A Hospital Adds A Holding Your Baby Fee To A Utah Man Bill.

hospital_bill_holding_babyFrom the NY Times:

A man in Utah was charged $39.35 to hold his newborn baby to his wife’s chest.

After holding his newborn son for the first time at a Utah hospital last month, a man found a strange charge on his bill: $39.35.

The man, Ryan Grassley, thought the charge, which appeared to be for holding his baby to his wife’s chest, was a bit of a joke. (The charge was listed as “skin to skin after C-sec.”) So he didn’t take it too seriously when he posted a picture of the bill on Reddit.

But the story quickly gained steam: As of Wednesday, it had prompted over 11,600 comments from other users since being posted Monday evening and vaulted high up on the internet’s “front page,” (as Reddit calls itself) by more than 6,000 upvotes.

The Reddit post touched a nerve with people because it seemed to underscore a national frustration with unexpected hospital fees and arcane medical billing.

We cannot have a comprehensive discussion about rising health care costs until we address how doctors, hospitals and drug companies are all feeding at the trough of insurance companies and taxpayers. It’s a deadly combination of capitalism and government subsidies. This is why the best form of capitalism is free market capitalism, where medical business entities should only be able to charge what the patient to market will bear.

For years and years the number one reason people declare bankruptcy is medical bills. This I learned back in the 1980’s as a legal secretary. I met many decent, hard working people who simply couldn’t carry the burden of their medical bills, and even now, with ObamaCare deductibles running over $10,000, this amount or even less might lead a person to bankruptcy.

Right now, there are four parties to ObamaCare – the patient, the doctor, the insurance company and the IRS. That’s two too many parties involved in the delivery of health care. The only exception I would make for a third party to be involved would be that of voluntary charities, because when hospitals were run by charities, they kept costs down because they had no choice.

As it is, even public hospitals like Cook County hospital in Chicago, IL, continue to make hefty profits. See chart below.

Hospitals_Hospital_profits_chicago