British People Try To Guess How Much Having A Baby Costs In The US & They Don't Even Come Close

Their answers will astonish you... and make you howl in rage.

Brits react to US healthcare cost PoliticsJoe/YouTube

A man took to the streets in the United Kingdom to ask British people how much they think healthcare costs in the US and their answers may surprise you — though no viewer will be as surprised as the people themselves when they heard the real price Americans pay for basic needs.

PoliticsJoe, a platform run by the media site Joe, often posts videos of street interviews that tackle political topics. In 2019, during one of the UK's many debates over whether to privatize its National Health Service and make it more like the US's for-profit healthcare system, an interviewer took to the streets to ask ordinary Britons to venture a guess at the costs of various healthcare procedures in America. 


People in the UK were shocked by how much basic medical care costs in the US.

Asthma is a serious medical condition that affects roughly 1 in 13 people according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. So asthma treatments like inhalers are of course serious business. Of course in America, this means inhalers are wildly expensive—the greater the need the greater the price, right?

But in the UK as with most other parts of the world, the opposite holds true—life-or-death medications and equipment are often cheaper. So when asked how much she thought an inhaler costs in the States, a British woman questioned in the video had trouble landing on a number. 


When informed that an inhaler often costs as much as $350 dollars in the US without health insurance, she couldn't believe it. "$350?! For an inhaler?! Man, so if you're poor, you're dead." 

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Next up, EpiPens — another life-saving device. Asked how much he thought two EpiPens might cost, a man guessed $80. Another woman guesses $40. They are, of course, both wrong—by orders of magnitude. The actual answer is more like $600—or it was in 2019, anyway. An EpiPen is now more like $650-$750.


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But it was how much having a baby costs in the US that truly staggered people.

If you've ever had a kid yourself, get ready to laugh, and for those laughs to turn into screams, and for those screams to then turn into smashing everything in your home in a blind rage. 

Asked how much having a baby costs in the US, one woman guessed, "$100? $200?" LOLOLOL. "The average is about ten grand," the interviewer said, before stipulating that "it can go up to $30,000." The woman could not believe her ears. "Ten grand! For a baby?!" And those figures aren't even accurate anymore. As of 2023, the average cost of having a baby is now closer to $20,000.

And that's before our often absurd fees for childbirth-related things like skin-to-skin contact, which many mothers have reported receiving invoices for. Told that American hospitals often charge for the privilege, one woman exclaimed. "You have to pay to do that?! To hold my own child that I've been carrying inside of my womb... I'm going to punch you."


The charges made British people feel grateful to have universal, socialized healthcare. 

Surely if having a baby costs $30,000 our contraception is cheap, right? Wrong. As the interviewer reported, an IUD will typically run you $1300. And if you need an ambulance to pick you up for your birth, or any other medical emergency? While one man the interviewer asked assumed there was "zero payment" for a thing you only call when your life is threatened, another assumed it was "a hundred dollars." 

Just kidding! "Two and a half grand," the interviewer reported. And all the absurdity had the Brits in the video feeling mighty grateful for their National Health Service. Like most systems, it's not without its flaws and problems, but it's far and away better than what we have in the United States. "Literally, the gift that keeps on giving," as one person described it. "I'm genuinely speechless," another person said. 

And as for those profiting so heavily off of life-or-death treatments and services here in the States? One British woman said, "I think they should be stopped." Your lips to Congress's ears, ma'am.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.