HEALTHCARE NUGGETS….Here are two tidbits about American healthcare that have nothing in common except that they piss me off. First, from Ezra Klein:

One aspect of the uninsured crisis that often gets referenced, but rarely receives much focus, is the difference between what the insured and the uninsured pay for the same treatments….A new study found that the uninsured paid, on average, 2.5 times what the insured pay, and three times what Medicare pays. So a procedure that hospitals charge Medicare $100 for would cost the uninsured $307.

It’s bad enough being refused insurance because you have a preexisting condition. But it’s outrageous that our healthcare system then turns around and flagrantly gouges the very people it refused to insure in the first place. Not to mention the ones who can’t afford insurance and therefore are the least able to afford being gouged. It’s shameful.

And then there’s this from Shannon Brownlee’s review in our current issue of How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman:

On average, a doctor interrupts a patient who is describing her symptoms within about twelve seconds.

This is like that proverbial picture that’s worth a thousand words. I won’t bore you with a rant about it today, but the constellation of issues that revolves around this one sentence probably represents the single thing that most annoys me about doctors and medicine on a purely personal, day-to-day basis. How about you?