Best Healthcare In The World, V. Eleventybillion

Have you seen this video making the rounds?

When it comes to wait times for healthcare, I would just like to point out that not only is it correct that until Obamacare, millions of Americans died or sickened because they couldn’t get insurance and access the best healthcare system in the world, but also even ordinary, well-insured people such as myself have to deal with wait times. For example, today I called my doctor and was told her next appointment was at the end of May, over two months away. However, if I want to see her daughter, who is not a doctor but a nurse practitioner, I can get an appointment in April. That’s still a few weeks but it’s not a few months.

Let me remind everyone what happened last time I had to go to the doctor (and yes, I’m starting to think she’s avoiding me, foisting me off on her non-doctor daughter.)

Our system is not wonderful. Anyone who uses it knows that. My insurance company is now sending me quarterly marketing materials that look like warmed-over Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazine articles, reminding me to eat my vegetables and to exercise and get enough sleep. They even include recipes, as if the internet hasn’t been invented and I can’t find a damn recipe on my own.

This is what BlueCross BlueShield is spending its money on. But I don’t need that. I already know that stuff. I’d really prefer they stop with the patronizing PR/marketing bullshit. Let me be clear: the absolute last thing I want is a “relationship” with my insurance company. What I really want is for them to just basically do their jobs and otherwise leave me the fuck alone. That shouldn’t be too hard.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Best Healthcare In The World, V. Eleventybillion

  1. The VA is completely socialist. It works like a fucking Swiss watch when you have REAL problems and you don’t ignore their advice and directions or fight with them.

    You go see them, you’re sick or injured, they do what they can, up to and including major surgeries, rehab, VN care, chronic illness treatments (OCPD, CHF, among others).

    What they don’t do is let you have facelifts, tummy tucks, penis lengthening or other elective/cosmetic/unnecessary or harmful procedures. They don’t jump to the most expensive conceivable treatments/procedures without finding out if they are either necessary or likely to be efficacious. The staff and medical professionals who they contract with are NOT paid by the case, as a rule.

    My last visit to them for treatment was a surgery on my hand. It went well. I’m feeling much better. I did not get a BILL. The not getting the bill part is not only a nice feeling it’s the only reason the surgery got done. If it had been $500 I would not have been able to afford it.

  2. I am, btw, a Spamhandbag selling pills and designer penises (penii?)

  3. Jim in Memphis

    “If it had been $500 I would not have been able to afford it.” What do you suggest for the people that now have $1000 or higher deductibles to go with their new Obamacare health insurance plans? If you can’t afford the deductible do you really have health insurance or access to health care?

    SB – the wait time for your doctor has nothing to do with your insurance provider. As more people get insurance, more people will want to see the doctor. You have to expect wait times to increase unless something is done to increase the supply of doctors and other medical care professionals. Of course as payments to these professions decline (see Medicare payment cuts in Obamacare) fewer people will opt into these professions.

    • “SB – the wait time for your doctor has nothing to do with your insurance provider.”

      I know that, nor did I even say that they were connected. If you got that from my post, then I wasn’t clear.

      As I mentioned in my linked post from last year’s doctor’s visit, I had made last year’s appointment an entire year prior. Wait times have always been a problem in the US healthcare system, Obamacare has nothing to do with it. My sister had a pituitary tumor and was told she’d have to wait 6 weeks before the neurosurgeon could look at it. That was over 10 years ago (thankfully her tumor is gone).

      The point I’m making is that idiots like Sen. Burr and the Koch Bros. keep fearmongering about “long wait times” under the Canadian healthcare system as if we haven’t had long wait times under the U.S. system for years, too. As the Canadian doctor in this video makes clear, at least the Canadian healthcare system is trying to FIX their problem. In America we keep denying the problem even exists.

    • “What do you suggest for the people that now have $1000 or higher deductibles to go with their new Obamacare health insurance plans?”

      Get a different plan.

    • Seeker

      @SB: >>Wait times have always been a problem in the US healthcare system<<

      Absolutely. 20 years ago I was left with some medical issues that will last me the rest of my life and eventually kill me because I could not get seen by my doctor's office when I was having a complication of pregnancy, and my insurance company wouldn't approve a trip to the ER until I was unconscious and seizing, at which point it was too late to have a good outcome. So now I'm living with a chronic medical condition that needs quarterly visits for bloodwork and evaluation…but for the past 10 years I've had major problems simply getting the appointments on time. Seven years ago I found a yellowjacket nest (or they found me) in the backyard and was stung over 60 times before I could escape into the house. When I called my primary care doctor's office, I was told there was a five-week waiting list to be seen.

      Neither of these situations has anything to do with Obamacare and everything to do with the crappy US healthcare system that's managed by for-profit insurance companies.

  4. ““If it had been $500 I would not have been able to afford it.” What do you suggest for the people that now have $1000 or higher deductibles to go with their new Obamacare health insurance plans? If you can’t afford the deductible do you really have health insurance or access to health care?”

    If I didn’t have the VA, shit for brains, I’d be in that pool of people who didn’t have any kind of coverage UNTIL Obamacare came along. Is Obamacare the panacea for the endemic clusterfuck that is the current state of U.S. healthcare? Not hardly. Is it WORSE for those who had NO coverage before–ask anyone who’s on it–that isn’t too stupid to understand basic economics or isn’t busy shilling for the GOP, like this idiot:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140310/LIFESTYLE03/303100100/Dexter-cancer-patient-who-called-health-care-unaffordable-will-save-more-than-1K

    who, it turns out (wotta sooprize!):

    “is the ex-wife of Mark Boonstra, the former Washtenaw County GOP chairman whom Gov. Rick Snyder appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 2012.”

    Now, I don’t know about you, Jimbo, but I suspect that the last thing an ex-wife of mine (especially one who claims as Debbie Boonstra did, that she’s NEVER been political) would be interested in doing is giving MY political party a boost. She’s either too fucking dumb to do her own shopping or she’s lying–there’s really not a middle ground.

    Specific facts, Mr. Sooperjeenyus, you need specific facts. Give us the plan to plan comparisons, not your fucking bullshit talking points. You libertardlican moronz are constantly spewing anecdotal and apocryphal stories about how you’re all being fucked over by Obamacare without any genuine DATA to back up your hand waving healthcare horror stories.

    You want to come here and peddle your Kochian bullshit, be prepared to be called a liar, jerkoff.

    Based on numerous earlier comments by you, I’m guessing that your default position is that people who aren’t you and your near and dear can go fuck themselves if life throws them a curve like cancer; they get seriously injured in an auto accident caused by some idiot who has no insurance or shot by some moron with a semi-automatic handgun, 14 in the mag, 1 in the pipe and fewer than that many functioning brain cells to work with.

    Do you have any idea why healthcare in general and visits to ER’s in particular are so expensive? It’s BECAUSE people who don’t have money or insurance use them for minor injuries and low-threat illness ISNTEAD of a doctor. The patient is seen, diagnosed, treated and sometimes admitted for further treatment. A bill is sent and ignored because the recipient of the bill has NO FUCKING MONEY and NO FUCKING INSURANCE. Do you get how that works, Jimbo? I’m not sure how you think that keeping people from having some sort of coverage, so that they can see a doctor or nurse practitioner without going to a fucking hospital is going to be a net cost savings device. Explain to me WHAT mechanism will do a better job, go ahead–but do some reading before you say something else as stupid as what you said in your most recent comment. Or do you simply think that we should just let people get sick and die or hunt them down to eliminate them from society*. Those are pretty much the three choices you have, you selfish, self-centered, sanctimonious schmuck.

    * Fortunately, for me–at least for the time being–I’m a veteran and all of those flagwaving asshole republicans in Congress are restrained by their need to appear to give a fuck about veterans are restrained from following their native inclination to cut any funding that doesn’t make the rich richer or increase the level of intrusiveness into women’s vaginas.

    • Jimferbrains keeps conveniently forgetting that ObamaCare started out as HeritageCare which was the Republican alternative to HillaryCare and their hated “individual mandate” was marketed back in the day as a “personal responsibility” thing, hell even Bill Frist thought it was a great idea.

      IOKIYAR.

    • Jim in Memphis

      “A bill is sent and ignored because the recipient of the bill has NO FUCKING MONEY and NO FUCKING INSURANCE.” So under the new program supposedly everyone is buying insurance with some new found pot of money they have? Federal subsidies will be paid for with tax dollars so that is just shifting the costs to people who pay taxes – which were likely the same people as those that were paying their health insurance premiums and bills. Of course the people that couldn’t afford health insurance before will now have the money to pay their deductibles and co-insurance somehow now right? Where does that money come from?

      I am all for the individual mandate minus the federal subsidies given to some people. All should be equal under the law which should mean all people are subsidized equally or none at all.

  5. You have no mortgage, don’t take business or personal deductions, drive an off-road vehicle to stay off them gummint roads, treat your own water and sewage, live in a community with no first responders, attended private schools all your life, yada, yada, yada?

    Do you even know what a social compact is? You strike me as being seriously misanthropic. Do you have any idea at all why folks look at your pile of really cool stuff and your wife and kids and don’t just say, “Fuck it, I’ll just take HIS stuff instead of working for my own”? It’s because there are laws and law enforcers. It’s also because there are social programs set up to attempt to ameliorate the hardships of life for those who aren’t, like you, privileged to enjoy your lifestyle. Without a social compact life might become intolerably bleak for those people who are not you and yours, do you get that? It’s pretty obvious that you have no empathy for anyone who doesn’t suffer YOUR particular set of life’s problems. Here’s the thing, Jimbo, if you tell some guy who only wanted your wallet and watch that you really resent him and his “sort” being TAKERZ! while poor, poor pitiful you with your MERE 250K/annum income are being taxed into the poorhouse by Obama (which assertion is complete bullshit, btw) well, he may reconsider. Yep, after thinking about it for a minute he may decide to slit your throat, too. Z\

    Don’t get the wrong idea, jimbo, I’m not suggesting that anyone SHOULD do you violence. I’m merely pointing out to you that you’re so fucking tone deaf that you wouldn’t know the difference between Mozart and Eminem–in terms of what it means to be a decent human being. Obviously your money is far more important to you than your neighbor’s welfare. If I had that set of priorities I’m sure I’d be somewhat better off financially but less of person for it.

    Enjoy your fucking money, Scrooge.

    • Jim in Memphis

      All of the government programs you mentioned – roads, schools, police, Fire, etc. are all equally available to all citizens. The healthcare law as written only provides the subsidies to some citizens.

      • You’re really too stupid to argue with. Do you get a home mortgage tax deduction? Do you take business expense deductions? Do you think that poor people get those, dumbfuck?

        You’re a self-centered asshole whose only real mantra is, “I’ve got mine, fuck everybody else.”. Like I said, enjoy your money, asshole.

      • Jim in Memphis

        Again you point out government policies that apply to all people equally. If you pay a home mortgage you get a deduction. If you buy health insurance, you only get a subsidy if you qualify. The business tax deductions are a bit different but I would be happy if the government set a simple set of tax laws that applied to all businesses equally. Then the laws would apply to all equally.

      • What, you want MORE? You don’t have enough? Greedy asshole.

  6. Bitter Scribe

    Just be grateful your insurance company knows who you are.

    It took me three trips to the drugstore and half a dozen e-mails with my company’s HR department last week before I could convince something called “OptumRx” that yes, I am insured under my company plan, which you underwrote, so that means you pay for my goddamned cough syrup!

    • Oh, trust me … I’ve been in worse shape. Years ago I started getting collection notices and threatening phone calls all because of a $106 medical bill that my insurance company “forgot” to pay (related to surgery, slipped through the cracks, etc.) They actually sent the collection dogs on me for $106 after the bill was 1 year past due. I had NO idea either, because all of the bills and communications were going to the middleman — the company that went between my employer and my insurance company to expedite billing. Like, we needed another middle man? Anyway, it just took a couple of phone calls to HR to get it resolved but Jeeeezus scared the crap out of me for a few days.

    • Seeker

      Bitterscribe, are you me? I’ve been paying $1000/month for coverage through my company, and my pharmacy keeps denying my meds because my insurance company has no idea who I am. The stupid HR idiot (we think she’s stealing our premiums) blames Obamacare. This has nothing to do with Obamacare.

  7. Interesting discussion. Thanks all.
    “Do you have any idea at all why folks look at your pile of really cool stuff and your wife and kids and don’t just say, “Fuck it, I’ll just take HIS stuff instead of working for my own”? “-DC
    You know I have long fancied myself a non-violent peacenik but I’ve been reading alot of Anarchist lit lately and I’ve been thinking a good ole torches and pitchfork sacking of Wall Street might have a legitimate place in the political arena.