British Couple Gets Hit With $200,000 Medical Bill Because Their Child Was Born During Their Vacation In NYC

The headline really begs the question, who the hell would ever want to visit the United States knowing they could be bankrupted if they should need medical care while they are here?

Because that’s exactly what a couple from England is experiencing after their son was born 11 weeks early during their five-day trip to New York City.

Katie Amos and her fiancé Lee Johnston were hoping to welcome the birth of their child in March long after returning to their home in the UK.

But while sightseeing in Central Park, Katie unexpectedly went into labor and later gave birth to a 3 lb baby boy they named Dax at Lenox Hill Hospital. So far, Dax is doing well and is adored by his parents. However, their experience with the US healthcare system has been a nightmare.

Doctors have informed the couple that their son cannot leave the hospital until March, and that’s a major problem because they have no money, no clothes and no support system for the next two months while they are stranded in New York City. Meanwhile, they can’t work and they have bills to pay in the UK. And they face a $200,000 medical bill on top of all of that.

Currently, the Ronald McDonald House is paying for temporary hotel accommodations while their baby is in intensive care but they need financial help to get them through the next two months and to pay a hospital bill no human being should ever have to deal with in the first place.

So, they have set up a fundraising page and have creatively told their story from Dax’s point of view:

Hi, my name is Dax Johnston. My Mummy and Daddy went on a 5 day break to New York as a last get away before I came along! They went to a cake shop (Mummy loves cakes), and were walking through Central Park on a movie tour and I decided they were having such a good time I wanted to see what all the fun was about, and I decided to pop out 11 weeks early!!!!! Oooops! Maybe it wasn’t a good idea as now we are not aloud to leave the hospital until March the 10th!!!!! We need your help as Mummy and Daddy have no money, no clothes, no friends or family or a familiar face to just say hello to! I know they are scared, but they have some good friends back home that are working very hard to help me! I have already appeared in 3 News Papers! Even the Daily Mirror! We are not sure if Mummy and Daddy’s Travel Insurance is going to cover our costs so they are very worried as the bill is looking at being over $200,000 which is ¬£130,000!!! Yikes! No matter how small a donation you can make it will be greatly appreciated. Thankyou xxx

To date, Katie and Lee have managed to raise around $9,000 to help them get through their ordeal. But they aren’t the only international travelers who have been screwed over by the high costs of the American healthcare system.

Last year, a Canadian woman gave birth to a premature baby while on vacation in Hawaii and found herself slapped with a $1 million bill. The birth and hospital stay would have basically been free in Canada. Even in the UK, Katie and Lee would have been better off. Giving birth in a National Health Service hospital, along with the care provided to their baby would have been free. Even a private hospital in the UK would have been astronomically cheaper by comparison, only costing $15,000.

The United States should be ashamed and embarrassed by this horrible story. The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyful experience, not a financial nightmare. How are people supposed to take care of their kids if the hospital takes all of their money to pay for the birth? Furthermore, why should any resident of another nation risk traveling to the United States at all if they could easily become poor by having to stay in a hospital here? In the eyes of the world, our healthcare system is still pathetic despite the fact that ObamaCare has made it better for millions of Americans. But the fact is, compared to the rest of the world, we are far behind. We may have the best doctors and the best facilities in the world, but private ownership and greed has turned our healthcare system into a financial disaster for patients. Bottom line: it’s time for the US to implement a single-payer healthcare system. Then we could all afford to see the doctor without worrying about going bankrupt in the process.

UPDATE: Due to public pressure, the hospital has decided not to charge Katie and Lee with a $200,000 bill. You can read more about this happy ending by clicking here.

Featured Image courtesy of Dax’s Tale of New York fundraising page. Please donate if you can. Let’s show this couple that they have friends here.