Another fee

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Accessing health care in the US is problematic, at best. The overall debate on whether it should be free to all (via government funds and a huge increase in taxes) or whether it should be something each individual should be responsible for is one I am not going to talk about today.

However, we all know that the cost of health care in the US keeps many people from accessing the care they need. People have to think about how it will impact their overall finances and whether or not they can afford to see a doctor. Obviously when you don’t think you can afford to get care you don’t go.

Yesterday, at a doctor’s appointment that is an hour away from home, I noticed the large facility that the appointment have been at for almost a year had new signage up in their parking garage and in the elevator areas. The signage basically said that “Parking is on us until we get the technical difficulties figured out.”


So what has been free for at least the last year is now going to have a fee? I imagine at some point (based on construction and existing facilities) that there was parking for a fee previously. Not sure why it has been free up to the point of the visits.

But, it raises a larger question about yet ANOTHER FEE to access health care.

Should you really have to pay a fee just to park so that you can access health care?

It seems almost unfair for people who may already be struggling to access health care to add yet another fee.

I know of at least one other health care facility in the Seattle area that charges parking at it isn’t cheap – almost $10 an hour.

Something feels really slimy when thinking about people getting charged just to access their health care. They are already being gouged when paying for the care they need, but to add insult to injury they are now going to be charged to even access the building.

Imagine if you had to pay for parking at a grocery store so you could go inside and buy food (maybe this already happens in big big cities, I don’t know)…awkward right?

Gives me a really icky feeling. I am all for making money in places that make sense, but to punish the public to access something so vital almost seems underhanded – especially since they become a pretty captive audience one they’re in the parking garage.

How do you feel about these “hidden access fees”?

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