Monday, November 8, 2010

The hospital sent me a bill demanding a pound of flesh. I think I can work out a payment plan.

America, what is going on with our health care system?

For all of the hot air being blown around about health care reform, there hasn't been much change, has there? A lot of commotion, sure, but real progress? Massachusetts has taken some action. They decided to tackle the widespread coverage aspect before quality of care and manageable costs, but they have made a significant difference in the percentage of individuals that have coverage statewide.

Coverage or not, reform or not, this is not my primary beef with health care.
It is directly related to the insurance game, though. The way that things are done differently with a patient who has insurance as opposed to one who doesn't is frightening, to say the least. I have been on both sides of this coin, and both of them are strangely uncomfortable for different reasons. If you don't have insurance, good luck, buddy. Since you don't come with guaranteed dollar signs attached, you are low priority, and you are likely to receive a lower quality of care than someone with insurance. You don't have as many options for trying to figure out what is wrong with you, or for trying to solve said problem. I could go on, but I'll spare you. If you DO have insurance, often times unnecessary things will be done, excessive tests run, etc. because the hospital knows it will be covered by the insurance, and they can. If you do have insurance, your accommodations will most likely be more comfortable, you will have more individualized care, and you will have more options. Excuse me, but this is fucked up. Yes, there are programs to help indigent individuals, but so many people and families are just above the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet, and stuck in the middle. They make too much to qualify for Medicaid, and they don't make enough to pay for insurance or proper health care (because a doctor walking into the room and breathing the same air as you costs $500 and if they speak, it is $150/word).

Are y'all aware that it costs approximately $2000 to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance these days? (Yes, I said 'these days.' I'm a grandpa.) I was uninsured when I was ambulanced. I didn't ask for any ambulizing. In emergency situations, people tend to call 911. Now I am responsible for these outlandish amounts of money due. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm alive and everything, but I could have taken a cab, yo. I guess I should have made this clear with everyone ahead of time, like a "do not resuscitate(DNR)." DNCAFA. Do not call a fucking ambulance. What the hell goes on in these ambulance rides, anyway? Did you tell me the meaning of life? Did you vaccinate me against every infectious disease known to man? Did you tell me a bedtime story and smooth my hair? How in the HELL does it cost that much money, unless perhaps you are giving me a complete blood transfusion or reassembling a puzzle of broken limbs?

The costs of treatment are just completely outrageous. Who determined what is appropriate, and who let them smoke crack on the job? People shouldn't have to declare bankruptcy because they needed health care. I am not claiming to know the solution to this problem. I'm simply asking, who is in charge here?


  1. In OZ, even if you don't have insurance you can pickup ambulance cover for around $70 a year. But more importantly, WTF, a hospital visit. That doesn't sound good at all. What happened. It was the cupcakes wasn't it. You had one then went all I'M THE GOD OF CAKE until you passed out from a frosting coma and ended up in hospital. You really have had a horrible week and I hope things get better.

    Oh, in my last comment I incorrectly referred to you as a doody head when I ment to say whore. Just thought I should clear that up and save us both from embarrassment.

  2. Let's get one thing straight, I AM the God of Cake. I could for sure cake-eat Allie Brosh under the table.
    I'm glad we got that adjective discrepancy straightened out. I'm also the God of Muffins, but unlike Lady Gaga, I'm not bluffin' with mine. God damn, I never cease to amaze me.