Medical bills in America are astronomically high. The healthcare industry consists of hospitals, physicians, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and patients. The more stakeholder in the industry, the more patients have to pay for their medical bills.
Before the introduction of insurance in hospitals, medical bills were affordable. With insurance covers, patients can walk into a hospital, get treated, and go home without paying for anything out-of-pocket. Consequently, the hospital will charge their insurance provider for the service. Hospitals will charge insurance companies more than they would a patient paying their bills. The higher charge covers the delay in payment that the hospital suffers. It increases the cost of treatment and insurance premiums.
From the early 50s until the late 70s, hospitals were philanthropy centers. Now, hospitals are for-profit entities. They have shareholders who expect to see a return on their investment. Consequently, healthcare becomes a priced service. Competition increases the cost of investment in hospitals to provide the best quality of care. The better the facilities, the higher the cost. For-profit hospitals must hire more staff and pay them well. Therefore, patients must pay for the services offered by the hospitals for them to afford their staff. .