Woman's Tweet About Hospital Bill Pinpoints A Lack Of Compassion In US Healthcare

by Sarah Bregel
Originally Published: 

Her baby died almost immediately but she still received a bill from the hospital for the child’s services

Healthcare in America is infuriating in a lot of ways. But one woman’s tweet thread about her devastating experience showed just how backwards the system can be. In the tweet, she revealed what happened after her baby died almost immediately after being born. She says she soon got a bill in the mail for $600, though the child didn’t receive any medical care.

The woman is Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OBGYN and author of the book, The Vagina Bible. She posted the tweet in response to a question posed by Senator Bernie Sanders. He asked, “What’s the most absurd medical bill you’ve ever received?” Of course, Twitter had tons of responses about the inane bills they got, many of which made no sense whatsoever. But Jennifer’s response showed a truly harsh reality about the lack of compassion in our healthcare system.

“$600 for my son who lived about 3 minutes,” her tweet stated. “He received no medical care. At all. As he died almost immediately he didn’t get enrolled in my insurance plan, so I got the bill. From the hospital where I was a doctor.”

In a lengthy thread, she exposed other infuriating details about the situation.

While it’s bad enough that she received a bill when her child died and did not receive medical care, what’s even worse is the trauma this must’ve caused her.

We know that the costs of birthing a baby in a hospital can be absolutely off the chart. But after losing a child, no one should ever have to be battling with an insurance company over such a ridiculous charge. Clearly, the problems with our healthcare system run deep, but this situation is beyond maddening. In fact, it’s downright cruel to present a grieving mother with a bill like that during what must’ve been an incredibly raw and painful time already.

When it comes to healthcare and insurance companies, the priority should really be, well, health. But patients certainly don’t come first, as is made excruciatingly clear in the Twitter thread. Financial gains seem to come before absolutely everything. But people not being able to afford proper treatment in America is not only financially draining, even devastating, not being able to afford healthcare costs people their very lives.

The power of social media, which allows people to share stories like this one, is important. But the fact is, we need compassion from the very structures put in place to care for people. And right now in America, it doesn’t feel very much like we have that at all.

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