Our here now medical system in these united states

Since I had a visit to the E.R. brought by paramedic ambulance last week, I’m experiencing the classic aftereffect symptom: financial panic. I’m tensed for the blow when the bill arrives, prepared for my insurer to deny everything, ready to fight collection agencies and complain to commissioners and end up paying the whole thing outright on my credit card at 14% interest.

The old joke about bleeding heart liberals is that the difference between a liberal and a conservative is a police report. Good point; no one likes getting their ass kicked, and it doesn’t do much for your progressive values to have the pain and fight-or-flight chemicals running.

I’d add another rule, though. The difference between a conservative and a liberal is a hospital admission. Prosperous middle-class Americans who’ve never been seriously ill and have confidence in their medical plans are fooling themselves. They’re all only one illness away from total financial ruin. The insurer will deny claims, the hospital will press them, a collection agency will buy them, and no one will forgive anything. Welcome to Ayn Rand Memorial Medical Center, folks!

My pharmacist is now required by law to counsel me if the prescription is new. This is a fine idea in theory, since physicians don’t know everything about a drug and don’t take the time to discuss it. In practice, it’s a joke. I go to a 24-hour pharmacy in a drugstore chain and it’s understaffed. With my latest, I waited ten minutes before a rumpled and worried Indian man rushed out and said “It is diuretic. Do you have questions?” and then ran off. This is his usual practice.

When I got home I looked at the bottle and there was a sticker on it saying that I should stay out of direct natural or artificial sunlight. Sure enough, looking up the stuff revealed that it increases sensitivity to the sun and that special attention to sunscreen and protective clothing is strongly advised. What if the clerk hadn’t put the sticker on the thing, or I hadn’t looked? People around here have the hobby of lying in the sun.

Requiring professionals to do something vital and then giving them no time to do it doesn’t work. The invisible hand just punched me in the nuts again.

10 thoughts on “Our here now medical system in these united states

  1. well, we have a patio enclosure that should help with the direct sunlight thing. The emergency room bill does suck…like Cosco, it is the $500 store for the injured. I remember the punishment when I got into my motorcycle accident when I was 19.

  2. well, we have a patio enclosure that should help with the direct sunlight thing. The emergency room bill does suck…like Cosco, it is the $500 store for the injured. I remember the punishment when I got into my motorcycle accident when I was 19.

  3. I am under the impression that the only way to not get it up the ass by insurance companies is by being in a union.
    I will pay for Owens birth until he’s like 25, but when I was covered by the union, His birth was going to be totally covered.
    I’m wondering how much I am going to pay for those 3 ibuprofen at the ER last week. poo.

    1. Something like $8 a tablet I bet 🙂
      Of course the ER here gets something like $70 just to have you sit in their chairs and read their magazines.

    2. Something like $8 a tablet I bet 🙂
      Of course the ER here gets something like $70 just to have you sit in their chairs and read their magazines.

  4. I am under the impression that the only way to not get it up the ass by insurance companies is by being in a union.
    I will pay for Owens birth until he’s like 25, but when I was covered by the union, His birth was going to be totally covered.
    I’m wondering how much I am going to pay for those 3 ibuprofen at the ER last week. poo.

  5. Even here, I often see a yellow COUNSEL – NEW DOSAGE on one of the 50 million sheets the Pharmacist gives you. Irony is, they are eye drops. I’ve had this prescription for nearly 10 years and can self-administer in my sleep. (It’s a before bed/wake up Rx so I’m sure I have!)
    But the Pharmacy only considers scripts valid for 6 months, so every 6 months I get a new script and the computer says I should be counseled.
    One day it will probably print ADDICT.
    And the Hospital Billing Wizardy shouldn’t surprise you, a lot of how it works I learned from you.
    Luckily my insurance is State/Federal so procedures aren’t refused, it’s more of providers refusing to accept the insurance. But that’s only happened once and through Lydia (Guidez) she got the Director to personally call the Doc. He changed his tune.

  6. Even here, I often see a yellow COUNSEL – NEW DOSAGE on one of the 50 million sheets the Pharmacist gives you. Irony is, they are eye drops. I’ve had this prescription for nearly 10 years and can self-administer in my sleep. (It’s a before bed/wake up Rx so I’m sure I have!)
    But the Pharmacy only considers scripts valid for 6 months, so every 6 months I get a new script and the computer says I should be counseled.
    One day it will probably print ADDICT.
    And the Hospital Billing Wizardy shouldn’t surprise you, a lot of how it works I learned from you.
    Luckily my insurance is State/Federal so procedures aren’t refused, it’s more of providers refusing to accept the insurance. But that’s only happened once and through Lydia (Guidez) she got the Director to personally call the Doc. He changed his tune.

  7. Everytime I have to deal with anyone other than the really nice pharmacist, I want to join the Communist Worker’s Party or some such shit. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate health care in this country.
    Personal choice my ass.

  8. Everytime I have to deal with anyone other than the really nice pharmacist, I want to join the Communist Worker’s Party or some such shit. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate health care in this country.
    Personal choice my ass.

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