Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What regular people medical bills look like

Sadly, Miss Ann was unconvincing as a woman who could really connect with say, a struggling single mom.... Even Romney’s insistence that Mitt loves helping people sounded less driven by real empathy and more about a sense of noblesse oblige. - Cheryl Contee aka Jill Tubman from
So Ann Romney gave her speech at the RNC. She spoke about her difficulty dealing with MS and how helpful Mitt was to her.  She also dealt with breast cancer. She's had some really rough patches in her life. I sincerely and honestly feel for her. As someone who's aunt has MS and has had to watch her degenerate from a person who was an energetic, joke telling master geneticist to a smiling and slow moving, nearly wheelchair bound woman, I really feel for Romney's situation. 

My medical issues are nothing compared to hers. But, let me share with you my bills after dealing with a rather difficult bout with my run of the mill acid reflux. I had constant 24 hour coughing(death for a professional singer) pain, fatigue, heartburn; I couldn't eat ANYTHING without problems. Doctors wanted to determine if there was any damage to my esophagus and make sure there was nothing foreign in my upper abdomen that was contributing to the problem. I had a upper abdominal sonogram and an upper endoscopy. Both procedures are relatively short, painless and standard procedures to identify any digestive issues. Let me remind you that I am insured, but I have no benefits through an employer. This is what I have to pay after my insurance goes through.

  • $54 - Labs
  • $182 - Dr Visit
  • $619 - Surgical pathology
  • $504 - Anesthisia for upper endoscopy
  • $1,156 - Drs. cost for pathology
  • $396 - use of the room at the Endoscopy Center

I am not adding the cost of the sonogram cause I got that bill last month. The total for these treatments after insurance has paid their part and negotiated prices with the medical providers: $2944. This is for a small measly case of bad acid reflux.  Now visualize having a chronic disease and the bills associated with that. Imagine not being able to work and still having to support and raise kids and pay for food and shelter. With all due respect to Mrs. Romney, she most likely has no idea of the sheer terror people face after they get a devastating diagnosis because though it's still difficult, she has the ability to afford the best care without sacrificing hers or her children's way of life. 

For a simple case of acid reflux, I have to budget FOR MONTHS to slowly pay off these bills and negotiate to create payment plans with each provider so that my credit report isn't negatively impacted. I need to goto the dentist, the eye doctor, and oh, did I mention that I have a fibroid? These are pretty routine medical conditions that I have no idea how much they are going to cost. (FYI, just paid off a $6000 dental bill, and $900 bill to pay for last year's colonoscopy. My dad died of colon cancer. I don't miss getting checked out) I just can't pay nearly $3000 in a lump sum and then pay roughly $1000 a month for preschool! If she wants to show her understanding of the "common folk", she could have spoken about the polices that her husband supports that would allow the rest of us to have some of the same security after a dire diagnosis that she had.  Oh wait, Candidate Romney backs away from the one achievement he did that would begin to address that… oh well. 

The Queen of Spain, an MS sufferer says it best:

You see Mitt and Ann, after Aaron and I cried together at my diagnosis, and did the same things you two did- we then had to do something else: we had to figure out how in the hell we were going to keep a roof over our heads and food in the mouths of our children and ourselves. Not to mention the thousands upon thousands of dollars in medical costs for my treatment…. 
You also seem to leave out how a chronic illness financially destroys a family, bankrupts millions, leaves many of us wondering how in the hell we are going to pay for treatment and the bills. If I sound a bit upset, it’s because I am…. 
Do not relive with me and my family how hard it is to get a devastating diagnosis and show me what a stand up husband you are and then offer me NOTHING about what you would do as President for those of us like you and your soul mate.


  1. In situations like this, you have to be the best accountant and negotiator regarding your personal bills. You seem to have been doing a great job regarding the budgeting. I know you can get through all that in time and you'll be just fine.

    Edwina Andreas

    1. Thanx! Things have been going well. It takes effort though. I just wish people in government truly understood what it's like to have to deal with problems like this.