Before praising C-sections, consider the cost

May 10, 2011

America's health care costs are skyrocketing while the availability of medical insurance continues to implode. How will the popularity of unneeded cesarean births affect this? Your report ("Planned C-sections satisfying to moms," May 8 ) failed to mention any cost difference between a C-section and normal birth.

I was under the impression that surgical C-sections are far more costly than a regular, uncomplicated delivery, but this wasn't commented upon. I'd like to know if Dawn Cofiell, the mother who elected to have her children by C-section, paid for the procedures. Or did she have a terrific insurance policy so the price tag was no problem?

It frightens me that unnecessary surgery is treated as a new, attractive option, especially when it runs up medical and hospital bills. Also this "new normal" is a gold mine for doctors and hospitals.

Before you sing the praises of C-section births, let's talk about the price. I'm tired of seeing taxpayer-funded health care exploited by unnecessary surgery. And I think insurance companies would balk at funding unneeded surgery and longer hospital stays. Certainly group policy members should be outraged if they are expected to be part of a plan that compensates "boutique" or unneeded medical costs. It drives up everyone's premiums.

If women want to pay for a C-section when it is absolutely unnecessary, I have no problem — but I don't like having my health insurance go through the roof because of so many new, unnecessary medical procedures available on the menu!

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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