"Christian" hospital charges its own nurse $900,000 for her premature baby

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/04/additional-information.html


Plenty of “Christian” hospitals in ireland until just a year ago forced all women to still-birth their non-viable fetuses.

“Christian” is a meaningless term for anything really anymore. Christians have no unified beliefs or morality or anything of substance that I know of. So they might as well not even say it. It’s just a fucking shibboleth for tax-free political interference and a codeword that allows corporations to break the law as long as they claim they sincerely want to break the law.


the lord giveth and the lord taketh away?


The problem with US health care is not the way insurance works. It is the net cost of health care. No way does it cost 10^6 USD to care for a premature baby. Find out why the price is so high and most of your probem is solved. People won’t need insurance then.


It’s profitable to the insurance system to have very high costs for everything. They can claim immense savings all the time.

Every time I get the statement of benefits from my insurance company they’re like: “We just saved you $30 on your $200 checkup!” and I’m like “that’s great. It’d be better if they were free since I pay $190 a month for insurance in the first place. Additionally if I paid cash it’d have cost ~$100 anyway.”

Additionally a big reason why the price of healthcare is so high is because we have so many uninsured people using emergency services regularly. The cost of that has to be subsidized by pricing elsewhere.

If we had universal healthcare and got rid of the entire for-profit system in medicine and just made it focus on treating sick and injured people, the costs would be massively reduced and people would be better taken care of.


She bargained her way to $100/month? That’s basically like saying she would never actually have to pay it back. Sounds like the hospital had already capitulated.
“Being in debt for life” sounds bad, but most people pay more than that for cable.

Yes, I get that she was done wrong. I’m glad it worked out for her. But read the fine print. The headline does not match the facts.


I would have offered to pay them DOUBLE in heaven. :wink: aren’t heavenly riches the only ones that matter anyway?


Hello tiny human, render unto Mammon.


You owe me $100 per month for putting that where I could unexpectedly read it.


I’m not an American (simply a horrified bystander at the moment, though Boris Johnson looks to be angling to sell off the NHS to American “Health” Care), but, from what I understand, the reason that medical prices are so high is because of price fixing between the medical insurance companies and the privatized hospitals.

I assume that, had our unfortunate victim signed the paperwork, the amount the hospital charged the insurance company would have been a fraction of the amount they charged their employee. As it is, the nurse probably got the full “out of network” price.


And what would that debt do to her credit score?


And the same pharma companies that are going to be lobbying hard in the US UK “trade” agreements that BJ blithely promises.


Off Topic, but kind of related: I’m so disappointed that Labour’s platform for the upcoming General Election seems be* a promise to bring about Brexit in 6 months. It looks like the Lib Dems are the only contenders standing on a No Brexit platform; and they’d need a majority in the house to have any chance of pulling that off. So it looks like I’ll have to steel myself for heading towards retirement under the Vampiric/Libertarian shadow of America rather than the Socialist/Libertarian influence of Europe. Not a great future.

*This is how it is being reported on the news, so it may actually be different. I’m off to do some research on the internet.

Edit: It looks as though Labour might still be open to a 2nd Referendum; so it isn’t all doom and gloom. Not that is really matters, as I live in the safest Labour seat in the UK.


As a horrified bystander to both US and UK troubles I feel like the whole Brexit and Dem vs Rep shambles are just a covers to distract from stories like the one in the article and the one below.

Struggling Single Parents Forced To Turn To Food Banks To Combat Hunger


You would consider $100 a month for life a good outcome? For the crime of having a birth complication?

That’s cold.

That would literally be taking $100 a month away from taking care of that child, for zero ethical or practical reason.


“Won’t somebody think of the children shareholders?!”


this is partially true; however, as one pointed out having that debt on her credit report would ostensibly ruin her credit forever. Additionally, the reality is whatever her income is going forward it would always be $100 less each month.

We all take on debt payments like a mortgage, car loan, student loans, etc; but these eventually go away as we do pay the debt off. This is actually more like a cost of living payment like utilities, rent, food, etc…they never go away but you do get a tangible thing for them. She had paid for health insurance…this is not a cost she should have had to incur…EVEN IF the exact language was “file this form by X date”. Mitigating circumstances were at play…and the “new” information may have been something like “We will see to it that Ms. Bard has proper legal representation and images of her premature baby in the NICU will be paraded around court and posted in the media with headline 'Dignity Health refuses to help this baby and charges $1 million for her care to the parents!” to which DH said “well…fuck.”

I concur they had ostensibly caved and were trying to merely mitigate the dollar loss, but actually covering the expenses is the right thing to do, Christian or not.


The part that really got me was this:

Three days after her birth, Bard called Anthem Blue Cross, which administers her health plan, to start coverage. Anthem and UC Irvine’s billing department assured her that Sadie was covered, Bard said.

That right there was the reason she didn’t sign the baby up online. If I had a nickel for every time a customer service rep lied to me on the phone and there was no proof, I’d have enough to pay my insurance premium this month.

(Yeah, my premiums are relatively low because Obamacare.)


…but universal publicly funded health care would just be too expensive folks.


Yesterday I spent an hour and a half on the phone (my third call) with my insurance company/mailorder pharmacy trying to get something resolved – a refill for a prescription I’ve been getting for 20 years. First they told me “the drug was out of stock at the manufacturer.” I call the manufacturer and found out this wasn’t true. Then they said prescription was for a “kit,” whereas the drug they had on hand wasn’t a kit, so they needed a new prescription. Also not true; if they have it, it comes in 7 day kits. I told them it was a refill and that they were able to fill it the last time. Then they told me it was a problem with the wholesaler. And on and on.

This is the second time I’ve had to call the manufacturer to confirm it was not out of stock. Basically the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for it. They want me to go to the generic. The generic would be fine – the medication is probably OK, but the bottle it comes in is inferior. (I have a whole story about that.)

Insurance companies create needlessly and artificially complex rules so as to keep customers guessing, wasting god knows how many man-hours of work, solely to increase their profit margins We need single-payer non-profit health care that focuses on the patient’s health and NOT on the obscene profits of businesses. If everyone were covered, with simple rules for everyone, most of this time- and money- wasting negotiation would disappear. It would be cheaper for everyone. As in most Western nations.