Seriously…how can you NOT vote in health care reform…written by a 50-year old in colonoscopy disbelief

When you turn 50 that sets you up for a series of tests to see how unhealthy you are becoming.  So far I’ve had my annual physical…resting heart seems to be fine.  Waiting on the blood tests.  Mammogram fine.  Bone density…not so good.  Some calcium deterioration.  It’s called “osteopenia”.  Fun.  Still have the stress test, the sleep disorder test, the dermatogist (checks for skin cancer and other scary results of tanning with reflectors and baby oil in the 70’s). 

And today was the pre-exam for the best 50-year present of all…the colonoscopy.  Great doc…explained the procedure, the pros and cons of sedation vs. anasthetic.  I was satisfied and good to go.  Set up my appointment and then was sent to the “window”.  This is the accounting window, where the accountant advises you of what is and isn’t covered for this procedure in your health care plan.  I’m a self-employed, hard working, butt-kicking small business owner and as such have to settle for a pretty bare bones, high deductible plan.  But imagine how my colon reacted when the accountant told me I’d have a $500 (FIVE HUNDRED dollar) co-pay on top of the 40% I have to pay for the procedure.  We are talking $900-$1000 for the privilege of having a tiny camera travel where the sun don’t shine. 

Here’s the deal.  I don’t have a cool $1000 sitting around in this economy just waiting to be spent on those inner reaches.  Thankfully I was able to pull myself up off the floor and get myself out to the car without the aid of a walker, wheelchair or attendants.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a stroke.  But if I HAD a stroke, I’d be paying about $7500 out of pocket for my first 4 days in the hospital.

And I thought today was going to be a better day?  Hahaha.  Crikeys, people.  Who can afford health care the way it is?  Only those with secure jobs in medium size businesses.  How many of YOU does that make?  I’m not sure if I’m more on the side of livid or more on the side of just plain stunned.  We don’t just need health care reform, but there are a heck of a lot of 50-year olds who aren’t going to be having pre-cancerous pollops identified this year with the current insurance programs in place.  Maybe I would have to wait a year in Canada to have my colonoscopy…but I sure wouldn’t be paying $1K for that kick in the butt.

3 thoughts on “Seriously…how can you NOT vote in health care reform…written by a 50-year old in colonoscopy disbelief

  1. I could have written this myself.

    Unless you have outstanding insurance through a very large employer, you are SOL in terms of actual coverage.

    I ran into exactly the same situation as you just did vis-a-vis the colonoscopy. At 54, I still haven’t had it yet. I was going to do it earlier this year, but then my husband had to have hernia surgery. We are supposed to have a $1,000 deductible, but ended up owing $2,500 for that minor, outpatient procedure.

    As the economy has done a number on my husband’s home-based business, we are existing largely on my SSDI. It already takes more than half of that to pay the monthly health insurance premiums and prescription costs. Once you pay utility bills, gasoline and groceries, that certainly doesn’t leave enough to cover $2,500 surgeries, much less $1,000 colonoscopies.

    Given the extra expenses I already must endure due to MS, this expense just isn’t in the cards. Don’t even get me started on how long it’s been since I’ve had my teeth cleaned! I haven’t had dental insurance since I was laid off from Disney in 2003. If you work for a smaller business or are self-employed, you are certainly not insurance as I understood it while working for larger firms.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see this situation changing, even if the current “reform” proposal passes. It isn’t just the uninsuranced that need help, it’s the virtually uninsurance. We pay for insurance, but when push comes to shove, we really don’t have it.

    As I said in a previous reply, as long as insurance companies continue to “deliver” health care, there will be little health, less care, and certainly no reform.

  2. Both of these comments are excellent examples of what is wrong with our current “system”. For the life of me, I don’t understand why common sense seems to have flown out of every door of our government including the one at the top. If we get rid of insurance companies and go free market, will that lower costs as the ones described above, or just eliminate more people from screenings? Do the powers that be really think we buy the latest opinion that women don’t need a mammo until they are 50?? What this does show is that “we the people” have we vote for and sometimes not even then. All I know is that if this health “care” bill passes my family stands to lose what we have because we can’t afford higher taxes and we aren’t in a high tax bracket. My husband is working but his company owes him two paychecks because their accounts recv. aren’t being paid. How about bailing out the citizen that needs help? How about subsidies for screenings and some competition for medical providers? I don’t want government help. I want to work, but I don’t want to throw my pay into a pile with everyone else’s and pray that our overgrown government will know how best to spend it.

  3. And that health care coverage should ONLY be the public option. Insurance companies will bankrupt us with their fees and copays. Pharmas will bankrupt us with their ever increasing prescription costs. WHat will happen is no one will go to the doctor preventively or in the early stages of anything and then the costs for care will be over the top… and who will pay???

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