Staff Editorial

Ride to the hospital just got a little bumpy

This past Wednesday, the price of an ambulance ride in Houston skyrocketed from $415 to $1,000; this increase will also include the pre-existing charge of $7.50 per mile.

If this had been done to help lessen the burden of taxpayers, then its passage should benefit the majority of us.

The problem is that it’s not that simple, the City Council can’t just double the rate and assume that the only people who will be affected are those who don’t have health insurance.

This is going to be a difficult fee to handle since it comes a vulnerable time, when people are sick,hurt and have to deal with the already inflated cost of hospital care.

On the other side of the argument is actual expense for the transport: $1,750. Previously, the balance was taken out of city’s general fund.

What’s important to consider is that few ambulance rides are alike, which is why the city should have increased the rate per mile charge if it wanted to make up the difference in the cost.

To make people who are going a short distance pay more just to start up the engine is not away to lessen taxpayers’ contributions. It’s a way for the city to make money off of those who just need a little compassion.

One of the most important groups of people that will be heavily affected by the fees are those who have to travel from hospital to hospital to receive additional treatment.

“I don’t see why they have to pay any extra to get here to the hospital when you’ve got to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get anything done once you get here,” said patient James Murray, a patient who was moved by ambulance form hospitals, to KPRC Houston.

The rates did need to be adjusted, but not to the extent that they have been. Ambulance rides in New York City and Chicago are approximately $700, so it’s strange to think that a hospital ride in Houston should be more expensive than in two larger cities.

A simple look at what other cities are doing really shows the problems that are in one of the latest things to be done by Houston’s City Council.

Leave a Comment