Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I am getting to that age where everything starts falling apart.
Last night I watched the Frontline report about being sick in America. Towards the end there was a story about a 21 year old girl whose insurance was supposedly cancelled in 2005. She had Lupus, and appeals were denied and her health failed for the next 2 years until she died. A week after her death, her parents received notification that the Policy had been reinstated, that the cancellation had been a big mistake.
Brutal stuff.

I am sure many of you have your own stories about medical care you or a loved one received. I had managed to avoid Doctors and Health care issues all my life. I had been blessed with very good health.
But then last December my good luck ended.
I spent 3 days in the hospital for Diabetes. I have a feeling the rest of my life will be spent with health care being a big part of it.
My Hospital stay was actually quite pleasant, but my first trip to the pharmacy was brutal.
You can read my story about it here.

Then last month i received the bill from the Hospital. it showed that I had rung up 14,000 Dollars in my 3 days there.
This was not really a surprise.
My insurance paid 8,000 dollars of it, leaving me with a 6,000 bill.
I called to make arrangements to pay this. The lady said I did not have to pay it, that the hospital would take the 8,000 from the Insurance as Payment in Full!

Now don't get me wrong, I was quite happy and releived that this happened.
But I had to ask "How much would I owe if I had not had Insurance?"
Her reply was instant and matter-of fact:
"You would owe the entire 14,000 dollars."

I couldn't believe what i was hearing! There is no way I can justify this in my mind.
I can't squint my brain enough to have this make any kind of sense.
Some poor bastard without Insurance... the same one who would have had to pay 850 dollars at the pharmacy for his Medicine this month...he may be walikng around but he's financially deader than a beaver hat....and it won't be long till he's dead...but not before he gets really sick first.
Can someone explain this to me?
Am I wrong to think that this makes no sense?
Brutal stuff.


Anonymous said...

That is brutal Bulletholes just to think about it. Luckily here in Canada we have health care to cover stuff in the hospital and for seniors some prescriptions. That is why I never got to the States to work. The health care premiums were scary for me.

valentinegirl63 said...

This drives me crazy!!!

Misfit in Paradise said...

i am one of the uninsured. This is no surprise to me. The good news is that many hospitals and doctors are getting sued for this behavior. And losing.

bulletholes said...

Hey ex! I had a girlfiend back in the 80's that refilled her prescription of BC pills while we were in Toronto. They were expired, and I never thought i could go for socialized Medicine, but i'm starting to see it differently now.

Kimmy! You be crazy babay!
Misfit- i only recently got Health insurance after not having it for 15 years. If I did not have it now i'd be walking around, half sick with inadequate Meds. It ain't right the way this is working.
One of the Drs. on the Frontline report said the way to do it is too work backwards....just get everybody covered first, then figure out how to pay for it....that it will likely pay for itself, but if we keep putting it off it will never happen and costs will continue to rise.
Anyway, thanks for stopping in!

Anonymous said...

America is no place for the unrich. I'm lucky to have insurance, but it pays like $75 of the average $400 dentist's bill, so I'm bound to wind up looking like Shane MacGowan's doppelganger. Not good. Fucking capitalism eats the poor. Hell, say what you want about Cuba, but I'll bet they have better health coverage than we do. Hey Steve: hang in!

UF Mike

red dirt mule said...

I don't even want to get started on America's health care system and especially INSURANCE COMPANIES !!

I will soon be losing my own insurance. I'm concerned to be left on my own without it. I might need Starbucks after all. I looked at the amount of money insurance saved on my med that i picked up yesterday: $501.00 !!! and that is one med out of 7...

GrizzBabe said...

Which is why we should have some sort of national healthcare system. Not that it's a panacea, but it is just immoral for someone's life to be in the hands of a for profit business.

Barbara said...

I cannot believe the bills rolling in for my recent ordeal. The 4-day hospital stay alone was $50,000. I have yet to see what I will end up paying. I hope they are as kind to me as they were to you. You can see how uninsured people could easily go broke over health issues. The system in this country is so incredibly screwed up!