I just opened the bill today from Arlo's trip to the emergency room last month. The grand total for three tiny stitches to the surface of a four-year-old's furrowed brow comes to $1,080.85.
Yes, that was one THOUSAND and some-odd dollars and cents. We are fortunate enough to have decent insurance, so we will only pay a small fraction of that total--but still. I can't believe that such a simple (though well done) procedure could cost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Can you imagine what it must be like to get that ER bill when you don't have medical insurance?
Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Americans have lost their health insurance benefits (whether due to loss of employment, soaring costs, pre-existing conditions, or a host of other arbitrary reasons) over the past 8 years of the Bush administration, and the economic conditions for the middle- and lower-class continues to worsen even as medical costs skyrocket. This is just one small--but compelling--reason that I'm voting (er, voted, as my absentee ballot went in last week) for Barack Obama. The Obama-Biden plan promises to reduce the cost of insurance for ordinary Americans, and to make it more accessible for a wider number of people. And it will require that all children have health insurance coverage--so that no parent has to decide between emergency medical care and their own financial ruin, and no child will have to bear a scar on his face because his parents could not afford to take him to get stitches.