The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

About that $153K snake bite bill

You may have seen this photo online.

You have probably boggled at the pharmacy cost.

Here's the story behind this bill.

Here is the takeaway: "Todd Fassler was bitten earlier this month [2015], reportedly while trying to pose for a selfie with the snake."

Can you say, "Blindingly stupid moron who should be removed from the gene pool and we missed a great chance to do just that?" I knew you could.

Here's another.

And for those upset about the hospital bill here is the solution nobody wants:

1) Don't get bitten by a rattlesnake. (OK, most people actually DO want this).

2) If you do get bitten (as I was), do not go to a hospital to seek treatment (I did not go) if you do not have insurance (and I had no insurance).


From the CBS report, "Fassler's bill included a line item of $83,341.25 for 'pharmacy' to cover the antivenom, as reporteDan Haggerty of KGTV in San Diego posted on Twitter. According to the original report, Fassler used up the antivenom supply from two hospitals." NB: It is now spelled antivenom instead of antivenin. English is a living language and evolves.

A dose has a wholesale cost of up to $2,500 per vial. We do not know how many vials Mr. Fassler needed. We can guess. The CBS story says some patients need more than 50.

50 x $2500 = $125,000.

How much did he need? Damfino. A PopMech article (linked below) says the average person needs 20-25 vials.


Running a hospital is expensive.

When you go to the hospital, you are not actually paying for what you use. Confusing. I try to explain.

You are paying for availability.

You are paying for nurses, doctors, orderlies, administrators, janitors, clerical staff to be there to help you when you show up.

You are paying for reservoirs of oxygen tanks, all kinds of medications, hospital beds, linens, needles, intravenous lines, walls, paint, cleaning supplies, insurance and the list goes on.

That Tylenol pill that costs $8 that you say you can get for pennies per pill at the drugstore? You are not paying for the pill. You are paying for someone to manage the inventory. Make sure it is kept in the right place. Make sure it gets from the pharmacy to you. Make sure it is not expired. Make sure you are not actually allergic to any of the ingredients in it. Have someone monitor you while the drug is coursing its way through your system.

Expired medicines, 
that are tossed still have attached bills that must be paid. The hospital has to recoup that loss somewhere. For those on the Alt Left, the FDA requires expired meds to be tossed with little to no science to back that up. This is the more government you requested.

You are paying for the most advanced medical care on earth today to be at your beck and call. That's expensive.


Antivenom does not last forever, probably. and When it expires, the hospital either tosses it or hangs on to it and prays it works (as much as that offends the atheists out there). If it gets tossed, the hospital has lost that money. Has to make it up somehow. It charges more for the used doses. More about tossing expired antivenom - .

The US supply of coral snake antivenom officially expired in 2007. The FDA has extended the shelf life -with no research on how effective it actually is - through this year. Another extension will be granted, I betcha. Why? No one is making coral snake antivenom. Why? Because ain't no money in it. (And this is not the PopMec link you are looking for, it is still below.)

If this offends you, that no one will make more because there's no profit, keeping reading. The solution is close at hand for you on the left, right, middle, diagonal and inverted.

Here's a forum discussion on antivenom expiration dates.


About 2/3s of hospitals in the US are either non profit or run with taxpayer dollars, which amounts to nonprofit. Nonprofits are required to funnel any profit back into the system.

Further, hospitals are in the business of writing off uncollectible accounts. Here's a story about the hospital, in another county, that covers my county.

Further, an inability to keep up financially is closing hospitals.

My own community closed its hospital 25 years ago. When it closed the place went 7 days without a an overnight patient.

In case you don't wanna take my word for this, good. Find out for yourself.


Again, per the CBS report, "Part of the reason the bill is large for most snake bite victims is because there is only one [US] manufacturer and limited supply of the antivenom."

Supply & demand. For those of you on the alt left (if I have any alt left readers remaining) screaming that it is wrong to put a price on a human life, here is what you do. 

For those of you on the alt right who support all this, until you get snake bit and are slapped with a bill that is more than my house cost, here is what you do.

Start making antivenom and selling it. Period. Put up or shut up. There's apparently a huge market for the stuff and possibly a lot of money to be made. Go ye forth. Make it and sell it at cost. Save people.

Being the generous guy I am, here, I will help you get started -

For those of you who worry about what producing antivenom does to critters, Shut. Up. Use yourself as the laboratory to make antivenom. Yes. Bill Haast did it.

Please pay close attention to the massive costs associated with producing antivenom no matter the source. If I have any remaining alt left or alt right readers, please pay even closer attention to the 10 years it takes for the FDA to approve your product. You want more government. That is more government.

Don't like the costs associated with health care? Go to college, earn a degree in a health field, then volunteer. You can cut the costs.

Otherwise, please go back to your corner and sit weeping quietly. Those of us actually working our posteriors off to make this a better world do not have time to coddle SJWs.


Help this guy pay off this bill. Period. Even $5 will help. Do a little research. Find out where the hospital is. Call and send 'em $5 on his account.

I could. I won't. When I saw that he was posing with the snake, I lost all sympathy for him and have no regard for his hospital bill. I'm all about personal responsibility and accountability.


A canebreak rattler. Charles Bobo killed it and brought it to me. While standing on the veranda at Christian Union Church of God talking to Louie Perry, the snake flipped up and tagged me. I was envenomated cause my finger went numb. I was also extremely not concerned. No worries whatsoever. I took the snake home and butchered it. I ate it not long after.

That's the third snake to bite me. The other two were not big enough to eat. I caught them. They bit me. I gave them a stern talking to and released them.

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16

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