Medical bills outrageous- time to act

Our Congressman, Dave Camp stopped by the office the other day, to basically announce his candidacy for re-election. I peppered the veteran lawmaker with questions about various topics. The one topic that continues to stick out, is Obamacare, and whether it is good for our country or not.

Personally, I’m not sold on Obamacare. I don’t want to be told by government officials I must purchase health insurance. I’ve been perfectly fine without health insurance for 20 years and the thought that someone is now going to demand that I buy it, is hogwash.

However, I will agree that our health care system needs overhauling. Hospitals and doctors are charging crazy amounts for their services, realizing that many of their patients won’t pay their bills, so those that do, will sustain the hospital or doctor’s practice.

Many of us, however, want to pay but can’t because the services are too high. For instance I have a friend who just completed a hospital stay- 3 days, and was presented with a $`12,000 hospital bill. She has no means to pay it. Thus she has one of two options- ignore the bill or file bankruptcy.

Her bill breaks down something like this:

Semi-private room…………………………………………………….$1050 a day. Semi-private means this room was shared with another person. Shoot, most penthouse rooms at fancy hotels don’t cost this much.

1 Ambien tablet……………………………………………………………..$26. Ambien is a sleeping pill. One tablet would normally cost less than a dollar at a pharmacy.

Hand Held Nebulizer…………………………………………………….$275. Each time my friend was administered two minutes of steam she was charged $275. Yes, plain old ordinary steam- a product that virtually costs nothing, all of a sudden is now $275.

She was given Celexa and Lisinopril. These are pills she had in her purse. For the hospital to place them in her mouth they charged $22.74 for the Celexa and $11.61 for the Lisinopril. My friend said she bought a 90 day supply of the Celexa for $4 at her local pharmacy.

A 5 mg Tylenol……………………………………………………………….$8.50. I don’t think this needs further explanation.

An inhaler with 3-days supply………………………………………..$195.

Zithromax. 500 mgs. This is an antibiotic………………………..$175. My friend buys a 10-day supply for $4.

Methylprednisolone. 125 mgs…………………………………………$36.  This is a steroid that drove my friend absolutely bonkers for several days. It was like she was on meth. She wouldn’t shut up.

For healthy people like myself, I find these charges outrageous. But, then again, I realize, hospitals and doctors are forced to charge astronomical amounts because many people simply skip out on their medical bills this day in age. And of course I understand why.

It’s a vicious circle. You want to pay your medical bill but don’t have the means. Those that have good insurance, end up picking up the slack. So guess what. Insurance rates go up and more and more people can’t afford the rates so they end up uninsured. It’s crazy and our lawmakers need to do something ab out it.

Obamacare tried to address the situation, but forcing people like myself to pay for insurance that may or may not help us, doesn’t make sense, either. Cmon lawmakers- lets take it back to the drawing board and come up with a solution that we all can live with.