Susan Cassidy at Progressive Libertarianism is an idiot.
From my feature on CNN, there is this quote from a naysayer on the issue:
“Her hand written letter says nothing of her having the freedom to get the service and pay out of pocket, at possibly an outrageous cost, but get the life-saving service none-the-less,” writes Susan Cassidy, at Progressive Libertarianism. “Nor does it mention the fact that she could have asked for a self-pay discount and then worked out a payment schedule that she could handle. No, because of the culture we have grown up in, it is her RIGHT to receive this service and it is clearly someone else’s responsibility to pay for it.”
Which is absurd.
I cleared $4,017 last year because I only worked part year due to health and being laid off. The ER bill alone was $13,000 with the “cash discount” putting it down to only $8,008. So pretty much double my ENTIRE year’s pay.
That doesn’t include the $1,200 to the ER docs, the $1,000 to radiologist, the $900 to the gynecologist, or the $300 in labs. It also doesn’t include the money I paid out of pocket for doctor’s visits, labs and tests between May 29th – August 1st when my PCIP insurance kicked in. (I paid approximately $5,000 last year in medical bills alone. You’ll recall, I only made $4,017 at my job.)
Then there’s surgery. JUST the hospital was $40,000. Not including the surgeon, the assistant surgeon, the radiologist, the anesthesiologist, the radiologist or the labs. Oh and my primary doctor for pre-surgery clearance AND the ultrasound I had to have of my kidneys prior to surgery to ensure they could handle anesthesia. The total was close to $80,000 all-in paying cash.
How exactly is ANYONE supposed to pay that kind of money? That’s basically a mortgage. And those take 30 years to pay off.
No doctor or hospital would EVER just “float” you $80,000 in medical care and then work out a payment plan. Not to mention, even if you could somehow pay it all off in payments, would anyone really be willing to wait decades to get their money back? Hell, no. People put me in collections on $1k co-pay bills despite trying to make payments, so if they won’t accept payments on a grand, there’s no way to make payments on $40k.
I had to meet a $1,000 deductible and pay 20% co-pay of all services. Just that alone will take me years to pay off. And that’s only with the people who are allowing me to even make payments in the first place.
So to say something as absolutely asinine as “you can just make payments” shows absolutely no connection to reality and exactly WHY this is a major crisis for millions of Americans. And why 75,000 Americans claim bankruptcy to escape from medical bills each and every year.