Jun 10

Hospitals Don't Want to Help You, They Just Want To Make Money

I apologize for my several month absence, but we had a baby! It’s another healthy boy (that makes two of ’em), and it’s directly related to my topic today: how hospitals are really just businesses trying to maximize their profits and don’t really care about you other than that they can make money off of you.

Let me start by saying that we have a Health Savings Account (HSA), and we love it! If you don’t know what HSAs are all about, read about them at Wikipedia. Because of the deposit arrangement with my employer, the net effect is that we’ve had no out-of-pocket healthcare expenses since last July (that’s right, none—we don’t have copays). I recommend that everyone look into HSAs if their employer offers one—they’re awesome!

As a result of having an HSA, we’ve been learning what things actually cost and what doctors and hospitals are actually charging for things. We have had two all-natural births, but after watching The Business of Being Born, I was made more aware of just how serious this hospital-business problem has become. Here are some samples from the itemized insurance statements:

  • My wife’s room and board: $1700
    This is pretty outrageous, but is the most justifiable expense on the list. They could conceivably be lumping in a bunch of expenses like nurses, etc. But still…$1700 for two days and two nights? That’s like staying at the crappiest, most expensive hotel ever!
  • My newborn son’s room and board: $1400
    What!?! He was in a bassinet in our room ALL OF THE TIME except when they took his pictures and tested his hearing! And he breastfed! What in the world is this charge about!?! It's highway robbery!
  • 10-12 motrin: $150
    Are you kidding me!? Where are they buying this? Is it coated in 24 karat gold?
  • 4-6 percocet: $550
    I’m speechless. Perhaps we should take our unused percocet prescription and sell it on the street! Oh, wait…percocet is actually dirt cheap. WHAT!?!

Wow, I didn’t like hospitals before, but now I really hate them. We also had a similar experience last autumn with the emergency room. My wife stopped in because she was pregnant and was having abdominal pains, and after making her wait for hours before deciding she was perfectly all right, they charged us over $1000!

What a bunch of scum-sucking vermin.

PS. don’t even think of suggesting socialized/single-payer healthcare. Read this testimony by a Florida neurosurgeon to see why. What we need is a real, free market system unencumbered by government regulation and insurance mandates.