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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, June 14, 2020

Michael Flor, a Seattle resident, surprised doctors and family members when he recovered from a life-threatening coronavirus infection this spring. Then he got his own surprise -- a hospital bill for $1,122,501.04. Flor was hospitalized at Swedish Medical Center near Seattle for 62 days, according to The Seattle Times.

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Flor, 70, who came so close to death in the spring that a night-shift nurse held a phone to his ear while his wife and kids said their final goodbyes, is recovering nicely these days at his home in West Seattle. But he says his heart almost failed a second time when he got the bill from his health care odyssey the other day.

"I opened it and said holy [bleep]!' " Flor says.

Just the charge for his room in the intensive care unit was billed at $9,736 per day. Due to the contagious nature of the virus, the room was sealed and could only be entered by medical workers wearing plastic suits and headgear. For 42 days he was in this isolation chamber, for a total charged cost of $408,912.

He also was on a mechanical ventilator for 29 days, with the use of the machine billed at $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. About a quarter of the bill is drug costs.

The list of charges indirectly tells the story of Flor's battle. For the two days when his heart, kidneys and lungs were all failing and he was nearest death, the bill runs for 20 pages and totals nearly $100,000 as doctors "were throwing everything at me they could think of," Flor says.

Anybody else see a Covid recovery tax coming in the near future?

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-06-14 09:48 AM | Reply

Only in America.

#2 | Posted by bored at 2020-06-14 10:27 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This type of bill should not be a surprise in a for-profit healthcare system.

The hospitals have been complaining about the costs incurred by treating people. In order to stay profitable, they have to recoup those costs somehow.

I can only wonder how much worse these hospital bills will be because of Pres Trump's inattention to the growing pandemic of late.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-06-14 11:17 AM | Reply

This is criminal. It's piracy with a license.

#4 | Posted by shane at 2020-06-14 03:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Piracy with a license is a thing, though.
It's called having a Letter of Marque.
Which means it's legal... from your government's point of view, anyway.

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-06-14 04:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Send them an IOU.

#6 | Posted by a_monson at 2020-06-14 08:21 PM | Reply

Congress set aside more than $100 billion to help hospitals and insurance companies defray the costs of the pandemic, in part to encourage people to seek testing and treatment (including those with no insurance). As a result, Flor probably won't have to pay even his Medicare Advantage policy's out-of-pocket charges, which could have amounted to $6,000.

The insurance industry has estimated treatment costs just for COVID-19 could top $500 billion, however, so Congress is being asked to step up with more money.

The writer David Lat got a $320,000 bill for his COVID-19 treatment, and also ended up paying nothing. Yet he heard from dozens of cancer and leukemia patients who have been hit with big bills or co-pays during this same time period.

The last sentence lays bare how unfair our current healthcare delivery is to American citizens not fortunate enough to suffer from a favored disease or have insurance that actually pays most of the cost without impoverishing patients.

Once this pandemic runs its course, our political leaders are going to be facing a financial pandemic that will affect every single family in America one way or another. The bill for Covid will be astronomical and it will have to force some type of tax revenue enhancements to pay for it. And possibly the time will finally be here for the nation to figure out that having some form of national healthcare insurance makes far more sense moving forward, once and for all.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-06-14 08:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I hope he is a trump supporter.

#8 | Posted by zelkova at 2020-06-14 10:44 PM | Reply

The INDUSTRY of MISFORTUNE strikes, again. This will not be an isolated incident, y'all.

#9 | Posted by getoffmedz at 2020-06-15 02:41 PM | Reply

Trumpcare.

#10 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-06-15 06:23 PM | Reply

In Trumpcare someone needs profit. Somehow.

Glad he didn't have to pay it. I wouldn't have paid it anyway. But who will pay it?

Mexico?

#11 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-06-15 06:27 PM | Reply

NO doubt the mayor can fix this.....oh wait.

#12 | Posted by Tor at 2020-06-16 01:55 AM | Reply

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