Hospital Prices & Unexpected Events

By Lyna Hao

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/what-does-birth-cost-hard-to-tell/?ref=health

This article explains a woman, Therese Allison, who is seven months pregnant and without insurance. She wants to inform herself about how much her childbirth delivery would cost, although hospitals are making that very difficult for her. She begins to call a few hospitals, but she gets no real help. She questions Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton health care economist whether there is a law that hospitals should reveal their prices and he replies that hospitals are not required to tell you prices, they usually wait until they send you the bill. Senator Ron Wyden says that the government is hypocritical because they tell people to make wise decisions, although when people try to do so, they are unable to find the cost in order to compare prices with quality.

I chose this article because many people are blind sighted by the bill sent to them from the hospital. It is heart-aching to me because when someone has a medical problem, they are not going to turn them away and not bring them to the hospital, but in return, they are charged with a ridiculous amount that they had very unexpected.

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After reading this article, I was able to connect this with how it affects our middle and lower classes. Due to unexpected events, people are forced to pay their hospital bills which can change their lives drastically. Since most middle and lower classes make just enough to get by, a bill of a couple thousand dollars can put them in a huge debt. I chose the picture above because hospitals do not set fixed prices on their procedures, instead they hit people with a price they chose and that’s what it is. When unfortunate events like this occur, the middle class is slowly but surely moving down to the lower class, making the gap from the rich and poor even bigger.

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