The Ghosts Of Christmas Presents (Part Two)

Now bills I expected, and bills I had already received in multiples, but they at least had the grace to be in the triple digits, and not arrive on Christmas Eve! (The chain draped spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge evidently haunts the hospital’s automated billing department these days. (1) )

And to add insult to injury, this bill was not only unexpected (the plan was for L. to be born in a birth center, not a hospital) and unwelcome (for obvious reasons), but (and it pains me to write this) . . . legally legitimate, despite the fact that attempting to pay it would break an uncomfortably high percentage of households in this country right now.  Honestly, it felt to me more akin to being bent over a barrel for immoral purposes than a bill for services rendered considering that the alternative to accepting services was to risk the life of child and mother.

My first thought upon receiving this bill and confirming that it was truly going to be an out of pocket expense was . . . unkind, to put it mildly, and involved carbon monoxide.  (You see, I’ve been trying to expunge the phrase “D.I.A.F.” (2) from my vocabulary as something I don’t want L. picking up from me . . .)

My second thought (the one I’ll be acting on, in case this needs to be spelled out) was . . . “This is going to hurt, but at least I have the resources to pay it, and pay it I will.”

But the hospital billing department is so off my Christmas card list.

(1)  What?  You didn’t really think he’d get off that easily, did you?

(2) And I’m not linking to that because I don’t think anyone should pick up the phrase from me


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