Hospitals vs. gov’ment: public gets it both ways

I’ve always referred to Roger Oberg as my friend. The retired superintendent of Oxford Area Schools treated me well in that job and, I’ve thought, continues this treatment.
By his chosen profession he’s a prolific reader, curious and a searcher for humor. And, when finished with a paper, he passes it on, knowing my propensity toward cheapness that I won’t subscribe.
Through Roger, I get the UP’s Porcupine Press and the Mature Advantage. I really think Roger gets both as gift subscriptions, which brings him to my level of thriftiness.
It’s the reading of the Mature Advantage that makes me question the friendship. Nearly every issue has something that raises my hackles and drives me to drinking too much Ruby Red. Friends shouldn’t cause this.
The April issue of this Palm Coast, Florida paper is a good example. Our government’s over spending on stuff has apparently ignited a fuse in our medical field.
The ‘mature? magazine quoted Medical Billing Advocates of America’s lists of some outrageous hospital billings. Like: $57.50 for a teddy bear billed as a ‘cough support device,? $15 for a plastic bag of ice for ‘thermal therapy,? $57 for a strip of gauze to wipe down surgical equipment called a ‘fog elimination device,? $125 for the circumcision of a newborn child which was a baby girl and this all-time champ, $1,004 for a toothbrush.
The Billing Advocates say deciphering hospital bills is especially challenging. Like, what’s a ‘disposable mucous recovery system?? Tissue paper? And, what’s included in ‘room fee? and ‘recovery room??
I gotta stop, I’m getting red in the face and cramps in my hand from grabbing my wallet. Advocates say hospitals overcharge Americans by more than $10 billion a year, as many as 90 percent of hospital bills contain gross overcharges and the average daily charge in a hospital is $1,300.
One last up-chuck causing charge: $12 for one ibuprofen, which generally retails for three cents.
And, you know what? Challenge the bill and you’ll likely be turned in to a collection agency. By reputation they’re coldly inhumane.
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When I was a pre-teen living on a farm north of Bancroft our folks would make root beer in the summertime. They would bottle it, cap it, put the bottles in a bag and lower them into the well under the windmill for cooling. That’s the same well that cooled Dad’s home brew.
Root beer doesn’t have that same great taste today. Another soft drink of my youth was Cream Soda. Loved it. Haven’t seen Cream Soda on the shelves for years, but recently saw some in a bargain bin in Meijers.
The first couple bottles were as remembered, but that faded and I was back on Mountain Dew. Oh, yeah, and Ruby Red.
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Are there any commercials on television worse than the one with overweight Wilfred Brimley sitting on a horse pushing drugs, that too breasted, too thin exercising nut, John Basedow selling the Fitness Made Simple plan or that droning, condescending guy giving away a video that will assure single people getting the right mate?
Thank goodness for clickers!