La Lubu over at Feministie writes a very powerful post about the birth of her extremely premature baby and all the health care battles she had to fight.
Prior to that, I received my first bill from her original hospital. It came after six weeks of treatment—before my daughter was officially listed as being under the insurance plan (see, you have to produce a birth certificate first, and there’s a time lag between when you can obtain the official birth certificate from the state, and the processing of the paperwork with the insurance plan. First, I had to prove that the baby that came out of my body via the fully-paid for emergency c-section, was actually mine. Don’tcha just love bureaucracy? It didn’t include neonatology services, radiology services, pediatric cardiology, respiratory therapists, or even surgery. But it was about $750,000 just the same. Now remember, that was before the hefty insurance discount was applied.
And I laughed. Yes, I laughed. What the hell else could I do? Who the hell did they think was going to be pulling $750,000 out of her ass? Because it sure wasn’t me. At the Ronald McDonald House, I traded war stories with the other parents. Most of the parents there were long-termers—waiting for the call for new organs for their sick children. Everyone had lost their jobs because of their children’s medical crises. At least once. I met folks whose employers couldn’t be bothered to give them a week of time off. I met a family where both parents had hepatitis C (and that ain’t cheap, people); they were waiting for their toddler son to get a lung transplant. People from all over the nation. A nation of isolated medical crises.