The free market, where neither insurance, nor the state, will pay:
Rhinoplasty: average price $6,150
Breast Implants: average price $5,925
Buttocks Augmentation: average rice $5,825
Liposuction: average price $5,200
Laser Eye Surgery: average price $3,050
Canine Cancer Surgery: average price $1,500
Canine Chemotherapy: average price $200 to $2,000
Canine Radiation Therapy: average price $2,000 to $6,000
Canine Hip Dysplasia Surgery: average price $1,000 to $2,400+
Canine Cataract Surgery: average price $1,500 up to $3,000
Canine Heart Surgery: $10,000 to $12,000 for surgeries requiring a full medical team, much less for those that do not.
Compared to the state controlled medicare/medicaid/insurance racket:
Human Cataract Surgery: $3,000 to $5,000 per eye
Human Hip Replacement: median price of $39,000
Human Cancer Surgery: $39,891 as of 2002. Breast cancer costs were $20,964 and prostate cancer costs were $41,134.
Human Heart Surgery: average hospital charge for coronary artery bypass grafts as $99,743 in 2006. Pacemaker surgeries came in at $47,081, with innovative PCI (percutaneous coronary inhibition) procedures averaging $48,399 per operation. Diagnostic cardiac catherization surgery was on the lower end of the scale at $28,835, but valve surgeries were the most costly at $141,120, on average.
I find it fascinating that a vet clinic can pull off open heart surgery for ten grand, while that same surgery in humans is pushing a hundred grand. Further, why can plastic surgeons manage to perform a wide range of surgeries for less than ten grand, while a simple appendectomy costs $28,000?
The obvious answer is that the human medical market is completely dominated by the state. State spending on health care was over a trillion dollars last year. Any economist that has his head screwed on straight will tell you that throwing money at the problem of high prices does nothing but drive those prices even higher. Because the state subsidizes everything and regulates everything, there is no effective market competition. When people go to the doctor, the last thing they think about is how much it will cost them.
While it would be a lovely world indeed if cost was never an issue, in the real world resources are limited. And because resources are limited, the only way for them to be efficiently allocated is to have their prices be set in a competitive open market. The prices I listed above provide the proof of what happens when competitive markets are removed from the calculation.
I would argue that even the poorest among us could afford health care out of pocket if the prices were in the same range as vets charge for dogs. And even if there were some people who simply could not afford it, there would be an abundance of private charities capable of picking up the slack. Consider that Americans gave $347 billion to charity in 2011. If medical prices were the same for humans as they are for pets, that would be more than enough money to cover indigent care with plenty left over.
This just goes to show that freedom works for the common man far better than the state.