It’s clear that America’s for-profit healthcare industry takes charging their patients for arbitrary things way too far – but this story might take the cake. A woman had a c-section and delivered a healthy, happy baby, but was then charged almost forty dollars for the privilege of holding her child after it was born.
Little details are available to protect the identity of the parents, but this image of the bill has been going viral on Reddit. The father explained that “during the C-section the nurse asked my wife if she would like to do skin to skin after the baby was born. Which of course anyone would say yes too. We just noticed it in the bill today. The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill.”
A nurse commented on the thread to add a little bit of context, explaining that “I didn’t know that hospitals charged for it, but doing ‘skin to skin’ in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby. We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay. “Skin to skin” in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labor and Delivery RN to come in to the OR and make sure the baby is safe.”
That’s all very well and good, but it is astonishing that a hospital would be so heartless as to charge a patient for holding their own child. European commenters in the thread had a field day comparing their own experiences in hospitals and having their minds blown by the backwardness of American healthcare.
Welcome to America, folks, where 60% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses. People’s health should not be an opportunity to make a quick buck.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.