Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Miscellaneous: Concerns about Healthcare

**Small warning... I get very emotional and angry about this topic. There is a lot of cussing below.

I have many concerns about the current and future state of health care. On the one hand, my grandfather is currently in a care home. I realize that my grandmother, uncle, or even my husband and myself working together cannot care for him properly at home. His legs are too weak to support him, and not long ago he couldn't even turn over in bed without assistance. And he's a big guy... over six feet, and pretty solid.

There are people in the same home who aren't paying a dime... and I don't begrudge them that. Some are veterans, some are clearly homeless or poor. WHAT I DO object to is the amount of money my grandmother and grandfather ARE being charged... over $6,000 dollars a MONTH. Yes folks, that's the price of a very nice used car... every month. Are you goddamn kidding me? AND he has to a) share a room, b) pay EXTRA for entertainment events and c) Pay for his own medications. For those prices, he should be sitting on satin sheets and have a blasted TV in his room. No, they don't even have that. And if you want a phone, you have to PAY EXTRA for that too. The big "F" word comes to mind.

Worst of all, they have given up on him getting better, even though he's getting a bit stronger every day. I'm sure with a bit of physical therapy, and some proper encouragement, he could be much stronger physically. But do they have any goddamn incentive to get him out of there? Hell no! Not until they suck his miner's pension dry... and what is he supposed to live on then?

These places DO need to be supervised. If I hear one more idiot call them "death panels" I will smack them. There's only one thing these places understand, and that's money. Supervise them, make sure that ALL rehabilitation and care is being provided, and if it is not CUT their funding. Make them still morally liable for providing care to those that need it, but make it come out of their pocket, not the patient. They can't discharge them if they still need care, but they certainly should NOT be allowed to prolong their need for it.

On the other hand, take a look at dental care too. If my insurance company says I'm only allowed $1500 worth of coverage every year, then WHY are they only paying about 40% of my bills? How many people (besides myself currently) need $3000 to $4000 worth of dental work in a year? Pay the whole damn bill. If I use up my $1500, I use it up. I'll pay the rest out of my own pocket if needed. As it stands now, I have to SAVE UP money to get something done, thus delaying the procedure and making it MORE EXPENSIVE by the time I can get it done. I have tiny cavities I've been ignoring for a damn long time, just because I'm saving up for a root canal and crown. My wet-behind-the-ears dentist suggested just pulling the teeth and putting in a bridge. What's another name for a bridge? Partial false teeth. No thanks, jackass... do your job and save my teeth, thank you. Don't just suggest yanking them because the insurance company doesn't pay for the physical part, the crown. I'm pretty sure mine won't pay for a freaking bridge either.

The dental insurance system is deeply flawed. I don't know if they're implementing my suggestion for aging care above, and cutting off funds for procedures they deem "unnecessary" or frivolous, or if they just KNOW that no one needs $1500 worth of care, and they're trying to prolong the spending of it as long as possible, so that they keep more of it when the year flips over.

I do know that when I needed an emergency gall bladder removal a few years ago, the only thing I was billed for was the anesthesiologist's fee. It was 1/60th of the whole bill. Now, I can't even go to the emergency room without having to pay %50 to see the doctor and have blood work done. (Can you believe I saw the doctor for five minutes and they want to charge me over $1000? Of course this hospital is attached to my grandfather's care center... it's a very small town)

Maybe it's just small-town medicine. Maybe it's because I have a young, inexperienced dentist. I do know I've started grinding my teeth in my sleep (and sometimes while awake if I'm not thinking about it) due to stress. Gee, I wonder what the F&CK I'm stressed about?!


  1. The system isn't just flawed, it's darn near broken! I've been working for an HMO for 20 years and I can see the need for change.

    Don't get me started on the dental. You'd think I'd have a "Cadillac" plan with very little by the way of co-pays/deductibles being that I work in the industry...nope.

  2. Worst of all, the greedy mentality has changed healthcare providers into "quick fix" artists. A doctor told us last year that my daughter had dark circles under her eyes due to allergies. Did they do a test to find out what she was allergic to so we could avoid it? No, they just threw a prescription at us for allergy pills... pills that cost $100 a month. I'd rather pay for the test, thank you.

    It's like a line from Steve Martin's "Roxanne": "God forbid, if there ever were a fire, you don't want people saying 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' Only in this case, it's "Don't call the ambulance!"

    It's just a disgusting situation, and I hope it doesn't take four years to fix.