Unsurprisingly, health care has become one of the main issues surrounding the race to be the Democratic presidential candidate. And there's a good reason for it. According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “the average American spent $9,596 on healthcare” in 2012, which was “up significantly from $7,700 in 2007.”
That figure was more than twice the average of other developed nations, and the data suggests that by 2023, the average American could be paying $14,944 a year for health care costs.
With average costs of $146 in 1960 — and adjusting for inflation — that means that costs are now nine times higher than they were just 60 years ago.
Candidates have proposed two main solutions to the issue. Those that are further on the left, mainly Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, want to do away with private insurance and introduce Medicare for All, which would be paid for through taxes. Center-left politicians like former Vice-President Joe Biden, on the other hand, want to introduce a public insurance option that may also help to bring down the cost of private insurance.
But whichever option you personally believe would be the most effective, we can all agree that health care costs are currently out of control. This was only highlighted further when Senator Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to ask people to share the most absurd medical bills they've ever received.
People gave some pretty horrendous examples. Doctor and author Jennifer Gunter said that she had been charged $600 for her son who unfortunately died just minutes after being born. He was never enrolled in her insurance plan, leaving her with the bill from the hospital she works for.
This Twitter user shared a terrifying medical bill of over $100,000.
Twitter user LaDawn Stuben owes over $90,000 according to this screenshot.
This grieving mother was left with a hefty bill after her son was treated at the wrong hospital.
There were also plenty of people paying crazy amounts of money for kidney stones.
A user battling cancer shared the stack of bills and letters that they have to deal with.
People also shared their experiences with getting charged for out-of-network doctors.
This grieving mother is reminded of her daughter every time someone phones her to ask for payment.
It shouldn't cost this much.
Meanwhile, people outside of the United States are just confused by the whole situation.
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