I may have mentioned that my 84-year-old grandmother was hospitalized a few weeks ago. Turns out she had pneumonia, and other ailments which we won’t detail here. Of interest is the bill she just got from the hospital for her three-day stay. The bill, my friends, was for $31,000 and some change. Here now I paraphrase for you the conversation my grandmother recently had with the billing specialist:
Grandma: Hello, yes, this is Mrs. C___ and I’m calling about my bill. It says here that I owe the hospital thirty-one thousand dollars.
Smooth Operator: Let’s see here, Mrs. C___. Yes, I’m showing that you do indeed owe the hospital thirty-one thousand dollars. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Grandma: Well, I don’t have thirty-one thousand dollars. And I have insurance, so I don’t understand what this bill is all about.
Smooth Operator: Well, ma’am, we tried to bill your insurance carrier, Blue Cross, but they refused to pay.
Grandma: I don’t have Blue Cross. I have PacifiCare.
Smooth Operator: Oh. Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
Oh my God. Health reform now, health reform NOW. For heaven’s sake!