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Stung by a Scorpion, Then by a Hospital. This Could Happen to You.

Written by Gary North on September 7, 2012

An Arizona woman was stung by a scoprion. She went to the hospital. It gave her two shots. Then it charged her $39,652.

Per shot.

In Mexico, the same shot costs $100.

Then it charged her extra fees for the visit. Total bill: over $83,000.

Conclusion: government-regulated health care is not working for patients. It is working great for hospitals.

Here are the details.

Marcie Edmonds was stung by a scorpion. At first, there were no major problems. But symptoms began bothering her. She could not walk.

She called poison control, which advised her to go to a hospital. (Smart people. They won’t get sued.)

The hospital did not give her an IV of vitamin C (cheap). It gave her an IV of a new drug, which costs the hospital $3,780 per dose.

The physician never mentioned cost, She, being naive, never asked.


Three weeks later, she was billed a little over $83,000, or $39,652 per dose.

The drug firm sells the drug to distributors in the USA for $3,500 per dose. The distributor charges the hospital $3,780.

In Mexico, the same drug costs $100 per dose.

Hospitals charge all they can. In her area, some charge $8,000 per dose. Others charge $13,000. But this lady got the all-time sting.

Her insurer paid $57,509, The hospital is demanding $25,537 from her.

The scorpion got away scot-free.

Warning: never accept treatment at any hospital without a written estimate of the cost. If it’s verbal, you need an adult witness.

Better yet, live in Mexico.

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62 thoughts on “Stung by a Scorpion, Then by a Hospital. This Could Happen to You.

  1. delmar Jackson says:

    go to the nearest bus bench. sit down. call an ambulance. go to the hospital.leave your ID at home.tell them you are an immigrant. give a false name.give a false address.get treated for scorpion bite.never pay a single hospital bill.
    when people tell you we need immigrants or lettuce and strawberries or rutabaga will be $20 a pound and rich people will not be able to find nannies for their brats or peons to mow their lawns,, you can just laugh and laugh and laugh.

  2. This is a good example of Obama Care efecting our good health care. I ready to echo Col West statemetn…..Col West statment…………………. http://patriotupdate.com/17875/allen-west-to-obam

  3. The reason that hospital bills are so high is because insurers will never pay the entire bill. Over the years, the hospitals have taken to padding the bill to try to get the 40% of the bill that insurers actually end up paying afer 3 months to get close to covering overhead.

    What the hospitals forget, of course, is that the consumer gets stuck with the part of the exhorbitant bill that the insurer doesn't pay. It is as ignorant and disimissive of this as Congress is when it passes increased taxes on businesses, knowing full well that the costs will be passed to the voters.

    The healh insurance and hospital business has become an extortion racket. That's why Obamacare was passed. The Democrats wanted their cut of the loot.

  4. Sapphira Sez says:

    It seems the hospital IS the scorpion here. Shadow of things to come, folks. Get ready!! Prepare yourselves, don't ever get stung by a bee, wasp, scorpion, mosquito, or bit by a snake; don't fall, and certainly don't get shot or stabbed. The hospital will make you wish you had just died where you lay. Seriously, folks, you are all going to have to be more proactive about your own health. Take vitamins (while you can still get them, before oblamercare outlaws them), keep your immunity up, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and be aware of germy places such as crowded malls. (Is a 15% off sale really worth it??) You don't have to stop shopping or going to sporting events, just be aware of sneezy, coughy people and use lots of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. Be careful, it's a jungle out there!!!


  6. DHIMINNTUDE and 21 new taxes should be enough reason to send Obama packing and voting for at least 4 more Republican Senators in order to be rid of Harry Reid's hold on the Senate!

  7. I went for a chest X-ray yesterday. My first choice was a local hospital, since it was closer. When we got to the hospital, my wife (bless her) asked how much the X-ray would cost, since we're not insured. The X-ray was $334.00 and there would be another $200 fee for a radiologist to read the X-ray. We went to the second choice, which was a radiology clinic. The cost for an X-ray there? $67.00. Let's see, $534 at the hospital vs. $67 at the clinic. I guess the hospital's got a little higher cost structure, wouldn't you say? Afterwards, we went out to lunch and I didn't feel bad at all about the $20 tab!

  8. Possibly the reason it only costs $100 in Mexico is that Mexican hospitals refuse to pay the drug companies their outrageous fees for drugs. So the companies sell to Mexico hospitals on the cheap and jack up the price in the US. They do the same in Canada, England and the rest of the world. If the companies still don't bring down the price then those countries don't have those medicines available.

  9. why should we do that when the illegals let us pay for their health care and walk away laughing.

  10. The idea behind obamacare was never to provide low cost healthcare for the american people. It's purpose was to funnel all healthcare money thorugh Washington. D.C. before it goes anywhere else, giving politicians the opportunity to get their "piece of the action" before the actual health care providers do.

    Obamacare initiated a "protection racket" operated by the federal government and targeting health care providers directly, and their patients indirectly.

  11. Deepizzaguy says:

    Or better yet live in Panama.

  12. But I thought it was the republicans that were throwing grandma over the cliff ?

  13. Big Pharmaceuticals and Health Insurance companies have had a real racket going in this country since Nixon!

  14. I have been stung by a scorpion many times (I live in scorpion-infested Texas). In every case, just putting ice on the sting did the trick. The sting is actually not as bad as a wasp sting. This sounds like an insurance scam.

  15. I've been stung by scorpions… twice. One time, was in my sleep. Got more than a dozen sting sites. All, in Mexico. Never went to the doctor. Took anti-histamine, like Contact. Hurt like hell, but went fishing anyway. All symptoms gone in 24hrs. I understand that bees, scorpions and stingrays (been zapped by these guys a couple of time, too.) all have similar toxins. Never been to the Dr, for this yet. the best remedy I've seen, is to submerge the sting site in the hottest water, one can stand. The heat breaks down the toxin. Just say'n…

  16. It would cost $100 here too, but someone has to pay for the 3,965 people who got theirs free.

  17. And the libs still think this healthcare is the best thing that has ever happened to them! I truly hope they get burned bad using this healthcare! I'm a senior, so I know whats in store for me! nothing! just hope who ever I'm paying for gets burned too!

  18. What you're forgetting is all those union-padded salary/benefit packages the hospital has to pay to their own staff to provide the care for the woman, on TOP of the padded charges pharmaceutical houses charge American consumers to offset those LOWER rates they charge every other nation in the world for the exact same drugs! That's a huge chunk of why our medical costs are so high. I practiced nursing and my sis still does. Think we don't know ? All the lab techs, x-ray techs, etc, have to get paid. And EVERYTHING opened in the process gets charged for too, so if you use 1 4×4 out of a pack of 10, you pay for all 10 because they "can't be used for someone else, what with the chances of cross contamination for which the hospital can be sued. Ditto all equipment now is disposable, rather than reusable; an autoclave and wrappings would be ever so much cheaper as would not replacing every basin, clamp, bedpan,, etc. Get the picture? Obamacare ISN'T going to "fix" this, it makes a horrendous situation so much more abysmally worse as to be indescribable!

  19. I'm nearly 68, have Medicare Part A; B; D and an F supplement, but I live 580 miles south of Laredo in the mountains of central Mexico and pay for all (including Prescription drugs from Canada) medical and dental expenses out of pocket.

    When Obamamama care is fully implemented on 1 January 2014, I'm dumping the MC B;D and F supplement as there is no penalty and all can be reinstated – no pre existing condition clause – in less than 24 hours on the internet or with a phone call in the event of a serious illness. Once seniors realize this, the insurance companies will go mad.

    ret expat MD: NBME; ABIM; ABNM; ABR w/spec comp NR and 45 years in medicine

  20. Carlos & PDuffy: Some members of the scorpion family buthidae have a potent, dangerous venom that can be fatal to humans. Best not to be too cavalier about scorpion stings.

  21. avid,

    You're absolutely correct!! That's why more clinics are opening across the country. Personally, I've received beter service at clinics than I've ever received in hospitals. About to go into a hospital for a procedure that the clinic cannot perform. Same Doctors, just a differrent venue. Will be interesting to see the costs when it's over.

  22. From an old Pest Control guy, you got it right!!!!!!!

  23. Yes, but those are not the scorpions with which we normally come in contact in most of Texas. These little guys that sting, while it will be painful, very rarely killed anyone.

  24. Government run health care…….no, this is about corporate profit run insurance centric health care.

  25. David Stovall says:

    The high costs are called "cost shifting" The hospitals are forced to give free care to walk-ins, Ten walk-in and one paying customer with insurance and a job, gets billed for his treatment plus the ten free ones. The makers must pay for the takers.
    "The Compassion Slope" gets steeper and steeper.

  26. OMG…. what the heck! There you have it folks, obummer healthcare at it’s best. So the pharmaceutical company make a huge profit, the hospital make a OMG profit. The Insurance company paid out big bucks and the patient gets screwed. This hospital must be in such financial trouble from the burden of illegals that their taking it out on the insurance company’s, which raise our premiums , to pay for all the feer care they give to people who don’t even belong here. This is one financial burden illegals put on us and obummer has all the answers, my ass! I would tell the hospital to take s hike! I wouldn’t give them one cent. I’d say, my insurance company has already paid you way too much!!!!

  27. The hospital routinely writes off most or all of the extra charge initially dutifully assigned to the patient. The system is very costly to operate with thousands of well paying jobs and the federal system redistributes taxes collected to make it all more equitable in somebody's mind. Even our children and grand kids will go scott free by paying off the debt with monumental piles of printed paper called 'money'-the official 'storehouse of value'. Well, it works until nobody buys the government bonds and the paper becomes not worth less, just worthless!

    No problem. Just issue new paper with fewer zeros and bingo the game starts over again. The only losers are those that had some value in the pot. Once or twice around and money will be useless- barter becomes the money and food becomes the most valuable money to use until it spoils! Oh, well, remember that the planners will always have an answer and be thankful that your past overeating is now feeding your hungry body!

  28. "Warning: never accept treatment at any hospital without a written estimate of the cost. If it’s verbal, you need an adult witness."

    Oh, this is just brilliant. You've just been stung by a scorpion and might be going into anaphylactic shock but you're going to stop and get a written estimate. Good luck with that. If you're so concerned with cost, you should just hack off the appendage about 2-4" above the sting, burn the end, wrap it up and call it good. Then take a Sharpie and write "IDIOT" on your forehead.

  29. buzz131950 says:

    How does this have anything to do with government run health care or the health care law? It looks like the abuses of the insurance company and the hospital to me.

  30. Sounds like you understand, I wish more Americans did. But its even worse. The BO health plan is an undercover way of making America pay the JIZYA tax to islam, which believes it has conquered us, It will use the insurance companies to collect under law. then a small kickback to government. big saleries for the traitor insurance executives. a tiny percentage to pay medical claims and the huge percentage to islam as our JIZYA tax.. Pray for America to be free of the fungus in the white house

  31. Don DeHoff says:

    There should be a public hearing in the state where the treatment was rendered and the doctors and hospital should be required to justify their billing—-surely, if the doctor has a "do no harm" oath to uphold, so does the hospital—-serious fines should be in order. Note I recently saw an unverified post wherein a person who received a routine appendicectomy, and received a bill for over $20,000. The medical "industry" needs to get an annual physical

  32. Its really an argument for single payer health cre – like almost every other industrialized country in the world has. While the dope who wrote this thing argues, bizarrely, for a health care system completely unregulated by government (in which car
    se why wouldn't they charge her $50,000 a shot. Whats she going to say? "No I'd rather die"?) it in any case has exactly nothing to do with Obomneycare. A: its not a public hospital. Its a Catholic hospital — get the thieving Christians out of the health care! – and B: None of the few provisions in the ACA affecting hospital billing practices are in effect yet. The real problem, as others have noted here, aren't the Catholics or government regulation but the fact that private insurance companies only pay a fraction of the costs, so hospitals and MDS have a huge incentive to pad bills. The difference goes directly into the wallets of the insurance companies who add exactly nothing to the quality of health care and saddle the US with the most expensive health care costs in the world.

  33. Don DeHoff says:

    Gumby, what are you saying?. The insurance company does not do the billing, and they surely do not favor huge bills as that increases their "payout", which decreases their profit margin and increases their premiums, whcih in turn makes them less competitive.

  34. Don DeHoff says:

    Sir, while you have lots of prefixes and sufixes to your name, I question your logic and interpretation of what ObamaCare is (and is not) all about—but then again, I have only read about 10% of the several thousand pages. I have not reached the part where they discuss coveriage for people who live out of country.

  35. Scott Todd says:

    What, so our medical care can be as good >puke< as that in Britain? Single payer may save the individual a lot of dough for a particular visit but it ultimately ruins health care and really costs a whole lot, but most never catch on because it's part of the taxes they pay.

  36. sounds like a plan to me. I had almost $100K in hospital bills over a 3 year time frame with my 2 kids. They were diabetic and new to it. It takes a yearor so to train a kid. their blood would go hi because they didn't cover the carbd well at luch so the school would call an EMU the ride to the hospital 6 miles away was 1800.00 The hospital bill for a 5 day stay " they always kept the kids for 3 to 5 days was never less than 12k I had insurance that paid 80% after 3 years of this I wasmakin payments to 2 hospitals for almost 100K.

    Should have told the kids to go on the bus a?

  37. Don DeHoff says:

    Insurance scam? perhaps between a couple of people, but not the insurance company—-they "paid out" the money, and excessive payouts destroy their profit margin and force them to raise premiums, which in turn makes them less competitive.Of course, it would be prudent to check all insurance companies' profit margins, but keep in mind, medical insurance companies must have huge reserves in event of catastrophic medical issues, such as a plague, deadly flu outbreak, or similiar epidemics.

  38. she should sue the hospital for not giving her any option but instead they jack up the bill to a lvl that ludicrous the board at that hospital needs to be fired

  39. Try cancer treatments, if you want expensive. I could have shot my wife and put her out of her misery, but opted for treatment instead. Hospital/drug/radiation/doctor/rehab, etc , last I checked before I gave up, was about $350k. She's now in remission, but still receiving treatments and rehab.

  40. I am 59-year-old lawyer retired on disability because of multiple sclerosis for the last three years. I went into a wheelchair in 1999, but was able to keep working until late 2008. I now receive Medicare for healthcare, which would've wiped down my retirement funds by now. Your rant comes across as both foolish and racist. I do not like Obama. But all this foolishness about him being born outside of the United States and being a Muslim are quite simply ridiculous. I actually feel sorry for you because of your obvious anger and illiteracy. All you accomplish is to turn off the moderates like me, which both candidates need to win. When both Social Security and Medicare were first proposed, similar arguments were made against them, as are now being made against Obamacare. You don't have to believe me, look up your history.

  41. Yours is one of the first intelligent and well reasoned responses I've seen both on this article, and indeed on this entire website. I am 59-year-old lawyer retired on disability because of multiple sclerosis for the last three years. I went into a wheelchair in 1999, but was able to keep working until late 2008. I now receive Medicare for healthcare, which would've wiped down my retirement funds by now. I do not like Obama. The stupid ranting about Obama being born outside of the United States and being a Muslim are quite simply ridiculous. All it accomplishs is to turn off the moderates like me, which both candidates need to win. When both Social Security and Medicare were first proposed, similar arguments were made against them, as are now being made against Obamacare. Poeple don't have to believe me, look up the history.

  42. Bravo!!!! Another smart comment. So few here. Most are just stupid. Obamacare will stop crazy crap like that, and illegals ARE NOT COVERED. These people cannot even read, much less reason. They just regurgitate what Fox News says.

  43. You are Wrong on so many levels. We already pay for the uninsured by higher insurance premiums and hospital bills and tax supported hospitals. So you get grotesque situations as listed in the article. I was a bankruptcy lawyer for 24 years of my 30 year in law practice. There were almost countless cases where people had to file bankruptcy because of either lac of insurance, or co-pays.

  44. Nancy. Please Stop Watching Fox News. I often wonder what is the color of the sky in their world? I have been on Medicare because of the major disability for four years. As a Christian, I welcome Obamacare for all Americans. You have been lied to.

  45. one of the reasons hospitals do this, besides avarice, is to pay for all the free health care they are forced to give to illegals, notice this in arizona, right across the border from mexico

  46. I have always been considered to be so far right, that I have fallen off the edge. Being surrounded by liberals, I have always tried very hard to see their side, but it’s been pretty much impossible, I have never been able to fool myself into believing in anything I hear that comes out of their mouths. That was until now. Listening to how they feel about “capping profits” on what corporations make, actually rang a bell with me. This story of the lady that had to pay $83,000 plus dollars for a scorpion antidote is the perfect example. Being that she could of have gotten that same antidote in Mexico for $100. is what blows me away. We would never be in this situation of obama care, if we would cap what all these pharmaceutical company’s are putting away in profits, at the costs of lives. Had caps been in place for hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies and some of these doctors, we could actually afford health care for almost everyone, without obama or obama care. (The last time I was in the hospital, I was charge $20 for a box of Kleenex, I never even used). Not only that, but doctors just like lawyers should be required to do a certain amount of pro bono work. Had this been the case, we could of saved ourselves a lot of grief with this obama care. Yes, doctors should be able to make a decent wage. However, they should be doing their job, because they love what they do. Their employment should never of been made due to wages alone and for some, that is exactly why they got into their field. Had we put caps on this whole industry, it would also help to ensure us all, they are in this line of work for the right reason, which would be an added plus for our confidence in them. I am for corporations making money, but not on others lifes.

  47. Patrot_765 says:

    Texas brown bark scorpions are very mild with their poison. (similar to a yellow jacket) Their smaller cousins in AZ and NM are much more poisonous…
    I got stung in Texas on my foot, and drove 850 miles that day. My wife stepped on a little dead one in a pool in AZ and lay in bed for three days…

  48. Pharmaceutical companies are not part of the racket. Their profits are reasonable considering they invest billions of dollars into researching for new medicines. These medicines save our lives. Although they are not perfect, I can tell you first hand that they are not the problem!

  49. Which hospital in AZ?

  50. Nothing to do with Obamacare, that's not even implemented yet! It's simply the sad state of med care in America for decades now.

  51. LOL It tickles me how the anti immigrant crew don't want illegal immigrants(aka Mexicans, 'cause they don't seem to have problems with the illegals from Europe), but they don't have problems with the cheap labor when it's convenient for them to exploit.

  52. Rustytruck says:

    I for one will not comply with one iota of that obamacare garbage. It's time to go back to natural cures and remedies. There are thousands of natural healers all over the country, and the old world cures work just fine. My ex was a Cherokee and she knew so many herbal and natural ways to heal with nature that I didn't need a doctor or hospital, and especially didn't need anything coming out of obama's mouth because it's a lie anyway. I'd love to see the entire modern medical system suddenly have no patients. Can you imagine not one person( Dems excluded- not real people anyway) at a hospital or doctor's office nationwide?

  53. In most of the operating world, invoices are paid 30-90 days after receipt. That is standard. So a bigger part of the cost we, the insured, pay is not for this, but for those people who pay little or nothing, and for the legal costs of insuring against lawsuits.Check it out, many doctors spend almost 30% of their costs on insurance against being sued.
    Yet Obamacare does nothing about frivilous lawsuits.

  54. I might guess that during my last 12 years in private practice when I was "collecting" 60% of my fees instead of 90%, I did more than my pro bono work!

    That's more than one reason I retired in 2003 at age 58.75.

    ret expat MD: NBME; ABIM; ABNM; ABR w/spec comp NR and 45 years in medicine

  55. Yet the rate of return on publicly held drug companies is not that unusual. So where does the money go? Overcharging here and normal pricing there should lead to above average rates of return and a gold rush spate of new entrants. So maybe what is actually happening is different. Maybe Mexico imposes below normal pricing there and the drug companies make up their losses from the theft on everybody not stealing. That is actually normal practice when retail stores suffer from shoplifters.

    The big problem is that every major country except the US steals this way. The whole system collapses when the last non stealing country signs on to socialized medicine.

  56. trackfodder says:

    Has everybody forgotten that you pour ammonia on a scorpion sting?

  57. We do need to know the name of the hospital that did this so people can protect themselves!

  58. I know it sounds crazy, but what the heck! There's a guy out there called Kelly Eidem, who wrote an article "How I Cured My Stage 4 Cancer In Two Weeks For Less Than The Cost Of A Night At The Movies." Google it and in the middle of the article he gives his recipe. It basically uses jalapeno peppers. He also recommends using Sinus Buster for cancer pain. He's got a YouTube video explaining it. It transports the capsicum into the bloodstream very rapidly and he presents a lot of testimonials. As I don't have cancer I myself can't vouch for it, but it's worth a try if your wife goes out of remission. Part of his explanation is that capsicum dissolves fibrin, which is essential for cancer cells to hold together. Just like capsicum up your nose dissolves the fibrin of your mucus, it does the same with CA. Again, I can't vouch for it personally as I don't have cancer, but it's worth a try.

  59. To Carlos: I tried onion juice on a bee sting. Worked like a charm.

  60. To smdares44: Good onya. So did I, just like most professionals do. You couldn't stand the heat, so you GOT OUT OF THE KITCHEN, and took your alphabet soup with you. But you are terrible at math. If you retired from medical practice at age 58.75, and had 45 years in medicine, you would have graduated from medical school at the age 13. NOT LIKELY!

  61. feet voting nurse says:

    Fourth decade 'inner city' health care. Major NYC hospital. We have so many parasitic patients under the age of 55, on SSI, few have ever worked, as per their apologists (called social workers, devoutly securing and ensuring their jobs).
    One was profiled several years ago, "Rafaelito" had received over four hundred thousand dollars in taxpayer paid care in the previous twenty two year, but only in periods when not incarcerated. One of dozens seen here.
    Mid day shift experiences large influx of ghetto recipients of SSI third and fourth weeks every month. Their funds low, they feign 'depression, possible suicide urges' and get admitted, more taxpayer paid care and free drugs to coast out the month till next check. Also forstalls any SSI evaluation for possible vocational training, as they 'be sick'.
    Yes, they do vote, vans pick them up, and they get goodies.
    Think about when the standards are raised, evaluated, and when the funds decrease? What will they do?
    Leaving the city for better class of patient and less 'diverse' environment.
    If you can, please do the same.

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