decisions on my neck surgery. Not to disparage chiropractors, but they should not be making decision about surgery.

Our healthcare system is broken and only benefits the insurance companies.

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Response to TheRealNorth (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 06:45 PM

41. Italian

He’s an Italian citizen.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 10:55 AM

4. They either cover tourists or the Ski place does

First they don't have the crazy billing. Second they may just find the hospitals so no corporations other than the equipment suppliers. Third they either cover tourism or the Ski place pay fees to cover injuries. But amazing however they have it set up.
I spend 16, 17 days on a ventilator for a systemic staph infection and pneumonia. Just over a month in tge hospital. More than half in very intensive care. The entire bill was under $20k and after my gf and mom paid a few grand while I was there the rest was cleared with their next national budget. Everyone would do better with single payer everyone covered every time. Eventually our emergency rooms would hopefully get less overloaded and chaotic, which could also improve some rich person's outcome.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 11:05 AM

8. I can tell you exactly what my conservative relatives would say about that.

“They probably pay an absurdly high amount of taxes over there.”

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:23 PM

17. Italy tax rates

In Italy, You pay a national income tax, plus a regional tax of up to 1.4%, and city tax of less than 1%.

After allowances have been taken into account, rates are on a sliding scale. They are currently as follows:

23% for amounts up to $36,000
33% for the next band from $36,001 to $39,300
39% for amounts between $39,301 and $119,200
45% for amounts $119,201 and over.

That’s after deductions for medical expenses, education, and a few other possible deductions.

Actually, when all is said and done, it is less than the same taxes /+ medical insurance and costs here for most.

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Response to James48 (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:50 PM

25. that's a pretty sweet deal

considering how much they get for their tax dollars

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 11:27 AM

9. In 2019 my sister was on a cruise with us in Europe

She ended up in the cruise hospital and the cruise disembarked in Rome. They wanted her to go to the hospital there but we decided to just get her home and het her doctor back home in California. The cruise people said it wouldn’t cost us money for her to get treatment in the hospital in Rome. The doctor at the port at the terminal who examined her kept saying don’t worry about medical bills we take care of people who have medical problems and it doesn’t cost them much. Even if you’re not a citizen of Italy.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 11:34 AM

10. But Millionaire Florida US Senator Rick Scott thinks Americans are spoiled

Chew on that when early voting starts this fall and you find yourself thinking about blowing off voting.

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Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:22 PM

35. Rick Scott is possibly the worst of them and he's, amazingly, a current US Senator.

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Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:23 PM

36. Rick Scott is possibly the worst of them and he's, amazingly, a current US Senator.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 11:43 AM

11. I had a similar experience in Venice

In 2019, I was visiting Venice when I became weak and nearly passed out. Given my age, etc. I was taken to the ER. Lots of tests, several bags of fluids, and twelve hours later I was released. I had become very dehydrated after a stomach bug. Nothing near as severe as in the OP, but my total bill was just over fifty euros. Blood labs, EKG, meds, doctors and nurses, everything.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:00 PM

12. Just had minor breast cancer surgery 90,000 in & out same day

Have a medicare advantage plan they paid 19,000. I was billed 2,ooo out of pocket expenses then they found a tumor behind my eye radiation and 2,000 bill again. Too high out of pockets expenses.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:04 PM

13. One of my daughters gave birth in Germany - hospital and much more paid by the German gov't.

I can't remember exactly what was covered post delivery but I think there was also a substantial amount of follow-up medical visits and household help.

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Response to erronis (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:37 PM

21. Can you see that happening in the United States?

Republicans will loudly bemoan “welfare queens” having babies “for free”.

This is the absolute worst goddam developed country in which to be a new mom.

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:56 PM

29. You mean the babies those same Republicans are going to force by law to be born?

Well, then how bout fuck that noise on their part. If a fetus is worthy of state power, then the baby it becomes can be worthy of State Financing.

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:32 AM

47. Our system is really f'd up. I long for some single payer system, but its dead for now.

Obama gave up saying there were too many parts/entities? involved. He did say if we had it to do all over again that single payer would be the way to go. I like what Bernie and Liz wanted which is expand Medicare for all.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:07 PM

14. The Italians have different values

Too many Americans prefer to monetize everything they can.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:07 PM

15. After flying to Paris a few years back

I developed a pain in my right calve that ached all night and wouldn’t let me sleep. When I called the hotel desk for information to see a doctor, they told me that they had a permanent doctor on staff and he would be up to see me.
He took my vitals and checked my leg and immediately sent me to the hospital where I spent the next 12 hours being checked over in a variety of ways, including an ultrasound.
When I was released with a script and directions to a pharmacy where I was also to buy special stockings, I stopped by the front desk to pay my bill. They looked at me with some confusion and said that the business offices were closed since it was the weekend but they had all my information and if they needed to reach me they would. That’s the last I ever heard from them.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:14 PM

16. Morocco hospital ER bill

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:30 PM

18. Hosted and mentored international students

Antibiotics were OTC in Brazil and Costa Rica, very cheap. A Japanese student had surgery on a nerve in her nose to alleviate sinus issues, was in the hospital for almost a month to recover, again very cheap. In America, who stays in the hospital more than 24 hrs? You have to be really messed up, or get the hell out. I had a freind who hurt herself in a European country, can't recall which one, but similar to this story.

We could be like that in the U.S. but some entity has turned care into a business.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:31 PM

19. Italian health care

In Europe (Italy) health care is a right and almost if not totally free. I have a friend who went to Italy for a visit. She stepped off curb wrong, her ankle collapsed and down she went. The locals rushed up, and they got her into a car and took her to the hospital. In the ER doors, a quick check up, then X ray, back to to ER room to wait. The doctor came in told her she had fractured her ankle and needed a cast. Immediately they put a cast on her, gave her some pain meds and told her to come back in a few weeks. She told me it was 2 hours from doors to cast. She was braced for a huge bill. but it was USD $32.00. For everything.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:31 PM

20. When I lived in Taiwan

I had food poisoning/stomach bug a couple of times and was admitted to the hospital to get IV fluids. I don't remember how much I paid for the services, if anything. If it was anything, I'm sure it was minimal.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:46 PM

24. When Taiwan was evaluating systems around the world for which to adopt

they decided that America's Medicare was the one to implement in their country.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:52 PM

27. Interesting. I didn't know that.

I was there from 1987 to 1991. I wonder if it was before that.

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:35 PM

40. A friend's wife has dual citizenship.

It is cheaper for them to fly to Taiwan for her medical treatments for endometriosis than it is to stay here and meet deductibles, co-pays, and cost sharing.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:45 PM

22. The US rations care by cost

When Americans brag about getting specialized surgeries with no wait, it's because many other patients can't afford it.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:45 PM

23. "Uninsured" is misleading. So is "he had no form of insurance."

The article says he was an Italian national so he's covered by the Italian national healthcare system, that's his "insurance" & it covers almost everything with just a small copay or "ticket" as Italians call it. If someone has a chronic condition, like diabetes, they don't have any copay for any care related to the condition.

My wife is an Italian citizen so I know exactly how their system works.

And yes, they pay much higher taxes to pay for all of it, healthcare is not "free."

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:56 PM

30. I agree. This shouldn't be anything to do with "insurance". It should be a right provided by the gov

Keep the damned insurance companies out of it.

They're worming their way into taking over Medicare via their "Advantage" plans. Looks good on the surface - just don't get really sick!

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:54 PM

28. I live in

Switzerland and had a lumpectomy in January. Two nights in the hospital plus surgery and total bill not covered by insurance was 800 dollars because I asked for a single room. I can’t take opioids so they gave me a spinal block. From mammogram to ultrasound to biopsy to MRI to surgery was less than a month. The delay was because of the Xmas holiday. I was told cancerous on December 30th and surgery was on the 12th of January.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 12:58 PM

31. I have supposedly great insurance.

When my husband had a massive stroke 5 years ago, we left the hospital with a 200,000+ bill in out of network costs. This is WITH insurance. What is the whole point of insurance to begin with if this is allowed to happen?


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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:11 PM

32. In 2022 the Medicare Maximum Out of Pocket is $7550. Who the F has that much to spend yearly

for health care after retirement? Sure, many Advantage plans have a lower MOOP, but FFS!! And part D drugs DONT COUNT TOWARDS YOUR MOOP!

RIDICULOUS!

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:20 PM

34. I had the same experience in Canada. Why can't we do this? Well, we could if the GOP didn't block

every humanistic law.

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Response to Martin68 (Reply #34)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:36 AM

48. They are the problem at every turn.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:30 PM

37. I've been told we all just want "free shit" tho. n/m

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:31 PM

38. My mom had a hemorrhagic stroke a few months ago.

Ambulance, ER, 6 1/2 days in the hospital, then a couple of weeks in a rehab hospital.

They billed Medicare almost a quarter of a million dollars.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Wed Jun 22, 2022, 01:32 PM

39. I've had to refinance my house twice

over the years to pay medical expenses...AND, we have insurance. We're self employed thus insurance is insanely expensive. I pay $1955 per month for our little family of 3. We've got a $4400 per person deductible to boot. It's the the only policy I can get in MT because there is zero competition. I would give about anything for reasonably priced insurance and/or universal health care.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:29 AM

46. I'm self employed too

I don’t pay as much as you do but, just for me the premium is almost as much as I pay in federal tax every year.

Imagine the economic stimulus if we all were able to have medical that was truly affordable.

It would be huge

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:39 AM

49. That is so f'd. I am so sorry we seem unable to do better. Maddening.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 12:07 PM

51. Perfect example

Perfect example of why this country needs to get off their rears and do universal healthcare. I think we are the only country in the world who have people going bankrupt due to medical debt. People say I do not want to pay taxes for other peoples healthcare. What do they think insurance premiums are. You are paying premiums (in essence a tax on income) to pay for your and other people's healthcare. They cannot see that because they have been lied to by the insurance companies and politicians for years.

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Response to jonstl08 (Reply #51)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 01:23 PM

52. THIS.

And I would add that insurance corporations are in business to make money. Their sole responsibility is to their shareholders. People sometimes forget that.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:38 AM

42. Congress and the Supreme Court will continue to do their sworn duty.

And protect the US health insurance industry from all threats, foreign and domestic.

Fuckers.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 09:25 AM

43. 2016 in London

In 2016 took my sister and 2 nieces to London. On our last full day there my 15 yr old niece was doubling up in pain around her abdomen area but lower. Took her to the emergency room at the London national hospital near Parliament. We had insurance but was wondering if it covered over there. Turns out it was an infection in her private area. In and out of the hospital with medicine in under 2 hours. Asked about cost because they did not take any insurance information down and then said no cost to us. To say we were shocked is understated.

Tell people back here and they do not believe it.

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Response to jonstl08 (Reply #43)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:41 AM

50. Your last line sums it up. We are brainwashed into thinking this is impossible here.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 09:34 AM

44. In Canada, I got a condition, had an operation that cured it, never saw ANY bill. . . . nt

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 09:52 AM

45. Our problem is healthcare insurance companies.

We have a stupid healthcare insurance system. It is a scam. They take our money and then argue about paying for the healthcare we need. The stinking healthcare insurance companies keep 30 cents of every healthcare dollar. They provide nothing "value added" to healthcare. Nothing, they provide nothing. They just steal our money. Your doctor does not determine your healthcare the insurance company does.
Repukes have been promising for 30 years that they have a plan to fix healthcare. That plan never gets put on the table. It is a lie.

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