Maternity care in the United States is far more expensive than anywhere else in the developed world, and it’s not because we’re getting more services than women elsewhere.
In most developed countries, maternity care comes as a package that costs somewhere around $4,000 all in; women pay very little, if any, of that. Here, we are charged (sometimes twice) for each service we get, and much of it comes out of women’s pockets.
Adding it all up, hospitals charge about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and newborn care and about $50,000 for a c-section. Insurance companies usually negotiate down and pay between $18,000 and $28,000. Medicaid pays a lot less—about $9,000 for a vaginal delivery and $13,500 for a c-section. Women are then charged separately by their obstetricians (OBs), whom they pay either by the visit/service or on a flat-fee basis. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), this fee ranges from $4,000 in Denver to $8,000 in Manhattan.
$30,000 to deliver a baby.
Medicaid pays a fraction of that.
Next time you demand some woman with no job or no insurance just “have the baby” remember this and either pony up $30K or shut the fuck up.
Well, what they’re saying is that Medicaid itself doesn’t HAVE to pay that much. Pregnant low income women have their costs mostly covered and are generally speaking eligible for Medicaid (or can be: many people do not know this and/or don’t know how to apply or get proof of income). And I’m sure most people making this argument will wave that in your face,
HOWEVER — and here’s the catch 22 — if you and anyone else in your family together are making just a little more than would be considered low income (which is anything over about 133%-200% of the poverty line) you aren’t eligible for Medicaid and are thus ….really fucked since a lot of employers at that level don’t offer health insurance and the plans they do offer are shit. Like, at my last job I would not have been eligible for Medicaid if I got pregnant but I wouldn’t have had health insurance.
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, kids! We did perhaps neglect to mention that once you’re out of the swamp level of extreme poverty and its lovely welfare-ridiculing mosquitoes, you will find yourself floating up to a fluorescent food desert dodging giant steamrollers of debt. But hey, ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE, right? It’ll build character and fuel that self-righteousness you’ll need to stay on top if you do by chance ascend to the lap of luxury.
Uh…yeah. To reiterate, pony up.