Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's really wrong with the health care system? Part One: The one-day $14,000 bill.

The Affordable Health Care Act requiring mandatory insurance coverage, coverage of preexisting conditions, and a whole host of other things is fine and dandy but it does nothing to fix the problem you see here.

Mom was taken to the Emergency room on the morning of March 2, 2013 because she was having severe breathing problems. She has no known ailments that would cause this. She was in a room in the ER most of the day, that night she was placed in a room. The next morning, an ER doc discharged her but she was still very sick. Her entire body hurt, her head was killing her, her blood pressure was sky high, and she clearly not well. My aunt demanded she be treated but the kindly nurses said because she'd been discharged, there was nothing that could be done. They did suggest mom go back down to the ER and go through triage and get readmitted all over again, which she did. Took her nine hours to get readmitted and back into another room. Three days later she was discharged with high blood pressure and told she had a lung infection, but nobody could ever be exactly sure of that. We still have no idea what was wrong with her.

Anyway, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield statement above for $14,312.25 is for...basically...a 24-hour hospital stay. Medicare paid all but $101.00 of this bill.  Can you imagine what the bill for the additional three-day stay will look like?

Now you ask yourself, what in hell is wrong with this picture? Is it no wonder Medicare is going broke? Is it no wonder so many families across this country go bankrupt because of medical bills?

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