Camille Johnson’s little sister suffers from a rare disease for which they don’t have a cure. She regularly visits doctors, but never expected to be charged $40 for “brief emotional assessment” after she cried at her latest check-up.
Johnson expressed her concern and anger on Twitter, stating that due to the rarity of her sister’s disease, getting the proper care has been expensive and hard, so she has been feeling frustrated and helpless. With the first show of a tear on her face, she was charged an extra $40 on her medical bill without anyone telling her.
The bill may say “brief emotional assessment” but Johnson assures that she did not receive any help or acknowledgment of her distress during her check up. They did not ask her why she was crying, or how they could help, or that they would charge her extra for it.
Health care in the United States has always been an issue. It is one of the most expensive developed countries regarding medical check-ups, ambulance services, surgeries and dentist appointments. According to a study by Peterson-KFF comparing medical expenses in different countries, “the Health spending per person in the U.S. was $11,945 in 2020, which was over $4,000 more expensive than any other high-income nation”.
According to an NBC News Survey from February 2020, 1 out of 3 Americans worry about affording healthcare.1 in 5 likely voters also said they had problems paying or were unable to pay their medical bills over the last two years.
To seek medical aid in the U.S. is to navigate in a healthcare system rotating around a “for-profit insurance system”, where most insurance companies are private, leaving the prices on the rise, and medical attention morphs into a privilege, and not the right it should be. To add a rare disease with no cure, and constant doctor’s appointments with no result, just aggravates the stress Camille Johnson’s sister felt, and having unexplained charges for “emotional assessment” as a result seems all the more offensive.