What can you buy for $67,000?

In the coming weeks I will be undergoing a Total Knee Replacement.  As with most medical procedures like this, some of my time has been committed to winding through the maze of the medical/healthcare community and hospitals…the pre-operative counseling sessions, physicals, dental appointments (did you know that many infections that happen with artificial joints come from cavities?), etc.

Yesterday, I received the “Pre-Admission” call from the hospital, to provide me with a welcoming experience, and also to get a deposit on the hospital room and operating room that I would be frequenting for a total of 3 days.  After choking on my portion of the procedure, and thus the deposit required…I’m feeling you now, Mr. President…I asked how much the retail price of this charge was, prior to the insurance.

“The hospital room and operating room (45 minute operation I’m told by my surgeon) would be charged at $67,000.”  Not a clearing of the throat, no “I’m embarassed to say…” disclaimer leading in…nothing.  However, because of my insurance, it would only be getting charged to them at $38,000.  I was shocked.

So, I took it upon myself to Google (the verb, not the company) “What can you buy for $67,000?”.  So, if you’re contemplating a total knee replacement, or feel that you’re knees are fine but you want to reward yourself equivalently for that, here are some options:

The Ferrari GT 250 Spyder California from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

Yes, one of the Ferrari replicas used in the classic comedy, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“.  If ever there was an event planner in the making it was Ferris Buehler.

Yes, this bathtub costs $67,000. (http://able2know.org/topic/141369-1)

Looking for a luxurious soak after a busy day walking the floors of another hotel or convention center?  How about this copper claw footed tub as your soapy soaking vessel of choice.  Your’s for the low, low price of $67,000.  I think I would spend more time in this than in the operating room for sure!

Here’s an interesting $67,000 expenditure I learned about during my research.  My guess is that they’re a “steal”.

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

Ok, we have luxury cars, bathroom items, and cappuccino/espresso machines.  But, where to put all of this booty?  Well, if you don’t mind the winters might I recommend this house in Springfield, MN:

3 bed, 1.5 bath for $67,000 (www.hotpads.com)

You can spread all of your purchases, and probably many more, throughout this lovely 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home in Springfield, MN (not to be confused with Springfield, IL; Springfield, MA….).  And, you could stay in this for more than a couple of days for that price and it includes many lovely amenities.

Perhaps there is something to this healthcare reform anyways.  I mean, really, is there no profit in that $67,000 charge for a hospital room and 45 minutes in an operating room?

My guess is that the  insurance companies (huge lobby) allow the hospitals (huge lobby) to charge more money, that they in turn discount to the insurance companies, who increase our premiums to pay for the claims of their other insureds. The hospitals certainly have a lot of free patients to cover these days, though I’m not sure the insurance companies have any “free” services…unless you count the calendar you get at holiday time. :-/

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