Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Addendum to My Last Post

I have hesitated to use this story because it is so sad, but decided it was necessary; if we have universal "health care" forced on us, this story is going to be repeated over and over. Here is my new reason why universal "health care" as Dr. Pelosi wants it will not work:

Government-controlled health care takes away the last remnants of humanity and courtesy.

I don't know how much of a syndicated AP news feed I can cut and paste in one blog, so let me summarize most of it. Scott Hawkins was a student at California State University in Sacramento. For reasons unknown and unexplained, it appears he was beaten to death by his roomate. He was taken to the UC Davis medical center where he was pronounced dead five minutes after arrival. This perhaps implies that he was already dead when he arrived. Do hospitals get to charge when a dead person shows up? I'm not sure. But I certainly know they can charge for a live one. Officially, Mr. Hawkins was "alive" for five minutes there. How much did the "care" they gave him cost? Only $29,000. No more. Twenty-nine-thousand dollars, about five thousand a minute, to do what Dr. McCoy did for free: "He's dead, Jim."

Now let's add insult to injury. You fill in the gaps for the next few minutes. A call to shocked parents who thought their son was safe in his dorm room. Now he's dead. We can all imagine what the loss of a son would be like: the questions, the grieving, the feelings that follow.

What they didn't expect was a bill. A bill from the UC Davis medical center telling them that they could do nothing more for their son because he was "maxed out," and that those parents owed them over 29,000 dollars. The bill also said that they were "indigent," not paying what they owed. The grieving parents called the hospital billing department to clear things up. They were too grief stricken to talk, actually, but amidst all the sobbing, finally got the message across.

Was there an apology from the hospital? I will let you be the judge (here is the direct quote from the AP wire):

A spokeswoman for the hospital says the bill was a mistake - it should have gone to an insurance company.

There you have it. Hey, it was all a mistake. We were going to stick it to the insurance company. Five thousand dollars a minute attending to a person who may have already been dead. But it's okay. We were going to raid someone's insurance plan for this. Sorry we sent it to a real human. We meant for it to go to accounting. By the way, do you have their address?

Some day, in Nancy Pelosi's dream world, we will all have "insurance." Then, doctors won't have to be civil with anyone. We won't discuss the condition of the patient. We will bill him "minutes" like lawyers currently bill "hours." All the money, after all, comes from the limitless, gigantic pool of wealth that the "government" must have somewhere. Oh, there will be paperwork, but that creates "jobs."

To Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins, the grieving parents, I can only say how sorry I am for the loss of your son. I wonder if any "health care providers" offered condolences. Doctors used to do that, you know. Back when you wrote them a check for their services, or gave them cash before they left your house. Back when health care meant a doctor you knew in a building you recognized that existed in your town. People used to live a long time back then, too; one doctor could treat a patient, and cure him. But medicine is a big business now. Everybody needs a network. And when the government gets into it, it will be bigger. Broke, but bigger. Just like the Post Office. And Amtrak. And the Social Security Adminstration.

You'd think that someone could add at least one rider to the omnibus "health care" bill that is being debated now. Maybe add a buck fifty per case for a Hallmark card. After all, they could stick it to the insurance company for, maybe thirty bucks. Fifty if someone signed it.

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