Groupon Cashing In On America's Health Care Crisis

  • Published: 11 September 2019
  • Groupon is cashing in on the US health care crisis. Ana Kasparian, Adrienne Lawrence, and Helen Hong, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. MORE TYT:

    Read more here:

    “Emory University medical fellow Dr. Nicole Herbst was shocked when she saw three patients who came in with abnormal results from chest CT scans they had bought on Groupon.

    Yes, Groupon — the online coupon mecca that also sells discounted fitness classes and foosball tables.

    Similar deals have shown up for various lung, heart and full-body scans across Atlanta, as well as in Oklahoma and California. Groupon also offers discount coupons for expectant parents looking for ultrasounds, sold as “fetal memories.”

    While Herbst declined to comment for this story, her sentiments were shared widely by the medical community on social media. The concept of patients using Groupons to get discounted medical care elicited the typical stages of Twitter grief: anger, bargaining and acceptance that this is the medical system today in the United States.

    But, ultimately, the use of Groupon and other pricing tools is symptomatic of a health care market where patients desperately want a deal — or at least tools that better nail down their costs before they get care.

    “Whether or not a person may philosophically agree that medicine is a business, it is a market,” said Steven Howard, who runs Saint Louis University’s health administration program.”

    Hosts: Ana Kasparian, Adrienne Lawrence, Helen Hong

    Cast: Ana Kasparian, Adrienne Lawrence, Helen Hong


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Comments • 960

  • The Young Turks
    The Young Turks   1 weeks back

    Would you get a medical procedure done from a Groupon offer? Let us know in the comments.

    • kei118
      kei118  4 days back

      @ᗰᗩᗪ ᗷᒪᗩᑕK-TITᗩᑎ you are wrong, the rich turns to socialism whenever they post a loss, 2008 bailout is a good example

    • kei118
      kei118  4 days back

      @The Return of Master Joe Kerr we already have socialism for big corporations

    • Box Top
      Box Top  6 days back

      @The Return of Master Joe Kerr USA is almost like Venezuela when it comes to health care. You need a simple test and it can cost over 1,000.00. Hospitals and clinics usually can't give you the exact price until you come in and have it done.

    • Stijn 3
      Stijn 3  6 days back

      @Hugo Berge Norway is a capitalist western democracy with excellent social provisions as are Belgium, New Zealand, Finland, ...

    • Katie Adams
      Katie Adams  6 days back

      @Stijn 3 Absolutely, even some 3rd world countries have it too, people are actually now going to Mexico to get prescription drugs or healthcare in the US

  • Kake The Sailor
    Kake The Sailor  23 hours back

    Why is this bad? We should have more healthcare competition to make it more affordable. People use coupons for all kinds of things, why not healthcare?

    • Ryan Choken
      Ryan Choken  4 days back

      There should be an app for that. See all the doctors prices in your area. Info provided by ppl who got those operations and paid for those bills.

      • Claire Will
        Claire Will  4 days back

        Rationing Medical Health Insurance has happened for decades... a family with three children with dental checks costing $400,
        when they got ill all of them did, so multiple co-pays would break the monthly budgets which would cripple any household.
        I would avoid my own health to make sure my kids wouldn’t go without. Letting my medical cobra premiums lapse.

        • Katie O'Toole
          Katie O'Toole  4 days back

          even for Capitalism, you'll know how much something costs before purchasing it. the medical industry takes complete advantage of remaining ambiguous.

          • Konsta Kuorikoski
            Konsta Kuorikoski  5 days back

            In here every clinic, both private and public, is mandated to have price lists available before hand. And doctors and other medical staff must tell before any tests if they will have added cost to which patients must agree. Even saying about hidden costs is absurd.

            • heartgirl40
              heartgirl40  5 days back

              waiters side-eye Groupon users because they expect then to tip shitty. even if you use a Groupon, be it for dinner, a mani/pedi, or whatever, you should still tip at least 15% off the pre-discounted price

              • Rick Rodriguez
                Rick Rodriguez  5 days back

                Fat lazy Americans dont deserve free healthcare.

                • Karl Bossler
                  Karl Bossler  5 days back

                  I just got a great idea for a new Veterans Day sale!

                  • Ms. Emerald
                    Ms. Emerald  5 days back

                    This is insane I just pass my healthcare card through the window and i see a doctor may not be the fastest if the problem is minor and if there is a lot of people, but you get treatment. I cant Imagine negotiating for your life everytime you go to the doctor. its disgusting.

                    • CN NC
                      CN NC  5 days back

                      This is great news. If I break my arm I can get a groupon discounted cast.

                      • A Swaney
                        A Swaney  5 days back

                        Free CT scans with the purchase of a splenectomy!
                        That is, of course, a joke, but it's not far-fetched when we live in a society where healthcare is a capitalist endeavor and not a moral one.

                        • Scooter Tramp
                          Scooter Tramp  5 days back

                          As a Canadian I had to lugh when Helen Hong said Canadians are better "laughers". We are. We can sleep at night knowing we have healthcare and are not afraid of our Government.

                          • Yoruichi The Extra Terrestrial

                            I see nothing wrong with this.

                            If you're in cardiac arrest, and they have to shock you, you get the third shock free. For one day only, 50% off treatment for heart attacks ... And don't forget that black Friday thing. Discounts on reattaching limbs, removing foreign objects from rectums and treatment for getting bitten by a radioactive spider and gaining superpowers.

                            It's a good deal. Take it!

                            • Sir Charles Mormont
                              Sir Charles Mormont  6 days back

                              Yeah. Our system is broken. I'm fairly certain that I broke my arm in a fall down some stairs several months ago, but I didn't go to the E.R. or to the doctor. I just couldn't afford it. I was still paying off an expensive E.R., hospital stay, and surgery from about 4 months prior to -that- and I didn't want any more medical bills. I wasn't 100% sure that I broke my arm, so I decided to wait and see if it started to heal on its own. Stupid? Maybe. Probably. Months later, my arm is mostly healed, and it didn't cost me everything I had in savings. All it cost me was a little bit of range of motion and strength. I wish I lived in a country in which I was more afraid of a (potentially) broken arm than of crippling medical debt.

                              Is there a Groupon for arm X-rays?

                              • Kristina Calin
                                Kristina Calin  6 days back

                                Ana Kasparian....About your suggestion that patients should start asking doctors "how much" a certain procedure/medication/etc is, and doctors who won't provide the prices are dodgy.... 

                                I am a retired RN. Here are the problems with what you (and many "free market libertarians" suggest)
                                1.) Direct patient care providers (for the most part) have NO IDEA how much things cost. Insisting that they tell the patients they are treating how much each pill, procedure, medical equipment, specialist consults, IV tubing, enema, syringe, etc before the care is administered would essentially grind this hypothetical hospital unit to a halt. Care providers would spend 90% of their time trying to chase down accurate pricing information to pass onto the patient

                                2.) In many cases, patients may be unconscious, grievously injured and/or on the edge of death. How are they supposed to inquire about pricing? Should doctors stop administering life saving treatment and start making phone calls to find out how much everything will cost? Only to then pass on this information to an unconscious patient who has significantly deteriorated while the doctor was "price checking"? Say the patient is still conscious and they don't like the price the doctor quoted for the 4 pints of blood that is the only thing standing between the patient and death? What then? If the patient says they can't afford it, would the providers have to let the person die?

                                3.) Pricing in hospitals is NEVER consistent....prices change depending on which insurance the patient has (or doesn't have), which company supplies equipment/meds, etc, who the doctor is, what unit the patient is in, the patient's "status" (re: outpatient, observation, outpatient in a bed,
                                inpatient, rooming in.....etc etc etc), the severity of the patient's condition, etc etc etc

                                These are just the tip of the iceberg re: why asking doctors/nurses/providers about how much things cost is a bad idea.

                                There are other possibilities re: price transparency that can achieve the goal of price control:
                                In Japan, the government sets the price for every procedure, pill, equipment charge, nursing care, etc etc. This information is readily accessible to EVERY person who uses Japan's healthcare system. Let's say, for example, you need an arm x-ray. The procedure will cost the SAME in every single medical facility within Japan.

                                They could also "bundle" the price of care (but that can even get tricky because every person is unique and has unique needs.

                                Again....tip of the iceberg

                                • Kirk Chamberlin
                                  Kirk Chamberlin  6 days back

                                  Waiter is probably giving you the side eye because so many people don't tip based on the full price of the meal as they should, but on the discounted price.

                                  • Dave
                                    Dave  6 days back

                                    Now I can get my hemorrhoids checked out

                                    • thatboy
                                      thatboy  6 days back

                                      The Asian girl is back!!! I love her!

                                      • Dave
                                        Dave  6 days back

                                        She has a name

                                    • janatical
                                      janatical  6 days back

                                      I mean, is that Groupon's fault? This is the government's fault for not providing people healthcare, not Groupon.

                                      • Dudley Doleft's channel

                                        I wonder if they offer groupon for funeral services too...for when you can't afford the medical services.

                                        • Robban Dahlgren Jonsson

                                          I would assume that it had to do with them losing out on their tip.

                                          • KatynMermaid 187
                                            KatynMermaid 187  6 days back

                                            Problem with TYT is that they believe certain services are rights when they are indeed exactly what they are, services.

                                            • nativemrv19722
                                              nativemrv19722  6 days back

                                              A country that's wants keep all money for the Rich and keep the poor poor forever!

                                              • Stefanie Foster
                                                Stefanie Foster  6 days back

                                                The reason that waiters give you the side eye when you show a groupon is because most people don't realize that the waiter is going to pay taxes on 12% of the entirety of the sale regardless of what you actually pay with your discount. So, for those of you who tip based on the bill after the groupon has been applied, you are literally costing that server money.

                                                • imnotmike
                                                  imnotmike  6 days back

                                                  Pay to get your 1st appendix removed, get the 2nd one removed for free!
                                                  ...oh, wait...

                                                  • Doris Hruska
                                                    Doris Hruska  6 days back

                                                    Americans don't have $ to negotiate

                                                    • Lovbeinamom
                                                      Lovbeinamom  6 days back

                                                      Bernie Sanders is the most consistently honest politician ever! He just is...2020

                                                      • Sceptical Pickle
                                                        Sceptical Pickle  6 days back

                                                        The Groupon I'm going to use is called a single payer healthcare system where greedy blood sucking parasites don't price gouge the sick and dying.

                                                        • Gengkis Khan
                                                          Gengkis Khan  6 days back

                                                          We better stop letting capitalism destroy the planet before we need Groupon deals for oxygen and drinkable water.

                                                          • dubtat
                                                            dubtat  6 days back

                                                            Is there a groupon to get my prostate checked?

                                                            • Dave
                                                              Dave  6 days back

                                                              Ben Savage will do that at no charge

                                                          • James Wisrik
                                                            James Wisrik  6 days back

                                                            Need more true market reform in health care.

                                                            • Marvin
                                                              Marvin  6 days back

                                                              Single moms should stop taking advantage of the healthcare system so everybody can use it equally.

                                                              • San Cambly
                                                                San Cambly  6 days back

                                                                Happy 9/11 tyt

                                                                • ture sankara
                                                                  ture sankara  6 days back

                                                                  Damn??! Yanks need a Groupon for healthcare?? Wtf

                                                                  AmurderKKka is a shithole country! lol

                                                                  • Ivan Diablo
                                                                    Ivan Diablo  6 days back

                                                                    gop healthcare plan = die quickly

                                                                    • eatmorenachos
                                                                      eatmorenachos  6 days back

                                                                      Here's a tip: some providers will give you a year at no interest if you set up a payment plan. It's better than putting the whole thing on a credit card. Also try to negotiate directly with the provider and see if they can offer you financial assistance. Another reason not to vote Republican. They like things this way.

                                                                      • Emma Renee
                                                                        Emma Renee  6 days back

                                                                        But Americans love their private insurance....right?

                                                                        • Teresa X. Roberts
                                                                          Teresa X. Roberts  6 days back

                                                                          I’ve asked MANY times before making an appt and they NEVER can tell me. “We don’t know what we are going to do yet.” I say “I just want to see a Dr. to ask questions about this flu.” Nope..they wouldn’t give me a number.

                                                                          • MalleyaBull
                                                                            MalleyaBull  6 days back

                                                                            You think coupons just fall out of the sky? Hahahahahahahaha. Lets all laugh together hahahaha. They come out of my paycheck.

                                                                            • Debi Powell
                                                                              Debi Powell  6 days back

                                                                              The article complains that Groupon takes a cut. Are they upset because the patient gets a discount?

                                                                              • Myob Gugal
                                                                                Myob Gugal  6 days back

                                                                                We've all heard about the Military Industrial Complex, but there is another monster that is three times bigger, and that is the Medical Industrial Complex. To protect their health, people have to focus on their lifestyle choices, and avoid doctors as much as possible.

                                                                                • Mordicus 420
                                                                                  Mordicus 420  6 days back

                                                                                  It cost around 250$ to 500$ after the insurance reimburse you for an EpiPen in the USA.
                                                                                  Cost 120$ over the counter in Canada. 30$ if you have a prescription 🤔

                                                                                  • GuildBankLooter
                                                                                    GuildBankLooter  6 days back

                                                                                    "America deserved 911"

                                                                                    Cenks Nephew

                                                                                    • Mark Hackett
                                                                                      Mark Hackett  2 days back

                                                                                      So? You had no disagreement, you just claimed. And, yes, I think the USA did deserve 11/9. You bombed at least two weddings more than 2 miles from the battlefront because your pilots don't check their targets.

                                                                                    • Jammit Timmaj
                                                                                      Jammit Timmaj  6 days back

                                                                                      A lie is the truth wrapped in bullshit. Go ahead and bring us the context of what he said and not a cherry picked comment.

                                                                                  • GuildBankLooter
                                                                                    GuildBankLooter  6 days back

                                                                                    "America deserved 911"

                                                                                    Cenks Nephew

                                                                                    • ENRICO GABUZZI
                                                                                      ENRICO GABUZZI  6 days back

                                                                                      Only in America you see this kind of nonsense!

                                                                                      • Citizen Zeus
                                                                                        Citizen Zeus  6 days back

                                                                                        As to "abolishing" private insurance, the angle is obvious in Medicare for All. "No I am not abolishing private insurance. People over 65 have Medicare and there are tons of commercials on TV for private insurance for them, but it's supplementary insurance and insurance of elective procedures like plastic surgery. What we are abolishing is NOT private insurance, but double coverage in which private insurance tries to profit from the coverage already provided by Medicare for All. We are no longer going to be putting our lives in the hands of people trying to profit off our health crises.  If they want to insure young people for non-essential health care or supplementary pay plans... Go for it!"

                                                                                        • Chad Noneo
                                                                                          Chad Noneo  6 days back

                                                                                          One of my mom's neighbors just died today, he was 84 and up until this past year rather healthy. Turns out he had stage 4 cancer and was hiding that fact because he could not afford to get treatment. He had medicare + supplemental insurance and they STILL wanted $2000 before they would do it. He was diagnosed in May and just was able to get better coverage about a month ago but it seems the doctor was a bit inept too as they did not start him right away on treatment even though he was still stable at that point. He got tossed around entirely by the system and now he is dead, another sad statistic in the healthcare crisis.