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Hospital Prices Are Arbitrary. Just Look at the Kingsburys’ $100,000 Bill.

Newly public data reveal how little control consumers have over their healthcare costs, even with insurance. “Some people get penalized by that.”

10/28/2021 6:00:00 PM

Newly public data reveal how little control consumers have over their healthcare costs, even with insurance. “Some people get penalized by that.”

Barbara Kingsbury, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago, died in June, and her husband is still paying the bills. Newly public data reveal how some patients end up paying more at hospitals—and how little control consumers have over the amounts, even with insurance.

Oct. 28, 2021 10:06 am ETBarbara Kingsbury was diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago and embarked on an aggressive course of treatment. The bills piled up on the kitchen counter of her home in Volin, S.D., at one point hitting $94,000 in unpaid fees and interest. With debt collectors threatening a lawsuit, her husband, Dennis Kingsbury, emptied her retirement savings in early May to pay most of the amount due.

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Bill collectors continued calling Ms. Kingsbury when she entered hospice care in early June, her husband said. She died on June 10, at age 62. In July, Mr. Kinsgbury received another hospital bill for $10,000. Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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Universal healthcare is the fix. Poor people can’t afford to live (literally), and rich people can’t be bothered to care.

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