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Seattle coronavirus survivor gets $1.1 million, 181-page hospital bill

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posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:02 PM
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Report coming out of Sea ttle Times


Remember Michael Flor, the longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient who, when he unexpectedly did not die, was jokingly dubbed “the miracle child?”

Now they can also call him the million-dollar baby.

Flor, 70, who came so close to death in the spring that a night-shift nurse held a phone to his ear while his wife and kids said their final goodbye, is recovering nicely these days at his home in West Seattle. But he says his heart almost failed a second time when he got the bill from his health care odyssey the other day.
“I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!’ “ Flor says.

The total tab for his bout with the coronavirus: $1.1 million. $1,122,501.04, to be exact. All in one bill that’s more like a book because it runs to 181 pages.




Flor was in Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah with COVID-19 for 62 days, so he knew the bill would be a doozy. He was unconscious for much of his stay, but once near the beginning his wife Elisa Del Rosario remembers him waking up and saying: “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”

Just the charge for his room in the intensive care unit was billed at $9,736 per day. Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the room was sealed and could only be entered by medical workers wearing plastic suits and headgear. For 42 days he was in this isolation chamber, for a total charged cost of $408,912. He also was on a mechanical ventilator for 29 days, with the use of the machine billed at $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. About a quarter of the bill is drug costs.


Now the article goes on to say that Flor will likely not have to pay anything on this bill because of the money Congress has set aside specifically for Covid-19. But these are the kinds of hospital bills that some will receive for cancer and other life saving treatments. Exorbitantly high because hospitals are run as businesses that have to create profits.

The mechanical ventilator that Flor used costs between $5,000 and $50,000 per unit. If he was on one of the high-end models the hospital profited $32,215 off of him to save his life on the ventilator alone. And then will go on to make that profit on the next patient, and the patient after that, and the patient after that.

Even if you don't move towards universal healthcare or single tier, there still needs to be some kind of reform. These numbers should concern you if only for the selfish reasoning of next time it could be you. The healthcare system in the US only benefits the wealthy.

A measure of a country should not be on the health and success of those at the top but the health and success of those at the bottom.



+2 more 
posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

one thing is for sure neither the Republican or democratic party is going to fix healthcare

to fix healthcare you have to FIRST fix conflict of interest in politics.

people will continue to be stupid and expect people with conflict of interest to fix healthcare for them.

i look forward to the same discussion in another 30 years.
edit on 12630America/ChicagoSat, 13 Jun 2020 12:12:44 -0500000000p3042 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: interupt42

Yeah.. Most seem to talk about who pays and how they pay. Its definitely a good discussion, buuut..

Not many talk about fixing the core issues of the medical apparatus itself, its ties to corporations, massive conflicts of interest, no real efforts to improve public health (some would say the opposite..), and an ever increasing amount of medical deaths from "errors."



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:18 PM
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Money over right to live, cant afford health care then you could be out of the door, thank god he got the treatment to stay alive and see his family again, i feel for others not so fortunate, the quote of him saying "gotta get me out of here, we cant afford this" is quite scary.



My wife as been treated for brain cancer and was also in a coma for 2 weeks (prior to last christmas), thankfully the NHS in the UK did nothing but try and save her life giving her ICU treatment, brain surgery and follow on radio therapy, we paid our taxes and nothing more, I never once had to contemplate them not giving everything to save her life, thank you to the NHS

Life should always be preserved rather than profit margins



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

Thanks for posting this because it does point out that it's not so much of an insurance company problem as it is the COST of healthcare. Doctors, drug companies, and hospitals charge too damn much. If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.

What other industry has the luxury of hospitals and doctors where there customers aren't told the COST before they make a decision about purchasing what is essentially a service?

Could you imagine if your local plumber could just make up a bill after the fact. It's beyond ridiculous and our health is being held hostage by the fact that they have nearly eliminated price shopping for their service.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: UpIsNowDown

"Money over right to live" is the perfect summary of the problem that no one is really willing to discuss or even admit.

I'm sorry about your wife but I'm glad you were able to get the care you needed



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: MRinder




If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.


Oh, got some examples?



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: MRinder

Very true. The assumption right now is that Flor will be covered but there's still a chance he may not have total coverage and then what does that mean? Even if he gets covered for 90% that would leave him on the hook for $112,000.

And also very true about not knowing the costs. I think if a patient knew that a single Tylenol would cost them $50 a pill, they would suffer through the pain. Which is ridiculous



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:33 PM
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originally posted by: MRinder
a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

Thanks for posting this because it does point out that it's not so much of an insurance company problem as it is the COST of healthcare. Doctors, drug companies, and hospitals charge too damn much. If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.

What you're missing is the consternation expressed by the OP, as he is Canadian and to us in the Great Pink North, it's all crazy talk. Along with that is the brainwashing of our dear American cousins to accept the premise "This is America. Universal Health Care is far too complicated for us."
So much for American exceptionalism, I guess.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:36 PM
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originally posted by: vonclod
a reply to: MRinder




If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.


Oh, got some examples?


Maybe not an example but politicians spend 10's of millions of dollars to get a job that pays $175,000/yr.

Hillary spent near $1 billion to try to win a job that pays $400,000 per year. How does that make sense if they are not trading favors for money?

The Clinton foundation alone raised $2 billion. The Clinton's went from negative net worth to $120 million in a matter of a few years.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:39 PM
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YES. what this man said....the money for healthcare is ALREADY there. fix the system and we have the fix.


originally posted by: interupt42
a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

one thing is for sure neither the Republican or democratic party is going to fix healthcare

to fix healthcare you have to FIRST fix conflict of interest in politics.

people will continue to be stupid and expect people with conflict of interest to fix healthcare for them.

i look forward to the same discussion in another 30 years.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck



So much for American exceptionalism, I guess.

America seems corrupt from top to bottom, maybe he is right..


It most definitely revolves around the insurance companies.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:45 PM
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originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: MRinder
a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

Thanks for posting this because it does point out that it's not so much of an insurance company problem as it is the COST of healthcare. Doctors, drug companies, and hospitals charge too damn much. If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.

What you're missing is the consternation expressed by the OP, as he is Canadian and to us in the Great Pink North, it's all crazy talk. Along with that is the brainwashing of our dear American cousins to accept the premise "This is America. Universal Health Care is far too complicated for us."
So much for American exceptionalism, I guess.


It is not too complicated for the US taxpayer, we understand it. Our politicians are all on the take and the US government can't manage a thing without driving the cost up 10 fold or more, examples College Tuition, Healthcare, the Military. Everything they touch they totally wreck.

Maybe Canada's government is not rife with corruption and your politicians all have common sense, but ours are corrupt and dumb as #ing rocks.

Plus the average American doesn't want his or her hand held through life by the government. We just don't want to get f'ed in the a. Apparently, that is too much to ask.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 12:52 PM
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originally posted by: vonclod
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck



So much for American exceptionalism, I guess.

America seems corrupt from top to bottom, maybe he is right..


It most definitely revolves around the insurance companies.


I am sure our insurance companies are not perfect, but they literally just negotiate and pay the bills. The ROOT of the problem is we are being overcharged for health services by the providers.

Example, took my son to the doctor because he had a fever and didn't feel good. They took his temp, gave him a flu test and decided he was fine and it was just going to pass. Great!

I get a bill explaining what they charged the insurance company. They charged them $2000 dollars on top of my $20 co-pay. That is ridiculous. Then they send me a bill for $17 and I don't pay it. They keep billing me then send me a letter saying they are going to send it to collections. I call them and tell them they robbed the insurance company and they can kiss my ass because I am not giving them $17 more god damn dollars on top of the $2020 they already got for a doctors visit that shouldn't have cost more than $200.

The problem is the COST! How can anyone justify $2000 for taking a kids temp, weighing them, and giving them a flu swab?
edit on 13-6-2020 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: MRinder

They probably make up the numbers and no one is really paying them that much. They just write most of it off as a loss and use it to hide just how much profit they are raking in...



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: MonkeyFishFrog
with the use of the machine billed at $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. About a quarter of the bill is drug costs.


$2,835 a day divided by 24 hours a day equals $118.13 an hour. My auto mechanic charges more than that for his labor. That's not counting the cost of oxygen, power to run the machine, one time use sterile supplies to connect the machine, ect.

Simply hiding the cost of medical care from the citizens doesn't make it free.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
a reply to: MRinder

They probably make up the numbers and no one is really paying them that much. They just write most of it off as a loss and use it to hide just how much profit they are raking in...


Could be true. The thing is that Universal Healthcare in the USA doesn't solve that problem. It just turns the costs into a tax that you must pay. The total cost of healthcare in the US for 2019 was $3.5 trillion. Our entire federal tax revenue in 2019 was $3.5 trillion.



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: MRinder
a reply to: MonkeyFishFrog

Thanks for posting this because it does point out that it's not so much of an insurance company problem as it is the COST of healthcare. Doctors, drug companies, and hospitals charge too damn much. If you go to single payer then I am afraid it will just get worst as the politicians line their pockets and don't address the COST.

What you're missing is the consternation expressed by the OP, as he is Canadian and to us in the Great Pink North, it's all crazy talk. Along with that is the brainwashing of our dear American cousins to accept the premise "This is America. Universal Health Care is far too complicated for us."
So much for American exceptionalism, I guess.


Almost every post you make on ATS proves American Exceptionalism. You are obsessed with what we do and trying to make some point that Canada is better, but 99.99999% of Americans don't spend a second per year thinking about Canada because Canada doesn't matter. If Canada fell off of the face of the Earth tomorrow nobody would even notice.
edit on 13-6-2020 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:49 PM
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originally posted by: dawnstar
a reply to: MRinder

They probably make up the numbers and no one is really paying them that much. They just write most of it off as a loss and use it to hide just how much profit they are raking in...


I'll have to find it later but I'm pretty sure John Oliver did a segment where he did a deep dive into how the hospitals costs got so high and at first it worked but then it quickly devolved into price fixing from both sides



posted on Jun, 13 2020 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: MRinder

There is one justifiable reason that I believe demands universal care...
And, that would be if we are all paying for the system... weather we are able to get full benefit from it or not. If you pay taxes, even if it's just sales tax, you are paying into the pot that is keeping the system up and running... researching and developing new drugs, ect. If you are throwing money into the pot, you should be getting the same service from the pot as everyone else... especially if some are throwing far less money into the pot.



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