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It costs a lot of money to be sick in America. A LOT of money.

Many Americans learn this the hard way by going to the E.R. without insurance, or by realizing that health care is still expensive even with insurance, or by getting an outrageous medical bill in the mail.

And some people find that out because they get a case of appendicitis the morning before they're supposed to tape "The Daily Show."


Al GIFs via "The Daily Show."

OK, maybe that has only happened to one person ever. But it did happen — to Trevor Noah, the new host.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 2.49.50 PM.png

Via this tweet.

Trevor was born in South Africa and has spent most of his life outside the United States, blissfully unaware of what it's like to have a medical emergency in America — until last week, when he had to get an emergency appendectomy. Or as he (sarcastically) called it, “the world's shortest vacation."

Trevor had quite a bit to say about our health care system when he came back to the show after his surgery.

“A lot of people ask me, 'Trevor, what's it gonna be like commenting on America if you're not from America?'" he said on his first day back. “And I was like, 'Well, I'm gonna have to experience America.' And what better way than enjoying America's health care system for myself?"

His unexpected American Health Care System 101 experience demonstrated some of the biggest problems with U.S. health care.

Of course, he created an episode of the show to teach us about these things. Here they are:

1. You end up with a huge medical bill.

That whole not dying thing? It can get pricey.

A couple of years ago, one guy put his medical bills from his appendectomy on Reddit, and the post went viral.

It's easy to see why: The time he spent under the knife cost him 16 grand, but his charges from the hospital stay totaled $55,000. Things like room and board ($4,878), the recovery room ($7,501), and a CT scan ($6,983) were responsible for the difference.

Luckily, that guy (and Trevor Noah) had insurance, which covered the majority of those costs. But millions of Americans still don't have health coverage — often because they can't afford it, they're undocumented, or they fall into the Medicaid gap.

And the kicker? The U.S. government actually spends more money per capita on health care than countries with universal health care coverage. ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯

2. You have to wait for a long time. Like, a really long time.

The average wait time to be seen by a doctor in the E.R. is 24 minutes. That's a lot of time when you're having a health emergency. And in some places, the wait time is much higher (you'll wait for 54 minutes if you're in a Washington, D.C., hospital, for example).

3. If you need time to recover from your hospital visit, you might not get it in America.

Trevor only took one night off, but Comedy Central told him he could take as long as he needed to bounce back from his appendicitis. In reality, though, most employees in America don't get that kind of leeway.

In the U.S., if you or a family member faces a health emergency, you may not be able to take off work at all. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) doesn't cover a lot of low-income workers, who might get fired if they take a couple of days off to recover from a health emergency.

And even if you do qualify for FMLA leave, the U.S. doesn't require employers to grant any paid leave — only 12 weeks of unpaid time off.

The good news is that things are looking up.

Since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, 31 states have expanded Medicaid and millions of uninsured Americans have gotten health coverage!

However, there are still folks who aren't insured, which means they can't get good access to quality health care. That's why it's important for all of us to continue fighting for health equity every day.

Check out the "Daily Show" video to hear more from Noah (and to get a few laughs in).

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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