space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Jack Farley Is TimesLand 2017-18 Top Athlete
* Chloe Gruszynski Tops Area Athlete List for 2017-18
* Cougars Claim Extra Inning Victory Over Niagara 8-7
* WIAA Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Awards Selected
* Area Athletes Get Back on The Track

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: February 21, 2019

Medical Bills 1956

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

I was born in 1956 in a little hospital where my parents were living at the time. My mom was admitted at 3:50 a.m., the kind of inconvenient hour babies like to make their pending appearance known. The reason I know this level of detail is somewhere not long ago my mother unearthed the hospital bill associated with my birth and it makes for some entertaining reading.

It's all typewritten on a single page. Imagine someone now, inserting single sheets of paper into a manual typewriter and laboriously copying down row after row of information. The entire charges list is on the front of the one-page bill, with the back given to standard printing about the bill. Apparently even back then there was sensitivity to the amount of charges, since a quaint comparison of what you get for a hotel stay and a hospital stay was included in the boilerplate on the back. In the column marked "hotel day," charges include room only; meals and all services extra, tipping customary and in business for profit.

Under "hospital day" the lengthy list includes meals, bedside tray service, between meal nourishment, special diet availability, nursing service, linen changes as needed, hospital gowns, use of expensive equipment, 24 hour attention, no tipping allowed and "non-profit institution."

I found it charming, and in the current light of fierce debates about our health care, sort of innocent.

My birth, which was uncomplicated, resulted in a five night hospital stay. Imagine that. We soon will see women give birth and go home the same day. There are reasons it makes sense to get a healthy mom and baby home soon " less exposure to infections, for one thing; and for some escape from an environment that makes it hard to rest. However, others would welcome the longer stay now, and the extra help recovering from birth. But the cost of extended hospital stays and the associated care have soared " and no insurance company will pay for any additional time unless it can be justified in painful detail by the medical providers. And for those with no insurance, even having a healthy baby can be ruinous.

Among the charges listed on my parent's bill were mom's drugs " one at ten cents; another at 65 cents. The delivery room charge was $15, and her anesthesia was $12. There were a total of $7 charges for "dressings," and a $4.25 fee for the lab.

The grand total for the entire five night stay, less the doctor's fee, was $113.40.

At the time I am sure this was still a significant amount of money on an English teacher's salary, plus probably another three-figure bill for the doctor. That seems quaint too, a three-figure doctor bill.

I don't remember my dreams very often at all, but if I were to have a five star nightmare, it would be that I am on some sort of small committee completely empowered with fixing all that is wrong with our health care in the United States. (No disputing we have some wonderful aspects, but the escalating costs and increasing accessibility issues are serious indeed.)

But IF this terrible nightmare were true, the very first thing I would do is channel Jesus in the temple, turning over the tables of the moneychangers. I would throw all the lobbyists for the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies and the health care conglomerates out of the houses of government and slam the doors behind them. There sometimes seems to be no one who truly and solely has the health care interests of the common person as their priority in government any more " I say this without regard to political party. These are thorny, painful questions, and it seems like there is way too much money buying philosophy and policy.

One of the key variables between now and then, of course, is that pre-printed line on the back of mom and dad's bill - "not for profit" hospital.

I'm going to hang on to the bill for my birth. Someday, one of my children will have it in their hands and find it as much as a marvel as I am. But I hope and pray that they won't have the reflection about the implication of medical cost unaffordability that it provokes in me now.

Song stuck (really stuck this time) in my head: Angel from Montgomery written by John Prine and sung by any good female artist.

Godspeed, Dennis. I hope the fishing in your new home in the sky is awesome.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
04-18-2019Front Page


04-18-2019Front Page
Town Of Middle Inlet Has New Town Clerk/Treasurer

04-18-2019Front Page
Peshtigo Council Denies Sewer Rate Reduction For BPM, Inc.

04-18-2019Front Page
County Board Supports Anti-Marijuana Resolution

04-18-2019Front Page
Name Bantes "Honorary Bulldog" For Her Crossing Guard Heroism

04-18-2019Front Page
Herman Pottratz Takes Over As Town of Peshtigo Chairman

04-18-2019Sports
Jack Farley Is TimesLand 2017-18 Top Athlete

04-18-2019Sports
Chloe Gruszynski Tops Area Athlete List for 2017-18

04-18-2019Sports
Cougars Claim Extra Inning Victory Over Niagara 8-7

04-18-2019Sports
WIAA Winter Team Tournament Sportsmanship Awards Selected

04-18-2019Sports
Area Athletes Get Back on The Track

04-18-2019Sports
Bulldogs Get Past Clippers With Late Inning Rally

04-18-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Lions Honor 3 State Champs

04-18-2019Community - Coleman
Pound Woman's Club To Celebrate 100 Years

04-18-2019Community - Coleman
ADRC Program at Coleman Library

04-18-2019Community - Crivitz
LNRD Board Meeting April 18

04-18-2019Community - Crivitz
PTSD Run Sponsor Donations for Veterans

04-18-2019Community - Crivitz
Medicare Talk at Crivitz Apr. 30

04-18-2019Community - Crivitz
Dry Hootch at Crivitz May 15

04-18-2019Community - Wausaukee
Northwoods Church Easter Service

04-18-2019Community - Wausaukee
Voices of Peace Easter at Athelstane

04-18-2019Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian Church Bake Sale May 10th

04-18-2019Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Meeting May 13th

04-18-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-18-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

04-18-2019Perspectives
From My Window

04-18-2019Obituaries
Alice Behnke

04-18-2019Obituaries
Carol J. Bohan

04-18-2019Obituaries
Jerome Degayner

04-18-2019Obituaries
Elizabeth A. Driskill

04-18-2019Obituaries
Judy A. Ehmer

04-18-2019Obituaries
Bernard J. Fatla

04-18-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Gerisch

04-18-2019Obituaries
Charles Gretzinger

04-18-2019Obituaries
Marie P. Hanson

04-18-2019Obituaries
Helen E. Herr

04-18-2019Obituaries
Pauline H. Jakups

04-18-2019Obituaries
Rebecca J. Larmay

04-18-2019Obituaries
Janice M. Lehman

04-18-2019Obituaries
Deirdre Linder

04-18-2019Obituaries
Mary Meyer

04-18-2019Obituaries
Joan E. Miller

04-18-2019Obituaries
Myrna M. Miller

04-18-2019Obituaries
Norma J. Pecor

04-18-2019Obituaries
Naida C. Philipps

04-18-2019Obituaries
Alfred Ouellette

04-18-2019Obituaries
Thomas O. Rastall

04-18-2019Obituaries
Maynard J. Robbins, Jr.

04-18-2019Obituaries
Thomas P. Roland

04-18-2019Obituaries
Helen M. Schanke

04-18-2019Obituaries
Katharina Schwabe

04-18-2019Obituaries
Gerald Thirion

04-18-2019Obituaries
George Tomek

04-18-2019Obituaries
Barbara E. Valentine

04-18-2019Obituaries
Helen J. Zeh

04-18-2019Obituaries
Mark A. Zenil

04-11-2019Front Page
Two Graduate From Drug Court April 1

04-11-2019Front Page
City Postpones BPM Rate Request To April 16 Meeting

04-11-2019Front Page
County May Consider Marijuana Referendum

04-11-2019Front Page
Marinette Council Okays Walmart Liquor Change

04-11-2019Front Page
Coleman School Renovation Bids Approved, Work Starts

04-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Jr/Sr High 3rd Quarter Honor Roll Listed

04-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Card Parties Benefit Wagner Fire Department

04-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Walk Through Nature Talk at Wausaukee

04-11-2019Community - Wausaukee
Easter Egg Hunt April 20

04-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz High School Lists 3rd Quarter Honor Roll

04-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Country Jam at Crivitz April 12

04-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club To Meet April 18

04-11-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Meeting May 15

04-11-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Lions Club Brunch April 14

04-11-2019Community - Coleman
Cancel Good Friday Fish Fry

04-11-2019Community - Coleman
Coleman Reunion for Classes of 1943-1965

04-11-2019Community - Coleman
Craft, Vendor Show at Equity June 15

04-11-2019Sports
Area Baseball Teams Off To Good Start

04-11-2019Sports
Marines Take Two From Truckers at Home

04-11-2019Sports
Area Outdoor Track & Field Season Gets Underway

04-11-2019Sports
Chronic Wasting Disease Increase During 2018 Surveillance Season

04-11-2019Perspectives
From Our Readers

04-11-2019Perspectives
From My Window

04-11-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-11-2019Obituaries
Phyllis C. Beaudo

04-11-2019Obituaries
Harold Broderick

04-11-2019Obituaries
Donna M. Buelteman

04-11-2019Obituaries
Diane Chatlosh

04-11-2019Obituaries
Barbara A. Drake

04-11-2019Obituaries
Milford L. Eberly

04-11-2019Obituaries
Judy A. Ehmer

04-11-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Erdman

04-11-2019Obituaries
Shirley A. Fick

04-11-2019Obituaries
Diane R. Flynn

04-11-2019Obituaries
Muriel J. Gilbert

04-11-2019Obituaries
Ruth M. Hecht

04-11-2019Obituaries
Robert L. Helm

04-11-2019Obituaries
Kathleen L. Hemingway

04-11-2019Obituaries
Russell G. Kamps

04-11-2019Obituaries
Richard Kapla

04-11-2019Obituaries
LaVerne H. Kufner

04-11-2019Obituaries
Helen P. Kruse

04-11-2019Obituaries
Janice M. Lehman

04-11-2019Obituaries
Alexander J. Maxwell

04-11-2019Obituaries
John G. Rupple

04-11-2019Obituaries
John L. Seaborg

04-11-2019Obituaries
Judy Ann Shields 

04-11-2019Obituaries
Mary A. Smit

04-11-2019Obituaries
Shirley A. St. Pierre

04-11-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Steffen

04-11-2019Obituaries
Jon Stewart

04-11-2019Obituaries
Donald E. Vandermuss

04-11-2019Obituaries
Cathy Volm

04-11-2019Obituaries
Charles H. Weber

04-11-2019Obituaries
Betsy Werner

04-04-2019Obituaries
Albert P. Behrens

04-04-2019Obituaries
David M. Bloch

04-04-2019Obituaries
Eugene A. Dubey

04-04-2019Obituaries
Morton R. Gentz

04-04-2019Obituaries
Clare M. Helnik.

04-04-2019Obituaries
Eugene J. Homan

04-04-2019Obituaries
Delmar O. Kubitz

04-04-2019Obituaries
Elaine K. Lacasse

04-04-2019Obituaries
Bernice L. Laduron

04-04-2019Obituaries
Patrick D. Pichette

04-04-2019Obituaries
Janis Porfilio

04-04-2019Obituaries
Shirley G. Richardson

04-04-2019Obituaries
Lucille Rondeau

04-04-2019Obituaries
Robert L. Schroth

04-04-2019Obituaries
Gerald D. Shepherd

04-04-2019Obituaries
Agnes C. Skrzypinski

04-04-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Steffen

04-04-2019Obituaries
Nancy D. Strem

04-04-2019Obituaries
Mary J. Tadisch

04-04-2019Obituaries
Daniel J. Trinko

04-04-2019Obituaries
Robert J. Wolford

04-04-2019Perspectives
Country Cousin

04-04-2019Perspectives
From My Window

04-04-2019Perspectives
From our readers

04-04-2019Sports
Kralovetz's Norway Title Adds to Guitar Collection

04-04-2019Sports
Lady Marines Take Top Spot at Spartan Invite

04-04-2019Sports
Bulldogs Come From Behind to Beat Blue Devils 6-5

04-04-2019Sports
Blue Devils Use Long Ball to Nip Bulldogs 7-5

04-04-2019Community - Wausaukee
Post 66 to Meet April 6

04-04-2019Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Women Easter Breakfast

04-04-2019Community - Wausaukee
Lions Annual Flower Sale

04-04-2019Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board Holds Special Meet For Bills

04-04-2019Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet To Meet April 11th

04-04-2019Community - Crivitz
Dry Hootch Comes to Crivitz

04-04-2019Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Library Open House Apr. 10

04-04-2019Community - Crivitz
CBA Egg Hunt Apr. 20

04-04-2019Community - Coleman
Library Program on Rhubarb, Asparagus

04-04-2019Community - Coleman
Craft, Vendor Show at Equity June 15

04-04-2019Community - Coleman
Pancake Brunch in Coleman on April 4


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think Wisconsin should legalize marijuana?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2019
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites