Everyone dreads receiving a medical bill, especially if you don’t have good medical insurance. A family in Utah just recently had a baby by C-section. C-section births require a bit more time and resources than a natural birth would because it requires opening the mother up and getting the baby out. The doctor had asked the father while the mother was in labor if they wanted to hold the baby after it was born, to which the man replied yes. When they received their medical bill from the hospital they noticed an unusual charge on the bill labeled “SKIN TO SKIN AFTER C-SEC” for $39.35. The father of the baby jokingly posted the bill on the internet claiming that he was being charged for holding his baby after the baby was born. The post blew up and became one of the top posts on the site. The hospital at which the baby was born ended up being contacted and came out with a statement that the charge was not for holding the baby, but for having an extra set of hands in the operating room to ensure that the baby was safe while the mother and father held the baby. While this sounds like a reasonable claim, there is nothing stopping hospitals and other medical facilities for charging high fees for simple things.
The article from the New York Times refers to a statement made by Tom Hudachko, that says, “the state does not have any rate-setting authority on any plans outside of Medicaid”. I think that these hospitals and medical facilities are acting unjustly just because they’re not being regulated on certain things. It is clear that these places are charging fees and taking advantage of people because they won’t be held accountable or be punished. The hospitals and medical organizations that make up these charges and ask for more money are “wearing the ring of Gyges”. Plato speaks on the ring of Gyges in his writings and he claims that people will act unjustly if there are no repercussions and if given the opportunity. There is no reason for these hospitals to be slamming people with extra charges that they make up in order to obtain more money because they are not being punished or held accountable. Plato claims in his story of the ring of Gyges that not even a just man would act justly if given the opportunity to better himself if there were no repercussions. I think that if we continue to allow these hospitals just or unjust to go ungoverned will start to try and benefit themselves more and more by charging higher rates.