A trip to the doctor’s office

 

Monday:  I had the option of paying $150 if I didn’t use my insurance or $300 if I did. My health insurance, which has a $2000/year deductible, is very expensive because I’m a smoker. I pay about $275/month. Just for me.

The visit to the Urgent Care facility left quite a lot to be desired. After filling out a lot of paper work, I was asked to pay in advance for the visit. So $150 just to talk to a doctor. They were very keen on getting paid. In fact, it seemed like their only concern. That seems strange to me. Isn’t the whole point of working in health care to “help” people and “heal” people. The receptionist was polite but very business-like and couldn’t care less about my ailment.

Eventually, I was called down the hall to wait in a small, flourescent lit room. I ended up waiting for around a half hour. Thankfully, my wife was with me and that helped the time go faster. When the doctor finally came to “treat” me, she did not introduce herself, seemed hurried and clearly was overwhelmed by her workload. She told me nothing that I didn’t already know… (my back was strained and I had spasms). She offered to write a prescription for Vicodin and a muscle relaxant. I had to slow her down a couple of times and ask her questions as I was afraid she’d leave the room. I was trying my best to get $150 worth of “expertise” in a 5 minute visit.

Needless to say, the experience was a complete disappointment. I felt like an object and not a human being. I was simply another person with a health issue to get through as soon as possible. The health care system (including both the care of patients and the insurance system) is in woeful need of reform. Health care in the US is lacking on so many levels. See this page for specifics: http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/_media/SiCKO_sickofactoids.pdf

BTW: Michael Moore’s movie, Sicko, is well worth checking out though some may find it a little propoganda-esque. Nevertheless, you have to agree that the health care system could do for a lot of improvement. And here’s the biggest, most glaring reason for the dysfunction of the health care system: it’s a FOR PROFIT system! If health insurance companies are for profit – which they are – then it is in their best interest to cherry pick who they choose to cover and who they don’t. Similarly, it is more profitable for them to limit treatment and preventive care as much as they possibly can. Should “helping and healing” people be a finance-centric enterprise? I think not.

It’s time for a sensible UNIVERSAL HEALTH program to be implemented in America. Most of Europe and Canada have already implemented these programs to the delight of their citizens. Let’s do the same.

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