String fullTitle = "American Nobel prize winning physicist Leon Lederman auctions prize to afford hospital bill";
int postNumber = "298569";
String image = "Screenshot_20181008-180834.png";
String date = "10/08/18(Mon)18:16:24";
String comment = "Leon Lederman won a Nobel Prize in 1988 for his pioneering physics research.
But in 2015, the physicist, who passed away Wednesday, sold his Nobel Prize medal for $765,000 to pay his mounting medical bills. The University of Chicago professor began to suffer from memory loss in 2011, and died in an Idaho nursing home.
In a lot of ways (and as others have observed) Lederman’s story represents the best and worst of America. Lederman was born in the 1920s to a father who worked in a laundry facility. He went on to discover the Higgs boson subatomic particle, the so-called “God particle” that you can read more about here.
But even an accomplished physicist and university professor isn’t immune from America’s sky-high health care prices. The United States routinely has health care prices well-above the rest of the world. A day in an American hospital, for examples, costs an average of $5,220 here — compared to $765 in Australia or $424 in Spain.
The cost of receiving care in a nursing home can also present a significant burden. A private room in a nursing facility costs, on average, $7,698 per month. And Medicare, which covers the vast majority of Americans over 65, generally does not cover long-term nursing care.
Many Americans do end up getting Medicaid to cover nursing home bills — but that often requires selling off significant assets and dwindling down savings in order to fall below the public program’s income requirements.