How Much Health Care Can You Buy For The Price Of An iPhone? This Much

Health & Fitness
Photoillustration/Adam Weinstein

Americans have “got to make a choice,” Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz from Utah told CNN this morning, referring to his party’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. “So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”


We sympathize with what Chaffetz was trying to say: Grown-ass adults have to make grown-ass decisions, including sometimes hard decisions about their financial priorities. And in America, in the 21st century, health care is a financial priority. So I thought I’d take Chaffetz at his word: What if I chose to buy an iPhone worth of health care? How much physical well-being would that buy me, anyway?

It’s easy. First, I took one top-of-the-line 256GB iPhone 7, retail cost $849. Then, I navigated over to Guroo.com, a site run by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Health Care Cost Institute, which worked with three of the U.S.’s biggest insurers to calculate average costs to insurers of common health procedures. Based on my location in South Florida and my insurance coverage (Florida Blue, bought on Healthcare.gov), here’s what I could afford instead of that fat smartphone:

5% of an appendectomy.

Got a gamy appendix? Removing it — just removing it, not including hospital care or doctor’s visits — costs the average insured Floridian $17,984.

Almost two years of asthma treatment.

That’s based on an average cost of $482 for four office doctor visits to evaluate and manage symptoms.

Two-thirds of an allergy injection treatment.

Two specialist visits and the 16 required visits for injections to quell a major allergy can set you back an average of $1,307.

About one-fifth of a breast biopsy.

Just removing and analyzing a breast tissue sample can cost $3,709 — not including a mammogram or doctor’s visits.

Almost an entire IUD.

The average intrauterine device implantation costs $982 in Florida, all-in.

8% of one problem-free vaginal childbirth.

Insurance pays $10,432 on average for an uneventful delivery.

About half a colonoscopy.

The procedure alone costs insurers an average of $1,786 if polyp removal is included.

One CAT scan of your head.

Expect that fancy imagery to cost $750 or so a pop.

Three visits with a diabetes specialist.

The average meeting with a diabetes doctor is billed to insurance at $266 per.

One knee MRI.

Another expensive image: $762, on average. But cheaper than the 10 to 20 grand that an ACL surgery can cost, on average, in Florida.

Four trips to an oncologist.

Expect to pay around $197 for each of your many trips to a cancer specialist just to say “hi.”

One cancer-fighting radiation treatment… almost.

A single variable-strength radiation session runs $991 in Florida. And one is never enough.

Two and a half pregnancy ultrasounds.

Hey, at $343, showing your parents the new kid’s blip of a winky is practically a steal.

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less

A low-flying C-17 gave Nashville residents a fright on Friday when the aircraft made several unannounced passes over the city's bustling downtown.

Read More Show Less
George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)

A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)

Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.

So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.

Read More Show Less