Thursday, September 19, 2013

The price of a baby

When I told my neighbor boy that my baby costed me about $1500, he said, "No, you don't buy babies, you make them!"  Well, maybe that's how it used to work.

Without insurance, I would have been billed approximately $12000 for a birth with no complications.  This included a non-negotiable 2-day hospital stay for mother and baby.  The cost would have been hundreds more if we had taken the advice of one incompetent doctor to get an extra ultrasound (she didn't seem to know how to determine if the baby's head was pointing down).

I will keep my rant brief.  This video, dissecting the ills of American medicine, has gotten a lot of attention.  It's worth watching for a quick overview of what ails us.  Of course, I fear that his observations will prompt people to support things like Obamacare, or other versions of increased government involvement.

8 Comments:

Anonymous dr perfection said...

Why didn't you have the baby at home?

You have to understand something. 12000 pays for a multitude of people all there to make certain nothing goes awry and medical advancements for use had your birth not gone as desired.

Why didn't you have the baby at home?

3:03 PM  
Anonymous dr perfection said...

oh dear, the guy in that video is just annoying

5:45 PM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

dr perfection, what is annoying you so much?

Why didn't we have the baby at home? Many of the drugs and safeguards that are available in the hospital seem to be illegal for home use. If I have a complaint, it is about these kinds of regulations.

Even so, if I would have had to pay the full 12k instead of just 1.5k after insurance, I certainly would have looked much more closely at the home birth option.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous dr perfection said...

what did you want at home that is illegal to have at home?

7:29 AM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

Exactly what is illegal for home use may be the topic of a future blog post -- I'm having a hard time finding an organized and readable source on the relevant laws.

But this site gives some indication: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/02/14/146859861/states-vary-on-what-they-allow-midwives-to-do

In Virginia at least, basically all of the standard stuff for a hospital -- such as pitocin and IV fluids and oxygen -- is illegal, even for certified midwives.

I'm assuming the legality is even more difficult for those who are not certified. I respect the value of certification, but I do not respect the idea that people in a free country should be denied the right to seek assistance from non-certified practitioners.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous dr perfection said...

who is denying people in our country the right to seek assistance from non-certified practitioners?

3:14 PM  
Blogger My Freakwentness said...

The short answer is that I don't know -- I can't find a specific law prohibiting non-certified practitioners from treating humans (as long as they don't commit fraud by pretending to be a doctor).

Here is one interesting case: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/08/15/vet-treats-human-without-license-patient-loses-toes/

Wikipedia hints (without citation) that practicing without a license can bring criminal penalties: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practicing_without_a_license

The bottom line is that even if non-certified practicing is technically legal, the cultural and economic structure provide tremendous hindrance. First, the lack of access to prescription drugs for the non-certified makes it hard to do the job. Second, the prevalence of lawsuits makes practice by the non-certified a very easy target.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous dr perfection said...

so then, no one is denying you the right to seek assistance from non-certified practitioners.

Just curious, are you against building codes?

4:06 AM  

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