Saturday, August 01, 2009

Oh, My Aching Back

I've largely stayed clear of commenting on the current health care debate for a couple of reasons: 1) The bill changes too rapidly to keep up, and I would go crazy tracking the details; 2) I'm a believer in a single-payer system, which has never been taken seriously as a solution by our corporate-owned political parties.

In other words, ideologically, I support reform. Real reform. Not bullshit reform. If whatever plan they end up passing (or not) doesn't include a robust (and I mean fucking robust) public option, it's bullshit reform.

This week, my ideological support for reform turned practical. I have what is generally considered to be "good insurance." My employer contributes toward my insurance costs (job perk!), but (especially since my wife is also covered) I pay for the majority of it myself (taken out pre-tax! Thanks, Republicans or Clinton (I assume)!)

It's got relatively low deductibles, the co-pay to see my primary doctor (whom I like quite a bit) is not outrageous, and I'm covered (I think) should something terrible happen, such as a stabbing on the subway or a massive coronary.

When I yanked my lower back last weekend, I went to see a chiropractor, also known by my insurance company as a "specialist." Well, the co-pay for a specialist is a hell of a lot higher than my co-pay for my "primary care physician." If you have to see a specialist once, say, to get a mole removed (as I have before), it's no big deal.

But when you need to see a "specialist" with some regularity... Dude, the shit adds up. I mentioned having some concern about being able to shell out this kind of money, and the chiropractor said, "Ah, I see you have [evil insurance company]. Your co-pay pretty much covers the cost of the session. We get another four or five bucks from them for you."

So I put in my several hundred dollars a freakin' month, and when I really hurt myself, [evil insurance company] covers four or five bucks. [Evil insurance company] is making a shitload of money off of me and the missus. I'd like to meet the person who gets my insurance contribution as a bonus. And I'd like to poke them in the fucking eye.

This, B&E readers, is the way things are with "good insurance." People opposed to single-payer or health reform are afraid that the government will stand between them and their doctors.

Well, people... Perhaps you haven't had the experience yet, but insurance companies stand between you and your doctor. And their motive is profit.

It is not the government's job to protect the market for health insurance. But so far, I have yet to see them do anything else.

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At 1:25 PM , Blogger Missy said...

A-fucking-men. I have not been following the reform for some of the reasons you listed (changes too quickly and all that) but primarily because I don't want my blood pressure to raise and compromise my health and cost me a shit load of money. I have little faith that first off we will see any sort of reform bill passed at all. If by some miracle they do manage to get something done I have no faith that it will be anything that really helps me, my family and the millions of others like us or God forbid worse off than we are. I do however have complete faith that whatever happens or doesn't happen the bastard insurance companies ridiculously outrageous profits will be protected, along with those whose skanky corrupt pockets they line.

That faith makes me sad and my blood pressure rise. So I will have to leave now so that I can find a second job to pay for my government induced health problems.

Oh wait....there aren't any jobs either!


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