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Welcome to Our Modern Hospital Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself

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Welcome to America General Hospital! Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick “heads up” — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me explain a hospital to you: we give you medical care, then we charge whatever the hell we want for it.

If you don’t like that, go fuck yourself and die.

Honestly, there’s no telling what you’ll pay today. Maybe $700. Maybe $70,000. It’s a fun surprise! Maybe you’ll go to the ER for five minutes, get no treatment, then we’ll charge you $5,000 for an ice pack and a bandage. Then your insurance company will be like, “This is nuts. We’re not paying this.” Who knows how hard you’ll get screwed? You will, in three months.

Fun story: This one time we charged two parents $18,000 for some baby formula. LOL! We pull that shit all the time. Don’t like it? Don’t bring a baby, asshole.

Oh, I get it: you’re used to knowing a clear price for products and services. The difference is that medicine is complicated and scary — unlike, say, flying hundreds of people in a steel tube across an ocean, or selling them a six-ounce hand-held computer that plays movies and talks to satellites. Anyway, no need to think this through rationally while you’re vulnerable, right? Your head is really gushing, ma’am.

Sure we could start posting prices and discussing our costs, but then it turns into a public debate about transparency, and people get all huffy and self-righteous about $15 pills of Tylenol, $93 to turn on a single goddamned light, or $5,000 worth of sanitary gloves. We’d rather just mail you a bill later for $97,000, full of obscure medical codes you can’t understand. Oh, you like understanding things? Here, maybe this will help:

Hit your head, and talk to a doctor for one minute? $2,500, you idiot.

Want your pesky appendix out? That’ll probably be $33,611. Or it could be $180,000. Shrug. Don’t know. Don’t care.

Need an hour in the ER? How does $15,000-$50,000, sound? Hint: we don’t give a piss how it sounds you stupid fucking helpless human wallet.

Our medical system strikes you as “insane?” Well, you can’t do much about that now. Except of course to go fuck yourself. Yes, ma’am, as a matter of fact, we do have a special room where you can go fuck yourself. Yes, it does cost money to use the room, and no I cannot tell you how much. Want a hint? It’s between $1 and $35,000 per minute. Will you be reserving the go fuck yourself room?

Oh, you think you think we’re cruel and illogical? Well, no one forced you to come here. It’s your decision, you head-injured meatball. Feel free to go out into the parking lot and just die. I suggest you do that out in section F. Try to lean your corpse against a light pole. Our dead body disposal fee is $3.75 and is not covered by your shitty, confusing, out-of-network medical plan.

So, will you be dying in our parking lot today, you pathetic, impotent, walking insurance code? Okay, great! Your husband will get a bill for that soon, and if he doesn’t like it, he can fuck himself too.

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BLueSS
7 days ago
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Thankfully, dental procedures are the opposite, in my experience. I usually get provided my out of pocket expenses when I'm being told about the work that should be done.

If only medical could catch up to what's done on the dental side...
popular
8 days ago
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sarcozona
7 days ago
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I am never ever going back
ChrisDL
8 days ago
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number one reason i might move away from the US.
New York
freeAgent
7 days ago
My wife is having a procedure done that isn't covered by insurance. She was referred to a place that was going to charge $1,600. She shopped around and found a different place that will do it for $4-500. She had to go back to her referring physician to have a second referral for the procedure sent to the other location. On top of that, my wife and her referring physician are coworkers, so it is not as though her doctor was trying to screw her over. Doctors just aren't aware of the costs for procedures or the differences in cost between facilities. That there can be a 3x cost difference between providers, even in the same region, for the exact same procedure is ridiculous.
ChrisDL
7 days ago
thanks for sharing that. I feel like we all have some version of these stories at this point. a dentist that gives you a bunch of care you don't really need. Or an insurance company rep that says something is covered but then it isn't, and there just doesn't seem to be any real recourse unless you feel like litigating. The other thing that surprised me is that it seems a lot of americans don't realize it doesn't have to be like this, plenty (arguably most?) other countries don't have these issues.
diannemharris
8 days ago
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The only thing that is wrong about this piece is that a lot of the time people don't have a choice and are taken against thier will, unconscious or not, and they still get the bill.
deezil
8 days ago
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Yet again, McSweeney's hits it on the head. (no pun intended)
Louisville, Kentucky
jhamill
8 days ago
That'll be $150 or $15,000. Don't know. Don't care.

Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union

jwz
4 Comments and 14 Shares
Anton Troynikov:

  • Waiting years to receive a car you ordered, to find that it's of poor workmanship and quality.
  • Promises of colonizing the solar system while you toil in drudgery day in, day out.
  • Living five adults to a two room apartment.
  • Being told you are constructing utopia while the system crumbles around you.
  • 'Totally not illegal taxi' taxis by private citizens moonlighting to make ends meet.
  • Everything slaved to the needs of the military-industrial complex.
  • Mandatory workplace political education.
  • Productivity largely falsified to satisfy appearance of sponsoring elites.
  • Deviation from mainstream narrative carries heavy social and political consequences.
  • Networked computers exist but they're really bad.
  • Henry Kissinger visits sometimes for some reason.
  • Elite power struggles result in massive collateral damage, sometimes purges.
  • Failures are bizarrely upheld as triumphs.
  • Otherwise extremely intelligent people just turning the crank because it's the only way to get ahead.
  • The plight of the working class is discussed mainly by people who do no work.
  • The United States as a whole is depicted as evil by default.
  • The currency most people are talking about is fake and worthless.
  • The economy is centrally planned, using opaque algorithms not fully understood by their users.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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BLueSS
160 days ago
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Good thing silicon valley isn't influencing US elections... Oh wait.
popular
160 days ago
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freeAgent
160 days ago
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Genius
Los Angeles, CA
laza
160 days ago
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So great!!!
Belgrade, Serbia
kbrint
161 days ago
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Kinda!

Backpack Decisions

7 Comments and 13 Shares
"This one is perfect in every way, except that for some reason it's woven from a tungsten mesh, so it weighs 85 pounds and I'll need to carry it around on a hand cart." "That seems like a bad--" "BUT IT HAS THE PERFECT POCKET ARRANGEMENT!"
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BLueSS
310 days ago
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This is me, except swap backpack and phone.
codersquid
310 days ago
it me, except swap backpack with jackets with the right pockets. ....currently in winter I have a scottevest impulsively bought after reading a blog post by charlie stross. there is nothing like it for the summer here. SIGH
codersquid
310 days ago
AND THE SCOTTEVEST IS OLD and should be replaced because I lost the sleeves. it is not replaced yet so my bar graph is unfinished
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ameel
310 days ago
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OMG yes!
Melbourne, Australia
stefanetal
299 days ago
Worst part is once you find a good knapsack, it gets discontinued.
alt_text_at_your_service
310 days ago
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"This one is perfect in every way, except that for some reason it's woven from a tungsten mesh, so it weighs 85 pounds and I'll need to carry it around on a hand cart." "That seems like a bad--" "BUT IT HAS THE PERFECT POCKET ARRANGEMENT!"
mburch42
310 days ago
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This is me, but for outerwear generally.
smarkwell
310 days ago
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For those looking to go deep on this topic, I suggest looking at these brands

https://www.sfbags.com/
https://www.tombihn.com/
https://www.manfrotto.us/products/camera-bags
https://www.lowepro.com/
PDX
paulconstant
310 days ago
Love Tom Bihn! If you live in Seattle, you should go to their factory showroom, try out some bags, and watch them get handmade on site!
JayM
310 days ago
Love my Tom Bihn Brain Bag...
WorldMaker
310 days ago
I love everything I've bought from SF Bags (Waterfield), but the interesting irony that for the most part I've bought every bag from them to be inside some other bag (mostly an LL Bean backpack I've had since late college). Just noticed their "Pro Backpack" project, which sounds fascinating.
tedder
310 days ago
I'm a lover of timbuk2.
amijangos
308 days ago
Thanks for the links, love bags!
StunGod
308 days ago
I'm on year 10 of my Tom Bihn Empire Builder bag. It's probably got another 30 left in it.
endlessmike
305 days ago
I've been using a Chrome messenger for several years and it's in great shape. It's not perfect (there's very few pockets other than the main compartment and a strap to put on a roller bag would be nice), but I really like it. You do occasionally run into someone who thinks it's funny to press the seatbelt button, though.

Reaching people on the internet

6 Comments and 11 Shares
Reaching people on the internet

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BLueSS
414 days ago
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The Oatmeal is about 3 years behind the times on this one.
popular
414 days ago
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gglockner
414 days ago
You missed the best part: https://twitter.com/Oatmeal/status/923250055540219904
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vfxGer
414 days ago
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Glad I still use RSS
Gregidon
413 days ago
Indeed, no algorithm to decide what I want to see
cygnoir
414 days ago
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I miss the old days.
Portland, OR, USA
expatpaul
415 days ago
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We brought it on ourselves
Belgium

Google Has Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

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Julia Angwin, reporting for ProPublica:

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand — literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools. […]

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on the keywords they used in their Gmail. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

My question is simple. Why is Google doing this? To make even more money? Or because they need to do this to keep making the same amount of money? Either way it’s gross.

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BLueSS
782 days ago
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popular
783 days ago
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superiphi
782 days ago
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The last google login thing I use is the calendar. Time to stop
All that spying & the ads I get are still pathetic
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
fxer
784 days ago
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Daily reminder why you should feel no shame running a content blocker, things are so massively stacked against you it's unbelievable
Bend, Oregon
shrike
784 days ago
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What happened to #donoevil?
Finland
evaryont
782 days ago
You may or may not be aware, but that hasn't been any part of Google's (or Alphabet's now?) corporate slogan for years now. I think more than a decade. And this is particuarly evil, in my book.
sirshannon
784 days ago
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Damn it.

Premium fonts, comment-less shares, in-app Safari, and way, way more in version 5.0 of the NewsBlur iOS app

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Holy geez, this is a whopper of a release. Version 5.0 of the NewsBlur iOS app has lots and lots of new features, fixes for some long standing issues, and major performance improvements for reading stories.

The biggest new feature to hit the iOS app is the introduction of premium fonts from type foundry Hoefler & Co. Whitney, Gotham Narrow, and Chronicle have been added to give NewsBlur a more pleasurable reading experience. Take a look for yourself.

Comment-less shares have also been added to the iOS app. You can now share a story and your friends can now reply without you having to write anything first, just like on the web and on the Android app.

Here’s the full list of new features and improvements. Make a cup of tea first because this list is a doozy.

  • The app has been iOS 9-ified.
  • The iOS app now has the same great fonts from the web: Whitney, Gotham Narrow, and Chronicle. These each look fantastic.
  • The Text view is now sticky based on the last view you used. It’s per feed but it also respects individual feeds when reading by folder. This is unlike the web, where the Text view matches the feed or folder. Now it’s sticky to the feed, which makes it much easier to read through a folder of stories.
  • When switching between the Text view and Story view, the loading indicator is now at the bottom of the screen instead of directly on top of the story.
  • Stories now remember your last scroll position. When you go back to a story, you are taken back to the same place you left off.
  • New Safari-based browser for the original story. These views are faster and support content blockers on iOS 9 and use your browser’s cookies. However, they look like Safari and not NewsBlur, so the default in-app browser is the original browser. The new in-app Safari browser is a preference, along with Chrome, Opera, and the full Safari app.
  • A new option to mark stories as read when they are scrolled past. Defaults to off.
  • Sending stories to third-party services now uses full Text if available. Useful for storing full story text in Evernote or Pocket.
  • Comment-less shares are now supported, allowing you to reply to shared stories that have no comment.
  • The feed trainer now shows trained titles.
  • 1Password integration on login.
  • iPad Pro is now supported.
  • Date and times of stories now uses the system locale, so everybody who isn’t in the U.S. will see dates as they should be.
  • 3D Touch actions: Add site, all site stories, search stories.
  • Voiceover support.
  • iOS 8 is the minimum supported version for this release.

Hot dog that’s a lot in one release. Version 5.0 is now ready for you. Download it for free on the App Store.

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BLueSS
1122 days ago
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Exciting updates! Here's to hoping the Android version gets some of these updates soon too!
samuel
1122 days ago
Android already had a few of these features. I seesaw between the two platforms in terms of priority.
popular
1122 days ago
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JayM
1121 days ago
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Woot.
Atlanta, GA
gradualepiphany
1121 days ago
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Oh dang. That is a whole lot of work, Samuel. Thanks for your continued dedication!
Los Angeles, California, USA
chattymac
1121 days ago
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Dark theme please!
skittone
1122 days ago
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But can I make the text even bigger (XXL or XXXL) for a "more pleasurable reading experience"?
jqlive
1122 days ago
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I hate to be the broken record in the room. But will "mark newer/older stories read" be added in a near future update? ... Aside from that feature, I'm really loving the update 😀. The fonts man, the fonts; Awesome.
Beijing/Hong Kong
samuel
1122 days ago
Yes, it's slated to come very soon now.
spiffylogic
1122 days ago
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Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.
Philadelphia, PA
samuel
1122 days ago
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From the feedback I've received, the next big feature folks want is a night/dark theme.
The Haight in San Francisco
brs165
1122 days ago
agreed!
emdot
1122 days ago
Thanks for all you do, Samuel.
Dcacace8
1122 days ago
Sure but this is a huge release, you should be proud! Congrats!
korg250
1122 days ago
Is dark theme available on the web?
Cafeine
1122 days ago
I don't care much about the dark theme but awesome release 😎
Splike
1122 days ago
Dark theme for the web please! (:
leonick
1122 days ago
Said before but lets say it again, web too please.
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