Never forget that treating disease in America is a high-profit business. Health care is one of the few situations in which the for-profit business providing services to a customer doesn't need the customer (the patient) to agree to the price being charged.
Instead, hospitals bill the federal government for services rendered to the patient, and the government sends the hospital a hefty check for each service rendered. The patient, meanwhile, never even knows how much was billed to the government.
This is half the reason doctors and hospitals now routinely order a battery of useless blood labs and medical tests on patients. It has nothing to do with medical need and everything to do with padding the Medicare bills.
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