Comments: Quickly

Given the fact that most people who are served by hospitals actually pay the insurance rate, I think it is entirely reasonable to call that the normal or "ordinary and customary rate". Moreover, people I have encountered who pay the no-insurance rate are routinely offered discounts in the vicinity of 40% if they will pay immediately in cash.

The non-insurance rate is basically an upfront credit fee (at an usurious or near usurious rate) on top of interest.

Posted by ohwilleke at March 8, 2006 01:06 PM

The fact that you have a handful of coupons that allow you to buy a $1 loaf of bread for 50 cents doesn't change the fact that a loaf of bread is priced at $1.

If you lose your coupon, you'll be paying $1.

Posted by Anne at March 9, 2006 10:18 AM

I would want to wail-and-moan at the high cost of medical care for the uninsured, but my pesistent campaign of bitching cut my last hospital visit in half.

However, it would be much much better situation, for all, to post the cost of medical care for all. For crying out loud, its 2006, you couldn't get away with all these hidden charges in any other situation.

Posted by PAshley at March 9, 2006 03:28 PM

I remember my astonishment, many years ago, when I realized that the box of kleenex in my hospital room was an "extra" and charged at an exhorbitant rate. I remember being even more surprised when my post-op pitcher of ice chips was an "extra" charge, and a damned expensive one.

Hotels can give you a list of "extra" charges, so why can't hospitals? If they're going to charge you for a drink of water, you're entitled to know that up front. I totally agree.

(P.S. Not everyone is aggressive or informed enough to be the "squeaky wheel" who can get their bills cut in half.)

Posted by Anne at March 12, 2006 11:36 AM