Erik Plate: ‘ER will run you dry’


To the editor:

Hello, I’m Erik and most of you might have known my mother, the late Kathie Johnson.

I recently took a trip to the emergency room after a nasty fall off a four-wheeler trailer last week and suffered a severe ankle sprain.

I love the staff at The Memorial Hospital. Everyone is really nice and I could joke with them like I usually do with everyone I meet.

I ended up getting an X-ray and an ankle brace (which was

absolutely useless, but I didn’t really notice since I was in so much pain at the time).

I recently got my bill. Keep in mind I don’t have insurance like most of the country, and good lord was it expensive —

$760 for less than an hour in the emergency .

Just a heads up to be careful if you don’t have insurance — that ER will run you dry.


Erik Plate


Frank Estey 6 years, 3 months ago


You may have been better off if you lost your drivers license and any documentation saying who you are then claiming you were an undocumented person from a foreign country… all those services would have been free.


taxslave 6 years, 3 months ago

Friend of mine, few years back, 50/hr/wk worker, min. wage. Heart attack, two days at memorial (stints installed), almost 15K. He only worried about the two weeks of work he missed because of it, the paychecks he wasn't getting, to just pay his rent.

I don't have the answer.


als362 6 years, 3 months ago

My answer is to get an education so you can get a job that gives you insurnce as a benefit.


David Moore 6 years, 3 months ago

Taxslave: "Heart attack, two days at memorial (stints installed), almost 15K." If your friend had "stents inserted", it was not at TMH and he got one heck of a deal for 15K. In the history of TMH there have been no cardiac catheterization procedures(aka Angioplasty) performed nor have any stents been inserted in any patients. Prices for angioplasty range from 30K all the way up to 108K, depending on the severity of the blockage and the implants used during the case. Location will also play into the price, have it done at a newly opened heart center and you will pay more than if you have it done at a well established center.

As far as the letter goes, it is my understanding that TMH pricing is competitive with critical access hospitals of its size across the country. Medical care is not cheap, despite only getting an X-ray and a brace, your paying for the modern X-ray machine, the new treatment room your sitting in, and the salaries for the patient representative checking you in, the Doctor who saw you, the Nurse who took care of you, the ER technician who initially helps before your seen by the Dr., the Radiology technician who took the film and the Radiologist who reads your film. The brace was probably 60 bucks, but it is what it takes to come to that conclusion that is what costs the $760. I'm not slamming the letter writer one bit and I am grateful that they chose TMH for their medical needs, that's what we are here for. I am however trying to point out that no matter where you go, Craig, Steamboat, Vernal, Rifle, Meeker, Glenwood, Denver, Vail, will pay the going rate and it does not vary much (although it does seem higher in the resort communities) from hospital to hospital.


taxslave 6 years, 3 months ago

David - You are correct. The 15K was for TMH for 2 days. He was then sent to GJ for stints...another 30K. Yes, all of this saved his life and I am so grateful.

Servicers that we enjoy each day have no insurance. Cooks at your favorite restaurant, bartenders, house keepers, etc. There are many people these days with MBA's working part time at walmart & mccy d's with no insurance so the education part doesn't apply any longer.

btw, the gov. is fix'in to take your Private retirement funds. Also, all those about to loose their jobs in the coal industry, unless they pay for cobra they'll be uninsured too.

Medicare pmts. are being cut back and many are being dropped from insurance. Doctors are no longer accepting MC patients. There is no universal coverage as that liar in the WH would have you believe and if you do sign on to obamacare you have to be implanted with a chip that carries you medical information......just read the bill. Scoff if you want, read the bill and see that it's true.

Also, the food safety bill makes it illegal for you to grow your own garden. Read the bill before you spout off saying it isn't true.


justoncrack 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm always impressed at how quickly us Craig-ites can take any subject and quickly change it to an anti-Obama rant. Seems a bit reaching to go from concerns over hosital bills to Obama requiring chip implantation, but you made it work.

Anywho, I took your advice and read through the bill (again.) Surprisingly, I couldn't find the part requiring chip insertion nor the anti-garden clause in the food safety bill. Oh well.

But I digress. Healthcare is expensive. So is health insurance. But it's completely worth it to me and my family. Is healthcare free to undocumented illegal aliens? Not any more than it is to anybody else. While I'm not privy to TMH accounting statements, I'm pretty sure more free care is given to legal citizen white folk that don't pay their bill than to illegal immigrants. But don't ever let the truth get in the way of a good arguement.


nightwatch 6 years, 3 months ago

just tell them you dont speak english and you are from mexico and social services will get everything for you free


taxslave 6 years, 3 months ago

No way have any of you read the thousands of pages involved in the health bill or the food bill.....NO WAY. I've been digesting this crap bill of the obamanation in DC for over a year now and YES, the "medical information device" IS in the bill.

You will know them......those who scoff without the facts are in more trouble then the rest. Soon to be washed away with the flood. WAKE UP PEOPLE.....we're in serious trouble.


taxslave 6 years, 3 months ago

Don't think for one minute this isn't going to impact your life. The gulf produces over 40 percent of the protein consumed in our country......and now it's DEAD....filling with gas and you betch MCounty, let them shake and destroy your land and devastate you folks too.


lonelyone 6 years, 3 months ago

taxslave, if you can spend the time to read the bills that come out about healthcare, why do you think no one else can take the time to read it and understand it too?? Gloom and doom, that's all you ever talk about.


justoncrack 6 years, 3 months ago

Apparently I'm not as literate as taxslave, but if I was actually able to read on my own, I would hazard a guess that the section of the healthcare bill he's referring to would be pages 1000 - 1004 from the original bill calling for the FDA to make a registry for implantable devices, such as pacemakers and hip implants. This never had anything even remotely to do with implanted microchips in people. More importantly, the requirement of a national registry for implantable devices was dropped from the final bill.

Again, sorry to let the truth get in the way of some good fear mongering.


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