I will never forget seeing a program on US healthcare where a person who lost 3 fingers in an induustrial accident was tol the insurance will only cover X amount and he had to choose two of the three to save.
What you saw was a fraud. There is nowhere in the U.S. where employers are not required to be fully insured for such accidents. Even if the person had to pay on their own, the normal process would be for the hospital to do everything possible to save the fingers. They would then write off any loss or apply to one of our many charities that help cover the costs in cases like this. One of the reasons healthcare is so expensive here for those that can pay is because we subsidize those who can't.
A little google shows that the event discussed, a person losing several fingers and being told by the hospital to choose which ones to reattach, seems to have come from the Michael Moore film "Sicko." The details listed by AC, however, are inaccurate (unless there was another incident I couldn't find on google.) It was a table saw, not an industrial accident, and the man wasn't insured"
Let's talk about some of the medical cases Michael Moore describes in this film. At the very beginning, there is one about an American man who loses the ends of two of his fingers in an accident with an electric saw. He did not have insurance. The man must choose between having his middle finger reattached for $60,000, or his ring finger for $12,000. The man chooses his ring finger. How can a man be put into the position of making that choice?
JOANNE SILBERNER: [In the U.S.,] the hospital doesn't have to give him care unless it's lifesaving care, and his life wasn't threatened by the loss of two digits. So the hospital was within its rights to say, "We can reattach your two digits, but it's going to cost you." The irony is that if he had insurance, the insurance company would have paid far less than $12,000 or $60,000. The insurers can negotiate rates with hospitals that individuals can't.