Home > General, Politics > Cutting off a leg to spite one’s wallet

Cutting off a leg to spite one’s wallet

August 14, 2009

surgeryDuring a recent  Town Hall Meeting, President Obama mistakenly said that surgeons get paid $50,000 for  leg amputations.

Alarmed that Obama’s error could drastically curtail the demand for leg amputations, the American College of Surgeons immediately issued a press release:

“President Obama got his facts completely wrong.  He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation.  This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation.  Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.”   The full Surgical Press Release is here: http://www.facs.org/news/obama081209.html

Although $1,000 for a leg amputation “feels”  like a good price, Rocky wonders whether the Surgeons might consider offering an amputation volume discount?  Or, how about, “buy one, keep one free!” 

[Disclosure: Rocky admits that he is prone to hyperbole and exaggeration. He now realizes that the President  may be guilty of the same offense.  The primary difference is that the White House website lacks the proper disclaimer.  See: https://onehonestman.wordpress.com/mea-culpa/  ]

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  1. August 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    You know, this is what’s wrong with health care in America. We, as responsible consumers, should be doing a lot more comparison shopping when we need things like amputations and CPR.
    (P.S., I added you to my blogroll, hope you don’t mind.)

  2. August 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Fakename2:
    Rocky thanks you for adding him to your blogroll, and he promises that your check really is in the mail.

  3. September 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I can get you a better deal.

    If you’re not too fussy about patient confidentiality, go to a convenience store in Saudi Arabia, take off the shoe and sock of the leg you want amputated, and steal a pack of gum with it. (With a little practice at home first, this is not a problem.) Then just let the Saudi justice system run its course.

  4. September 4, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Rocky, I think I have discovered a soul mate in George, so thanks for introducing us. So what I want to know is, what is a kidney worth these days? I was thinking of giving up one. It would really help with the homeowner’s insurance bill.

  5. September 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    George is a very cool dude. Just be careful not to have any food or beverages in your mouth when you are reading his posts/comments. (The reason for this caveat (as they say in those annoying math textbooks) is “left as an exercise for the reader.”)

    While Rocky is familiar with the intimate deals of “Cash For Clunkers,” he knows little about Cash For Clickers (i.e. used hearts); Cash for Callouses (i.e. skin transplants); and Cash for Kickers (leg transplants).

    This unvetted website suggests you might pay $15,500 for a kidney from India.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080729192553AAlScR8

    That’s the asking price. He has no clue what the bid price might be.

    Perhaps, in the words of that Visa commercial:
    “Your first kidney, $15,500. Your second kidney…. priceless.”

  6. September 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I appreciate the warning re: George’s comments. I have already lost several keyboards due to spitting on them, or (indelicately) throwing up on them. Granted, they are cheap, but the cost adds up, know what I mean?
    I really also appreciate the research you did into the kidney sale issue. But you really did not addrsss the core question. What is the price of an American kidney?

  7. allocator
    September 5, 2009 at 2:01 am

    For you? cheap cheap – sixty thousand dolla. Too much? OK, I give you “Betty Fawd” special – twenty thousand dolla cheap cheap. Is use before a bit but AA say is OK, see? Why you talk to the other guy? … OK I give you Indian price fifteen thousand dolla. Too cheap but you good guy …

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