Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A number of parents on Twitter shared the exorbitant hospital bills they faced after giving birth to their children. (Photo: Dave Herholz/Flickr/cc)

Parents on Twitter Share Sky-High Costs of Giving Birth in the US, Calling for Medicare for All

"Saving these bills to show my kids what life was like before Medicare for All, and why we fought so hard to give them a better country."

Julia Conley

Parents on social media shared the hospital bills they faced after their children were born, remarking that winning the fight for Medicare for All would put American families' delivery costs more in line with those in other developed countries, and garnering the support Tuesday of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig tweeted a photo of her hospital bill months after giving birth to her second child. With insurance coverage, her bill for a vaginal delivery came to nearly $8,000.

Bruenig wrote that she planned to save her bills "to show my kids what life was like before Medicare for All, and why we fought so hard to give them a better country."

Bruenig's tweet went viral two days after science journalist Dave Mosher tweeted his family's own hospital bill, showing that a standard vaginal delivery with no complications or anesthesia had resulted in total charges of $27,000 for Mosher and his partner and a separate $27,000 bill for the healthy baby.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter as the discussion brewed on Tuesday that the cost of starting a family is just one of the economic reasons young people are having fewer children—or forgoing a family altogether.

A survey published last year by the New York Times found that young Americans' reasons for having fewer children were largely related to finances.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said child care was too expensive for them to afford, 44 percent said they couldn't afford more or any children for various reasons.

Despite pushing policies which actively make raising a family untenable for many families—including slashing children's health insurance funding and promoting a so-called "paid family leave" plan which would allow new parents time off work only by drawing from their Social Security benefits—Republicans including former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) have frequently called on Americans to have more children.

In response to Bruenig's tweet on Tuesday, many other parents shared their own post-delivery hospital bills, with some showing costs in the tens of thousands for their newborns' hospital stays, Caesarean sections, and medically necessary inductions.

"Medicare for All can't come soon enough!" wrote one user.

Hours after Bruenig's tweet went viral, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted that under his Medicare for All plan, the average cost of childbirth for families would go from $32,000 to zero dollars.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Docs Show DHS Watchdog Delayed Telling Congress About Deleted Secret Service Texts

The Project on Government Oversight says the records reveal a pattern of Inspector General Joseph Cuffari "rejecting proposals to inform Congress about the Secret Service's resistance to oversight."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Dictatorship Never Again': Massive Pro-Democracy Protests Sweep Brazil

"Democracy involves changing the government and eliminating neo-fascism," said one prominent protester, "but above all, ensuring that the working class, the people, have the rights guaranteed in the Constitution."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Door to Real Progress': Jayapal Makes Case for House Passage of the IRA

"It's an achievement we can all feel excited about—especially when we dig into the details," said the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Julia Conley ·


Officers Kill Gunman Who Tried to Breach FBI Office in Ohio

Though the suspect's identity and potential motivations are not known, the attack follows fear of far-right retaliation for this week's federal search of former President Donald Trump's home.

Jessica Corbett ·


House Dems Urge Biden to Provide Assistance to Cuba Amid Fire Disaster

"Now is the time," said Reps. Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, and Gregory Meeks, to "prioritize humanitarian engagement, environmental protection, and regional cooperation."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo