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$20,000 hospital stay
My wife had a hard time urinating, so her doctor referred her to a surgeon at Munson Medical Center who specializes in large fibroid cysts. We had a consultation and were told of the success of its removal.
My wife is a student at NMC and I am a part time teacher.
She had student insurance which covered only $4,000-$5,000 max out of pocket (which we didn’t know at the time).
Nobody, including our consultation with the doctor, told us the cost of this procedure.
There was a 23-hour stay at the hospital.
Afterward, we received a bill for over $20,000.
There’s not much to say except we make just enough to not qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford the best insurance.
To make matters worse, we got multiple bills from different parts of the hospital. From radiology to anesthesia to the doctor herself.
We’ve been put on a payment plan, but haven’t the resources to pay this. We have $15,000 left on our bill and don’t know where to turn.
Tom Auch • TC
Marriage & procreation
One of the main concerns expressed during the recent Supreme Court deliberations concerning gay marriage was the view that the main purpose of traditional marriage was procreation, and therefore the marriage of same-sex couples was pointless and even invalid.
I immediately thought of my own marriage of 23 years between a postmenopausal female and a vasectomy recipient. Why should our marriage be legal and recognized? I firmly believe that in terms of procreational potential, all couples should be treated the same. So according to the rigid value system of some, my marriage, along with its tax benefits, should be invalidated.
Another commonly voiced concern is that acceptance of gay marriage would somehow tend to “normalize” homosexuality. Both heterosexual and homosexual behavior can be bad. It is the bad and illegal behavior of either sexual orientation that we should not “normalize” as in the case of U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s attempt to normalize conception by heterosexual rape in proclaiming it to be God’s will.
Bob Ross • Pellston
As a foodie in a foodie area I was enjoying the “Best of” issue and making plans to visit some new and exciting restaurants when I came across “You know you’re from Northern Michigan when...”. I was looking forward to the usual chuckles about snow, Subaru’s and the usual whatnot when I came to the whenism “Everyone is white.”
I will be the first to agree that white people are the dominant race in Northern Michigan but Northern Michigan does have its share of diversity including Native Americans, Asians, African-Americans and many others. I was surprised and saddened that that whenism even made the list. I would have thought by now in the year 2013 that the growing cultural diversity in Northern Michigan would have been recognized.
Joe Kau-Be-Naw • member, GT Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
“Natural diversity in ecosystems provides essential economic benefits and services to human society—such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicines—as well as ecological, recreational, cultural and aesthetic values, and thus plays an important role in sustainable development.”
-- Chevron’s Biodiversity Statement, April 2012, http://www.chevron.com.
Sadly, our representatives in Lansing reject such science-based wisdom.
On January 24, Senator Darwin Booher co-sponsored Senate Bill 78. This bill would:
(1) prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing public lands for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity; (2) delete conservation of biological diversity from forest management objectives; and (3) eliminate the requirement to manage forests in a manner that promotes restoration.
No wonder the League of Conservation Voters ranks Senator Booher near the bottom of the pack.
Regrettably, this assault on Michigan’s forests and public lands passed the Senate on March 5 with only Republican votes.
SB78 is now pending in the House of Representatives. The League of Conservation Voters ranks Representative Ray Franz even lower than Senator Booher, so there is little reason to expect him to vote to preserve the biological diversity of Michigan‘s public lands.
Will Governor Snyder veto SB78? We don’t know.
Jay S. Johnson, Empire
Please note, it was Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak named the Best Athletic Gear Shop in Leelanau County in our recent “Best of Northern Michigan” issue. An editing error mangled the shop’s name.
Also, it was A. Papano’s Pizza chain that won “Best Restaurant Staff and Pizza” in Benzie County.