Ted talk about healthcare costs Jeanne Pinder

We got amazing reactions to our founder’s TED Talk.

Here’s the TED.com Facebook post on the day it went live, with 800-plus shares and more than 2,000 reactions It was around the top 10 or 20 percent as measured by shares and reactions over the past few weeks.

A few weeks later, TED posted about the talk on Facebook again, and it was shared more than 3,000 times.  The post got triple the shares of the one from Feb. 20, the day it was on the front page. This is rare and unusual — quite often the first day on the TED front page is your biggest, we are told, but you, our supporters, are making our mission known. Folks, we are genuinely humbled and inspired by your support.

Health care pricing ted talk Jeanne Pinder
And here’s a tweet. It got 753 likes and 335 retweets!


Ted Talk about healthcare costs Jeanne Pinder


Listen to the comments

Here are some reactions from Facebook, Youtube and Twitter comment streams.

“dude yes! i heard this on spotify the other day shit had me shook lol!everyone needs to hear this ted talk”

“What sucks about this talk is that it’s so short. I bet she can go on and on for hours about the chaos that is our health system!”

“That’s what I’m saying. Anyone who’s ever been or had a relative go to the hospital for any minor accident knows how costly those bills are. And you never even get to compare prices for all this medicine they give you. I’m glad this is happening.

“My daughter had bend over stomach pain. Took her to emergency. Sunday night 11pm. We sat in the lobby for 2 hours. Once assigned a bed. 5 hours to get seen by the doctor. Blood drawn and waited 3 hours for results. Doctor gave my daughter potassium pills. We left and received a bill for $3557 ????”

“Healthcare for profit is pure evil. No one should be allowed to make a profit from other people’s suffering. It should exist without margins and be regulated and provided to all people regardless of their ability to pay.”

“Ms. Pinder – thank you SO MUCH for doing this! Years ago I recall asking a provider for costs up front, and I got a puzzled reaction and don’t recall getting the information. I’d love to hear my Congressman’s reaction to a call for full transparency…”

“30 years ago I had a $2500 deductible. So very often I just negotiated cash settlement with medical providers. I found that if I paid cash at the counter for my pathology there was a 50% discount. I negotiated a $1000 MRI down to $200 because the doctor was a nice person and willing to deal in cash. I don’t think it’s changing much because I could never find out what the procedure cost before I actually had the procedure even though I was a personal friend of the director of the local hospital. Thanks so much for what you are doing!”

“I needed an MRI of my cervical spine per my doctor. My insurance wouldn’t cover it until I did twelve sessions of PT. I did the PT (cost me over $600) and it didn’t reduce my symptoms at all. Then they wanted me to have another test before they would cover the MRI. I was so frustrated I called a free-standing imaging center and found out the cash price for the MRI was $450. They also told me that was LESS than my copay would’ve been had the insurance been willing to cover it. I just paid cash. Finally knowing what was causing my symptoms, the doctor recommended a steroid injection as a next step (even though he’s not at all sure it will help). Set up an appointment for that and didn’t find out until the day before that it was going to cost me over $2,000! I cancelled that and then found another place that will give the same injection for about $500… This is craziness and I’m one of the lucky ones who has “good” insurance through my employer. Our system is not a free market for the consumer. I see no logical reason why there should be a for profit industry called “health insurance.” Single payor makes so much more sense.”

“So simple, and so smart!”

“A talk long due. The main stream media has been exposing how the rich have been getting far richer since the 80’s but their focus has been narrow, mostly Wall Street and a few others, like online giants Amazon and Facebook. Yet they have mostly ignored the biggest thugs, the whole healthcare industry, of which the insurance companies are only a part. The federal government is another part as well, protecting this establishment to the point of making an obligation to buy health insurance. The Republican opposition to it was only a show.”

“I think most people have had no business with Wall Street, but we all definitely have so with healthcare, from the very time we’re born. Still people always preferred not to think about it, even when faced with abusive bills. Even if you manage to avoid hospital visits they still take your money from you, from your salary, and each year they steal more and more.”

“The current president promised to fix this problem, and his party got to control most of the federal government until very recently. I thank him for cutting the fines for not buying insurance, but he didn’t fulfill his promis. Yet, even his main media enemies stopped mentioning these abusive bills. Honestly, this all looks like a conspiracy.”

“she talks into my soul”

“I work in radiology and I 1000% agree with this. The prices hospitals charge is outrageous. Its not right. Only 3-4 exams could make any middle-class person bankrupt.”

“When I asked how much my cystoscopy would cost, my doctor literally told me, ‘I don’t know; I’ve never considered it.’ I felt stupid then, but after watching it I realize that what’s stupid is the fact that my doctor doesn’t know how much it would cost a college student to get a test done. Maybe if they did, they wouldn’t prescribe so many needless tests.”

“You can’t even get a general cost of what something is going to cost. I went in for a gallbladder operation and wanted to know basically how much it was going to cost. Well they acted like I just killed someone. No one would even give me a ballpark figure. When I got my bill it was $108,000.00. No your not seeing double. When I told them that the price was way out of line they more or less brushed me off. I wanted to know how a friend of mine had a kidney transplant for 53 thousand dollars and yet my Gallbladder operation cost twice as much. No response. Of course I didn’t pay it. I’d rather have bad credit then pay those vultures – even if I could have paid, it which I couldn’t.”

“This screams as reason #10,412 pointing at the NEED to have #Medicare4All.”

“Check out Oklahoma Surgery Center, they list all of their procedures’ prices on their website.”

This is genius!!!”

“Other countries have price controls but not the U.S. because we have legalized bribery.”

“As a Canadian, this scares me to hear these US healthcare stories. :(“

“I wonder what treating my 40 neuroendokrine tumors, spread from the pancreas, would cost in treatment in the US, here in denmark, i just pay my taxes and show up for chemo every 3 weeks. With bloodtests every 3 weeks, and Cr51 kidney tests every 9 weeks, and CT scans every 12 weeks. I dont think i would be able to afford it.”

“calling this an emergency is a misnomer. This is a crime. These people should be arrested. This cartel should be repeatedly driven over by a dump truck.”

“It is the old ‘pea and shell game’. Insurance costs go up, so premiums go up. IT IS COLLUSION. The doctors charge more because many are insured and can claim. With claim costs going up then insurance costs and premiums go up. The trusting public is taken for a ride. As the American saying goes ‘never give a sucker a break’. When your health (and hence income ) depends on the medical service you can afford and you have to have….. Sarah Elizabeth Doug Lindsay, You may find this interesting.

“I think her talk is going to take off. She’s a member of a group that I spoke to. ????

“Yes! Have the prices on google just like gas station prices!”

“Yes. Transparency in markets is necessary. Particularly in the healthcare market. Nobody knows what ANYTHING actually costs.”

“Long story short, I’ve been without insurance for over 10 years. I know if/when I have to see a doctor besides an emergency the first thing they want is a blood panel so I go online and shop. I get it done through local labs and have the results sent to the doctor before he sees me. Most I’ve paid is $126 for a cbc, cholesterol,
urinalysis, and A-1C.”
(reply) “what’s best online site you’ve used for tests?”
(reply) “For me,at the time, was Econolabs but you also need to make sure whichever one you chose has a draw site close to you to use. I believe mine was LabCorp.”

“I’ve been working in the health care industry for almost 20 years in the US. It’s barbaric, a sham, and a shame. Those who pay taxes pay enough for everyone to be taken care of but alas, we get nothing.”

“A few years ago my son was in dire need of platelets. Unbeknownst to me, the local hospital charged over $700 just for the one medium size bottle of platelets. That didn’t count the overnight hospital stay. When I got the EOB and saw that price, I got on my laptop and started searching. If I had taken him to Philadelphia, or anywhere else in the USA for that matter, the price dropped to consistently less than $70, and in many places, under $30, for the same amount of platelets. I called the insurance company. They didn’t care and did nothing about it.”

“1. What is the name of and where is access for this database?
2. Or, are people simply calling around all over the place to ask “how much is this?”
3. It should be considered medical fraud to charge this freely! Gas prices are hyper- government regulated to exactly what the fas station owner is ALLOWED to charge, but medical people can secretly slap whatever price sticker on anything they want and it’s legal?! #ForShame!!”

“the problem here is that there is so much corruption ..
28 years ago when we first opened our business and I got pregnant ???? had no health insurance.. I was just going to take very good care of myself and walk into the hospital when the time came but everyone begged me to apply for government assistance..
As I wasn’t approved until after the baby was born I received a bill in the mail for her first clinic visit..
The state was being billed 3 times what my regular pediatrician would cost.”
As my daughter got older she developed asthma. 3 Er visits and an admission before she was diagnosed.. one of those visits they billed us for 3 nevulizertreatmrnts when she only had one. Later when she was going through treatment for leukemia I saw both the best and the worst of the system..
It needs to be fixed and transparency will be the answe. Then we can start noticing and demanding accountability.”

“Universal healthcare sounds great but unless there is integrity we will be continue to be treated like dairy cows..”

“From eye glasses to MRIs the billed amount is typically 1000% of the actual cost. I was charged $4700 for an MRI of my knee after a couple of years demanding to know the actual cost I learned it was $354 for capital recovery, rent, interest, utilities, supplies, technician labors, janitorial, allowance for repairs. $4,000 was a royalty payment to a shell company owned by the doctor who owned the MRI clinic — this was treated as a cost just like rent. The $346 balance was the profit earned by the doctor who owned the clinic. This bit of accounting magic allowed the doctor to claim he was only making a 7% profit.

“I love this idea. Insurance companies are in it for the money and so are many doctors and hospitals. Our doctor of 11 years informed us that we had to go to another doctor because he does not accept medicare, which we are forced to have for some illogical reason. The only way he will still see us is if we buy the supplemental insurance he wants us to have but we can not buy it because we do not live in the state that he practices in and so forth and so on. I think he is a jerk now. Medicare needs a overhaul!”

“WLRN did the same thing in south florida.
(reply)”this is my talk. We partner with WLRN! WLRN Public Radio and TelevisionTom Hudson Sammy Mack”
(reply)”Jeanne Pinder WOW!!! COOL!!!!
Awesome work!”
(reply)”Aw gosh, thanks!”

“I had a blood panel done during a check up. My insurance was billed over $4000 and then it was marked down to about $300. What kind of game are they playing? Is that markdown considered a loss so they pay no tax?”

“Ironic this Ted talk would be on my page this morning. I received the bill yesterday for a recent fall. Grand total of $4936 for sitting on an ER table for three hrs, two x-rays, one pain pill and a bottle of water. It’s just crazy and something truly needs to be done about our healthcare system, soon!”

“So true! I got slammed with a 1,500.00 bill for blood work. Took 10 months of calls, conversations and more to get it straightened out”

“What if you sat down at a restaurant and the menu had no prices listed. You can only know the cost of the fillet mignon after the meal. Would anyone not get up and leave?! Medical procedure cost secrecy is criminal.”

“The US healthcare system is hilarious and terrifying in equal measure.”

“dear jim acosta; this is what journalism is about.”

“This is great stuff. Embarassing for Google that said company did not come up with that idea first. That lady will save lives with her work!”

“I recently got charged $2,300 for an ambulance ride that was literally, like 150 yards. I was next door to the hospital. What’s that %@$# all about?”

“I was forced into an ambulance ride when I was 17 because I wasn’t legally allowed to make that decision as a minor and they hounded me for two years over the bill. Which is illegal. Since I incurred the debt as a minor. I had a broken arm. And they wanted $800.”

Everyone should watch this and be pro-active in their healthcare. Question your doctors and insurance companys.”

“I have tried that and have gotten the run around multiple times. Everyone kept saying the other would give me the price. The hidden cost is a shell game that they all play. Now there are clinics in my area that charge much lower cost and don’t accept insurance. Once insurance companies, hospitals and doctors see that people have other options they will try to purchase those companies or put them out of business.”

“Just so people know: My attorney decided to find a way to get blood work done for cheap. He called one of the labs used by doctors in his area, made an appointment, had a full CBC run for $25. Don’t want to mess with high costs or dealing with the doctor? Call the lab and walk right in.”

“$450 here and half of it needs to be redone because I didn’t fast first, I wasn’t instructed to fast and they knew it when they pulled the blood now it has to be redone & I’m pissed”

“This is why I want to retire in another country that won’t bleed my retirement savings dry from healthcare costs.”

“We are getting screwed in healthcare costs in America!”

“I had a lab talk me into a test I didn’t need. I had to pay fir it.. later found out it was a common practice there.. they got in trouble but they only had to pay back Medicaid .. but not the rest of us who got scammed.. double standard much?”

“Try offering cash for med services. We’ve found it surprising and at times amazing”

“When I try and get clear answers to how much medical services cost before I receive them – its always the same answer: they can’t tell me. Total lack of transparency. Only part of what’s wrong w our health care system.”

“Posting prices isn’t enough. People go to the closest service provider often because time is of the essence or because they are the only one accessible. There needs to be a means of pricing consistency and standards.”

“Its HealtH Care Fleecing, ongoing fraud tactics”

“Yes! Fight back with transparency and data.”

“The entire healthcare system stinks to high heavens.”

“This deserves more views. Way way way more views.”

“Healthcare in US is the biggest scam in history”

“She has started to practice the aphorism: “Be someone worth assassinating.””

“Just had to have an MRI
at the hospital they wanted to charge $2600. I had it done the best day at an imaging center and it cost me $108. Id say there is a HUGE issue happening here.”

“And just try to call somewhere and find out what the bills going to be before you had the test done? It took me two weeks to get a straight answer out of somebody in billing and they kept acting like I was the crazy one because I want to know how much my test was going to be. Ended up after insurance I was still going to owe over $600 for a test that I really didn’t need.”

“That’s independent business. Shop around.”

“So i got a bill for 35,000 from the hospital my insurance paid 3,500. And the rest was not my responsibility ????‍♀️Sounds great! This is how it shakes out the premiums i paid well exceeded the payout. And the policy was subsidized as well under a state program.”

“Just got a bill for $1,169.70 for bloodwork for my wife’s pregnancy. Thank you Obamacare!”

“I called a doctor asked what’s the visit for cash payer they said $100. Two months later we received a bill for an additional $60. I called the office and asked again how would it be for a cash payer they said again $100
But the account person keep saying the office doesn’t know!!!! So who is supposed to know and give consumer the right answer???? It’s all a scam”

“What I don’t get is a that after you pay the big bills, they keep coming back at you with small $5 here $30 there $50 there for the same things a year later! Since they are small and when you call they say it is what it is everyone pay them.

“she is very brave i think”

“Great work. Someone that is ideologically neutral that did something positive as opposed to complaining. You have found the solution to the health care crisis!”

“Great!Thanks Madam.”

“laughing in Norwegian”

“And that is why I am moving to another country when I retire in a few months. Screw this organized crime syndicate. As a healthy 56 year old I can get the best medical insurance, covering me 100% for pennies to a dollar on what I can get here before Medicare kicks in.”

Youtube: 4.2K thumbs up, 82 thumbs down.

What if all US health care costs were transparent Jeanne Pinder

“Yes! Have the prices on google just like gas station prices!”

“What a novel and noble idea.”

“At one point in my life I was uninsured. I was recommended to get an ultrasound. I asked how much it was. They told me $400. I said I don’t know if I can afford it. They said you don’t have insurance? Oh then it’s $175. I never understood how the same test could have different prices depending on whether or not you were insured. The price should be the price.

“I get thyroid testing every 6 months. $550 at the hospital that my docs office sends me to. $60 at a clinic across town. Both facilities are owned by the same company/ hospital. I have a high deductible plan so all costs are out of pocket. I have to shop around!”

“The fun part is that the prices change depending on whether or not you have insurance. There’s a cash price and then there’s the insurance price AT THE SAME Doctor! What happens when you have a high deductible insurance plan? The ‘negotiated’ price of the insurance is what you have to pay out of pocket even if the “cash” price is lower. And getting doctors, hospitals and clinics to tell you the actual price is a lesson in frustration. They don’t want to tell you or they say they can’t because the price depends on the price negotiated with the insurance company that you have. And you better know what your insurance covers before you go in for a scheduled procedure, otherwise the hospitals will try to get you to pay, up front, a higher payment than what is necessary from your insurance. Then you get to deal/argue with them for months to get the refund.

“This was one of the major failings of the Affordable Care Act – it utterly failed to address price gauging and the lack of pricing transparency. It just falsely equated mandated insurance to access.”

“A bedrock principle of the free market is perfect information. Opacity in pricing is a huge barrier to that.”

“this is not new. one of the largest health ins. companies alReady has price comparison on their website. and they urge you to shop around and ask. one of the reasons hc is expensive is because its not standardized. each employer wants a special plan for their people, which requires hundreds of extra people to research plans

“we were JUST talking about this – genius (and quite sad)”

“Health care in America is just a money grab, there are very few doctors that care anymore”

“What the hell?!”

“Thank you. Flawed system”

Bravo! This lady is heroic.”

“The system is rotten it’s run by cartels and profiteers who’ve got no regard for your health but ripping you off to your last dollar. they’re the merchants of death and that’s one good reason as to why there’s need for regulation of the healthcare system!”

“We need to start an app. Everyone upload their medical bills. Data analytics kicks out actual rates paid.”

“This is very interesting!
(reply) “Yes very!

“fighting healthcare costs with data. Interesting.”
(reply)”I hope I don’t ever have to go to the doctor anytime soon but I am very tempted to first just say I don’t have insurance and see how much they bill me. Then if I don’t like the price then give them my insurance card and say I forgot.”

(reply)”I literally thought the same thing as I watched this and read the comments. It’s such a scam! Cheaper to pay cash for some stuff than pay the deductible + coinsurance. From my understanding from my work at the dental office, it’s considered insurance fraud for a medical facility to charge a patient less if they’re not insured. But it seems like they offer some pretty steep freakin discounts if you don’t have insurance.”

(reply)”here’s that website the journalist created https://clearhealthcosts.com/”

(reply)”Nice! That’s exactly what we need imo. There is no freedom for consumers when no one tells you the price, you are limited to what insurance you can choose based on your employer, and what in network MSPs you can go to based on your insurance. It’s a big trap. Unless you have a catastrophic medical situation insurance is useless. Insurance didn’t pay a single penny for all my bills last year. All they did was “negotiate” the prices down which were already overpriced.”

“what we were talking about yesterday.”
(reply)”I’m gonna save this video for later to watch cause I’m at work but i will watch it

“My job required me to get a doctor’s note for missing time from work.
The immediate Care facility told me the flu test would be $90 based on my insurance.
I was given a flu swab check literally a long q-tip into my right nostril. That’s it. (Had the flu) The code used for my treatment was for an extensive checkup, describing all sorts of testing and a physical exam.
Later I received a bill for $240 for this test. I contested the bill and was pushed back and forth in between my insurance company and this Dr being told the insurance company decides how much I’ll pay based on my deductible.
The Dr said it was against the law for me to pay cash for the bill and not use my insurance at all as to determine the price.
I called later that year a requested a price for a flu swab, $26 plus a visit charge of $90.
It’s not the amount of money that gets me.
Hidden prices and collusion from the insurance company that’s the problem.”

“If only this caused doctors/hospitals, etc to charge less. I took my daughter to the ER for a kidney infection. They gave her a UA and a single dose of antibiotics. We were there for less than an hour and my out-of-pocket cost was close to $600!!!!

“Food poisoning = $1200 even though all they did was tell me what to do about it”
(reply)”don’t go to ER for non emergent problems if possible.”
(reply)”when your child wakes you up at 3am crying bc her back is killing her, it’s an emergency. And I WAITED until 4:30 to take her to see if my at-home mama magic helped. So, why don’t you not tell me what’s an emergency and what’s not with my child.”

(reply)“5 minute visit with a dermatologist to look at a mole, they took a picture with their iPhone… $750
(reply)”That’s why I commented ‘if possible.’Sometimes urgent cares are not available in the middle of the night. It’s something that needs to change in health care. The choice is not given to the consumer for 24 hour medical visits. If it was, and…”

“I was supposed to get a CAT scan at a hospital once, and they claimed they didn’t know how much it would cost me. This is after they had already charged me for some other things. If they knew *those* costs, why couldn’t they tell me how much my CAT scan would be? I signed the paperwork and left.”
(reply)”most people don’t ever need an ambulance but will very much need constant medical care as they get older. The insurance and medical industry is a sham-charging 50$ for a .5 aspirin so that they can then say the insurance company didn’t pay the whole amount so they can then claim a loss.”
(reply)”you’re pretty right. I had a family member charged $800 per saline bag which costs pennies to make – before insurance said no way.”

“I love this! Pricing transparency will help a lot (I would hope). I spend a lot of time calling and asking what costs are for appointments and treatments because of how my insurance is set up. I need to know what I’m going to end up paying under Cigna’s negotiated rates. And more places than not can’t tell me… Or won’t. It becomes time consuming.
The same goes for prescriptions. There can be a huge difference between pharmacies as well.”

(reply)”Right! I feel like I need to learn medical coding and billing just to get some answers.”

“Our insurance co was billed 811k for my husband’s health care last year – diag cancer July surgery, scans, procedures, chemo only two times that year… insurance paid out FAR less. The whole thing is a scam. For an endoscopic procedure of 12 minutes – there’s a dr charge (1400), an anesthesia charge (600), and then the hospital charge which is about 19,000 for a bed/bay for 1.5 hrs in a suite that is full to brim 7a-5p 5 days/week. That’s just one example. Hospitalization for 31 nights was over 300k insurance paid out 88k – surgeries, anesthesia, xrays, scans, radiologists, pain mgmt drs/items were all separate and beyond that 300k… Someone needs hold health insurance companies responsible like the big banks were in 08-09 – their profit is incredibly high.”

“Most doctors and hospitals are honest, hard working, and truly care for their patients. There are always the bad seed that spoils it for everyone else. I’ve worked in healthcare for over 20 years and we are trying to do the best that we can with limited resources. The vast majority of hospitals are not for profit organizations. They are required to treat patients regardless of ability to pay, they are faced with dwindling Medicaid/ Medicare reimbursements, and they are strangled in regulations.
And do you really want the Walmart of healthcare? Cheaper is not always better. I’d look at morbidity and mortality rates, success rates for what I need treatment for, hospital acquired infection rates before I’d even look at price. And the price you see, that’s all a game that insurance companies play, they all negotiate prices for services. And due to all this complexity, hospitals are forced to hire teams of people (coders) to try and weed through all the different red tape to get a bill to you. Coding is one of the fastest growing aspects of healthcare. Teams of people who have no patient contact digging through charting, just so we can send a bill out to the insurance companies.
There is something fundamentally wrong when you have for profit companies insuring people. Where do their loyalties lie? It’s not with the people they insure, it’s with their stakeholders.
You want more affordable healthcare, make health insurance not for profit and make large pools of healthy people with the ill to even the costs out for everyone. Universal healthcare works all over the developed world, it’s not a new concept and it works. The money that you and your employer currently pay, would just get shifted and we could then afford to cover more people.
I’m so sick of everyone blaming hospitals and doctors for this mess, look a little closer at the insurance industry instead.”

“Smokes comes out of my ears every time I’m made aware of how we Americans are being ripped off by a chronically corrupted system. More evolved countries make affordable health care work—it’s not impossible.”

“So good. Anything that holds greed accountable is a good thing.”

“I lived with an emergency room doctor and her best advice was to offer to pay cash at a lower rate cause hospitals hate dealing with insurance companies as much as patients do”

What??? You mean to tell me that scams & corruption exist in the healthcare field?? You mean they’re exploiting patients & lining their pockets at the expense of the patient?? I’m shocked!!
Obviously, I’m anything but shocked. The healthcare industry has long been the wild wild west – a free-for-all – a big, fat money-grab where it has become the norm to capitalize on opportunities to exploit patients. I am so glad that steps are being taken to force transparency & accountability. When the curtain is lifted, and previously inaccessible information is made available, there should be enough outrage & backlash to hopefully force some long-overdue sweeping changes.”

“Absolutely brilliant! I completely agree with her ideas on cost transparency. Nowadays, everyday patients are sent bills after their discharge that they are unable to pay out of pocket. Some people who are injured often refuse to be taken in ambulances to the emergency room because they are afraid of bankruptcy. The healthcare system’s goal is to heal, and if making prices more transparent will help in doing that, then I believe this is a conversation worth having in existence. Thank you Jeanne for your ideas and discussion.

“The healthcare industry is just like any other big business. Providers will raise their prices as much as they could until the customers say no more and they stop buying the good or service. People just stay in their old houses or apartments, they hold on to their old cars or smart phones for as long as they could or they stop buying new shoes or clothes or eat out less and less. In the case of healthcare, it’s not easy to say no because it’s a matter of life or death or at least pain and suffering. No one wants to die or suffer from pain and healthcare providers and insurance companies know this pretty well.
In the US, high cost of healthcare and taxes are two of those things in life we cannot run away from.”

“Healthcare is such a disaster for most in the States because it is a business and should not be. Canada has had universal healthcare for about 60 years, spearheaded and brought to fruition by Tommy Douglas, who happened to be the grandfather of actor, Keifer Sutherland. Mr. Douglas got it first for the province of Saskatchewan, and it spread from there. There are 33 developed countries, and 32 of them have universal healthcare. Guess who the hold-out is? Why is that? I’d say that is the prime question for your representatives in the upcoming American election.”

“From the point of view of someone living outside America, your healthcare system seems so completely irrational and inconceivable it beggars belief. Why do Americans accept this sort of thing as ‘normal’? It’s not normal. It’s not right. It’s not in the best interests of your citizenry.”

“I live in Canada. Health care is considered a right, not a special privilege for some..Universal healthcare…My parents both died of cancer years ago without benefit of insurance in USA. My dad was told he could live with poor quality of life for one year with leukemia but it would cost $150 000….He said why should I pay that in order to be tortured to death. So he died naturally…. 1978.
Coming to Canada was the best decision of my life—for healthcare alone if nothing else. I really feel for my American cousins. It is so easy to slip into foreclosure or bankruptcy due to medical bills. It is strange that the US has made some of the most stunning medical advances in the world yet simple care is not accessible to many. I never had to wait unreasonably in Canada, I have a chronic condition that I could never afford in the USA. I would be dead I guess. Unless I was one of the lucky ones with access. These people finding out the costs in USA are heroes.

“As much as I hate the insurance industry, having health insurance should be considered an absolute necessity. You hope that you will never need an operation, however, there is a high probability that you will, especially after the age of 30, need one.
At that point, in Australia or New Zealand at least, if you have no insurance you go on a public health waiting list and get treated in a public hospital, usually after a very long wait. With health insurance, you see privately funded health providers and get treated in a private hospital as soon as possible.
The price of things really then, is mostly irrelevant, its just a matter of making sure you are appropriately covered.
The question comes down to, what risks are you prepared to take, or are forced to take, as regards your wellbeing.

“To me, this is what government should be doing, and requiring: clear, transparent pricing of health care services and products.
I’ve had so many family members and friends with catastrophic medical bills – always a mystery, always seems like there’s some scam being foisted on helpless patients, always seems shady when some people can get their bills reduced but we can’t.

Update April 4, 2019:
“Transparent healthcare costs is what I’ve been arguing we need for a long time.
My dad had to get a CT ended up getting charged more than $4k. Found out there was a hospital down the road 15 min he could have gone to that had new and better equipment which charges less that $2k.
We need some legislation to require costs of typical medical tests and procedures be posted online.”

“A few days ago (March 31) Canadians drove back from Florida with a dead family member in their car.
The father died of cardiac arrest. They could not afford to bring him to a hospital and follow proper protocol.
The family returned to Canada and advised the customs officer. At this time no charges have been laid.”

“Having the costs system be transparent so you can tell when a company is ripping you off and the company in question not being prosecuted for it? I have a better question. What would it be like if the us government actually gave a crap about others than themselves and had a system of FREE healthcare for the entire nation no matter wealth or social standing? Now how would that be?”

“Several years ago I went to the hospital to have an abscess treated- a 15 minute procedure. First they asked if I had insurance. (no). Then they said they wanted to give me an MRI. I refused based on cost. They insisted. I insisted I could not and would not pay for an MRI to the attending physician as well as the MRI tech. They gave me the MRI.

Then they told me to get out of their hospital, untreated. I had no insurance so they were going to leave me with my potentially lethal condition. I told them not to bother sending a bill.

They sent a bill. For $8000.00.

For nothing.

They never got paid. They never will get paid.

Luckily my abscess turned into a fistula rather than killing me.

Screw them. I won’t be surprised, or even disappointed if people start shooting up hospitals.”

“the insurance/healthcare industry won’t sue her right we’re talking about the worst of the worst who extort life savings out of sick people”

“This lady treading on dangerous water .”

“Thanks for sharing! Great job!”

“The US holds itself up as the bastion of capitalism and the free market and yet your health care system is anything but. The “free” market only works where pricing is transparent and people can choose based on price and other qualities of a product. It’s hard to believe you stand for this.”

“I fully support you, but this problem goes far beyond healthcare. We ALL need to take our country back from wall street. Do this and 90% of our problems will solve themselves.”

“This is exactly why insurance is so terrible in the U.S. because there is really no competition in healthcare. This is due to the fact that you never see the real costs. You see what they charge the insurance companies who then pass that charge along to their subscribers. Thus, non-insured usually get real deep discounts. 100% agree with her idea. Instead of just going to the doctor and not caring about the cost..know the cost up-front. I gave up my no-help/high-cost insurance and paid cash…saving lots of money. Example – Blood test via hospital = $378 compared to off site – $105.”

“It would break them to do this and I could not agree more ????”

“US healthcare is an institutionalized racketeering”

“Congress could easily simply require ALL hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices to display their costs upfront. This is not that difficult. They are EVIL to side with these creeps.”

“Open market health care with price transparency instead of just billing the insurance company would do wonders to drive down the cost . We Just have to do what capitalism does best, implement competition”

“Imagine going to the grocery store and not knowing the price of anything until you check out. Its a product plain and simple there is a market price for everything. People are sensitive because their life may be on the line and that justifies the pedestal position of the product that is healthcare. It is totally unethical that you cannot go into a doctors office, hospital or surgery center and ask to see the menu.”

“The rest of the world to America: wtf is wrong with you. Catch up to the rest of us.”

“Wow, amazing”

“God bless you!”

“I dont mean to be rude, but just honest feedback – For such great insights and painfully collected data, im sorry, but your presentation skills, data visualization and to a lesser extent public speaking, really let you down.”

“I wish her luck but I’m not very optimistic.”

“We’re being scammed.”

“I love it, she just needs someone to do the pitch for her”

“This is sorely needed to make healthcare into a *real* business.”

“What she did is so good!”

“This is the single best thing we can do for healthcare in the US. Thank you Jeanne Pinder for helping this along.”

“Very interesting, very relevant. But That woman got to be the most boring person alive. She should really get someone else to do the presentation to sell their idea.”

“Yeah, good luck with transparency. There is NO incentive to be transparent! Medicine is a business nothing more. My insurance pays about $700 for my annual physical and for that my doctor spends about 30 seconds examining me. Really? and this past year I got a bill for 2 office visits because he answered some questions, can you believe, the guy wanted to get paid twice which the insurance company and I both said NO to. Not going to happen. Medicine or extortion on demand….same thing”

“they knew this years ago, that’s why they don’t bill the patients directly. they never wanted the patients to know anything. if they don’t know the cost or the procedure done then they cant question anything, only pay they bill. they said it was to make it less confusing for the patient, as if they are actually doing us a favor. but it never was that, it was to keep us in the dark. healthcare is a scam at its best. and wont go anywhere anytime soon until the patient starts questioning everything that is done to them and what they or there insurance is paying for…”

“I would sign up instantly ! ????”


Why did @chcosts’s @TEDTalks reach HALF A MILLION VIEWS in less than a week? Because a blood test is $19 in one place and $522 in another, and WE NEED TO KNOW go.ted.com/jeannepinder
I support this work on patreon.com/clearhealthcos… & hope you will too!”

“Check out this @TEDTalks by @JPinderHealth on how @chcosts is #crowdsourcing #healthcare prices and telling stories about how high and obscure prices cause major suffering. bit.ly/2VdaFs7 #pricetransparency”

“We should all question why a blood test is $19 in one place and $522 in another. Check out @chcosts @TEDTalks that reached HALF A MILLION VIEWS in less than a week: go.ted.com/jeannepinder Proudly supporting her work on @Patreon: patreon.com/clearhealthcos…”

“What if all healthcare costs were transparent? An important and powerful TED talk from Jeanne Pinder. How did we arrive at a ‘system’ where costs can vary dramatically at sites within walking distance ? @chcosts bit.ly/2XhxQDo”

“Corruption & injustice love a world where no one knows anything. US #healthcare system intentionally keeps sick people uninformed about prices. This is greatness? Gouging suffering people w/o options? #NationalEmergency @JPinderHealth @chcosts have help: ow.ly/yY5b50m4wVR”

(Our founder’s alma mater, Grinnell College) “Jeanne Pinder ’75, founder of ClearHealthCosts @chcosts, gives a TED talk about using data to expose pricing disparities in healthcare: go.ted.com/jeannepinder @JPinderHealth #CareersThatMatter #GoForthGrinnellian”

(A former NYTimes colleague) “So proud of my former colleague @JPinderHealth, founder of @chcosts and star of this cool TED Talk ted.com/talks/jeanne_p… Also greatly annoyed that I’m paying much more for my healthcare here in Manhattan ????

(Dave Chase) “Watch this TED talk by my friend @JPinderHealth (& contributor to my book), founder of ClearHealthCosts @chcosts about the amazing work they’re doing to expose pricing disparities that exist everywhere in healthcare, no matter the city/procedure buff.ly/2tyqvBX

Alex Fair, Medstartr “Check out our friend and @H2NYC member @JPinderHealth, founder @chcosts On the front page at @TEDTalks! bit.ly/2GCgdsV #Awesome! #CostofCare #TedTalk

“What if you knew what stuff cost in health care in advance?

Echocardiogram= $200 (Brooklyn) vs $2K (Manhattan)
Blood test= $19 vs $522 (blocks apart NOLA)
MRI= $475 vs $6,221 (25 miles apart SF)

Real prices I learned frm @chcosts @bestTEDtalks

“People should go to jail for some of this nonsense. And insurance companies are obviously a big part of the problem as well.”

“Yep lack of transparency on costs and billing practices is infuriating. I think you’d really dig the work @JPinderHealth is doing with @chcosts!”

“Great @TEDTalks by @JPinderHealth @chcosts Founder, on price transparency in healthcare: “A mashup of Kayak and Waze” crowdsources real costs of care showing inexcusable opacity & variation. #WhatIf
ted.com/talks/jeanne_p… @chasedave @RosenthalHealth @S4PM @HPAofMaine”

“No joke. There is a drug that if prescribed at an off campus infusion center is 500,000 times more expensive than if in our center, due to 340B pricing. 500,000 times. Now you tell me that our healthcare system makes sense. And I’ll ask how many moons rise at night in your world.”

Jeanne Pinder with @chcosts rocks TED Talks AND a leather jacket. MAD props!

“Take away the shadows and force transperancy and Healthcare providers will be forced to compete and lower prices.
Consumer advocacy at its best.”

“What if you knew what stuff cost in health care in advance?
Hats (Lab coats?) off to @chcosts inspiring leader, @JPinderHealth, for doing this difficult work. @TEDTalks: go.ted.com/jeannepinder
TED Talks @TEDTalks
In the US, the same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away — and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. This journalist is making that data public: t.ted.com/q1pbtm

“Hear hear @JAMA_current: “[I]t is a blight on the US soul that each of its residents does not fully benefit from available health care.” Thanks for sharing @chcosts. — Rationing health care an inevitable consequence of increasing costs: patreon.com/posts/rationin…”

“A very important talk from a female founder with a very important startup: @JPinderHealth @chcosts @TEDTalks What If All US Healthcare Costs Were Transparent? ted.com/talks/jeanne_p… (Investors, this is one to back.) #disruptaging #sayyourage #liveolder @AllRaise @womenwhoventure”

“Thank you, @JPinderHealth, for asking the million dollar question re: the cost of healthcare: What if all US healthcare costs were transparent? GREAT @TEDTalks piece: ow.ly/nu6t30nLQ8w #healthcare #tedtalks #transparency”

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...