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Breaking: North Dakota Becomes First State To Ban All Abortions By Defining Life At Conception
March 22, 2013
North Dakota lawmakers voted on Friday afternoon to pass a “personhood” abortion ban, which would endow fertilized eggs with all the rights of U.S. citizens and effectively outlaw abortion. The measure, which passed the Senate last month, passed the House by a 57-35 vote and will now head to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s desk.
The personhood ban will have far-reaching consequences even beyond abortion care, since it will charge doctors who damage embryos with criminal negligence. Doctors in the state say it will also prevent them from performing in vitro fertilization, and some medical professionals have vowed to leave the state if it is signed into law.
The measure is so extreme that some pro-life Republicans in the state have come out against it, planning to join a pro-choice rally in the state capital on Monday to oppose the far-right abortion restriction. “We have stepped over the line,” Republican state Rep. Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) said of the recent push to pass personhood. “North Dakota hasn’t even passed a primary seatbelt law, but we have the most invasive attack on women’s health anywhere.”
Personhood advocates have pushed their agenda in states throughout the country over the past several years, but their measures have so far been unable to advance. North Dakota is the first state to pass a personhood abortion ban.
The hospital did a single toenail clipping. The bill is $1,206. Welcome to America's health-care system.
by Ezra Klein
(The Washington Post) - Last week I posted 21 charts showing the absurdly high prices Americans pay for health care. One reader wrote in with a story that is perhaps more compelling than any of them:
Let me briefly share with you a rather amazing personal experience of overcharging by a Harvard-affiliated hospital here in the Boston area. It’s not a huge matter, but it is so outrageous and almost funny in a way that I thought you might have an interest in using it, maybe in something you are otherwise working on.
The hospital did a single toenail clipping. The bill is $1,206.
To avoid misunderstandings, this was not a surgical intervention. It was the same kind of clipping that you do yourself every week, except that only a small piece of only one nail was clipped.
The whole encounter, including the prior doctor consultation, took about 15 minutes.
Admittedly, the tiny piece of toenail was sent in for lab analysis, because the doctor thought there might be some infection. (There wasn’t.) But the lab charges, although extremely high, were only part of the issue.
Here is how the charges broke down in detail. (From Brigham and Women’s, the dermatology department, dating from March 5, 2013.)
Office Visit — $248.00
Biopsy — $182.00
Treatment Room — $328.00
AMB Clinic — $117.00
Pathology Lab — $165.00
Laboratory Services — $166.00
Total — $1206.
I called the billing department of course, and they say that everything seems correctly coded. The billing person agreed personally that the numbers are outrageous but says there is nothing they can do about it. I then called the department of dermatology and spoke to two separate people there, who both also agreed that the charges are ridiculous, but they emphasized that there is nothing they can do, either. I have a call in to the Patient Relations department, and they have promised to return my call within two working days, but frankly I’m not holding my breath for any redress or mitigation from them.
My own personal experience with this - When I had my most serious diverticulitis flairup last summer, I would have died if I had not gone to the ER.
Let that sink in for a second. I WOULD HAVE DIED.
The bill ended up costing more than my car did. In fact over double that.