Friday, October 21, 2011

I urge you to check this out

In keeping with yesterday's post:

The stories you'll find on this link (below) encompass the very spirit that has made this country great. They are the voices of true Americans. Read these stories, be inspired, and if you agree, then consider adding your own life anecdote.

When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.
~Adlai Stevenson


Facie said...

Thanks for sharing that link. I read many of the stories, and found some quite inspiring. I also read some of the bashing elsewhere (I had to look up "53 percent" because I was not sure to what it referred).

I truly can see some of the points on both sides, but you have to admire the "we shall overcome" (on our own) attitude of the 53 percenters.

On a somewhat-related note, I am curious as to your thoughts on one specific aspect of what I guess is health-care reform. I called my insurance company yesterday to ask why I had to pay a $25 specialist copay (rather than the $15 regular copay) to see my gyne for an annual visit. The CSR said that I should be getting a refund since all well/routine visits should be covered at 100 percent. I mostly think this is a good idea as it encourages people to get regular checkups. But someone has to pay for this, not to mention that just because you go to a doctor regularly, does not mean you will be healthier necessarily (and if you are really sick you might not be able to afford the care).

Just wondering what you think. I try to look at both sides of the issues.

Mel said...

Our insurance kind of sucks, to be truthful. It's more an emergency type of coverage, with what I consider to be very high deductibles. Unless I have a bad year, I'm unlikely to reach the limit--which means I pay a big chunk out of pocket for every visit, test, lab fee, etc. Even my maintenance visits that are supposed to be done yearly are not covered entirely--80% or 90%, I think. However. I'm paying it, and paying it for my son. (Todd gets coverage with his job now.) I have yet to slap the kid on "CHIP" even though I've been told by many, "It's there, you should use it." I don't agree. Yes, it is there--but I don't feel it's there for people who can still afford to occasionally eat out, have cars (albeit old and used), live in a sound, safe home, and are blessed with pretty good health.

I guess that's why I keep coming back to--an appreciation for my relatively good health (although I actually had trouble getting coverage b/c of prediabetes and a heart murmur)... because the people who are really in trouble are the ones with very real health conditions that they did nothing to cause or encourage. They have an even harder time finding coverage, and they are the ones who need it most. I guess I still feel that the biggest reform that's needed is to crack down on profits made from meds--that's a crime, to me. Profits on stupid things that people choose to buy is one thing; profiting off the back of a seriously ill human being is a different thing altogether.

So--specialist or not, I don't think there's anything wrong with people paying a small percentage, or a co-pay, because it keeps the hypochondriac from bothering the doc even more. But I wish honest reform was happening on the level of medicine and supplies, etc. I've seen for myself the huge waste of supplies, one-time uses, throwaway items, etc. in a hospital or doc office; I wonder how much of health care costs are being reaped by the companies that provide drugs, or the providers themselves. How, exactly, does UPMC afford to keep buying hospitals? And how ridiculously necessary was it for them to stick their name on top of the tallest building in town? That's criminal to me.

Not sure I answered your question--honestly, I've paid so much in doctor visit and test fees this year that $25 sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I think the real problems go way deeper. And on a side note, I'm out of sympathy for the folks who bring on their own health conditions. Reap what you've sown.

Facie said...

I agree with pretty much everything you are saying, especially the profits and waste part.

A big downside of having a high-deductible plan (we have one too, just apparently not for routine visits) is I sometimes worry that I should take J to the doc more, but don't out of concern for cost. Even for me, I had blurred vision two Mondays in a row for about 10 minutes each. With my old coverage, I would have made an appointment after the second time. But now? I tell myself if it was serious it would last longer and come more often. Sigh.

Mel said...

If you're due for an eye appointment, maybe you should go--the blurred vision could just be slower eye adjustments or stress caused by an insufficient prescription. Our lovely Highmark plan now covers a portion of eye exams... at their fabulous providers. No, thanks. I'll keep on going to America's Best, which is incredibly cheap. My eyes are so far not too complicated, and AB has been able to help me for very little expense. Maybe a good ol' general physical would be a good idea, too, if it's been awhile. I don't know... the only time I have blurred vision is when my sugar is too high, which hasn't happened in a long time (first happened when I was pregnant, before I was diagnosed as gestationally diabetic). I had chest pains earlier in the year, and when they persisted, I had the tests, even the awful and expensive stress test. I practically wept when I paid the bill--but it just was not worth the other expense (my dropping dead of a heart attack b/c of neglect). Thankfully, all was well--other than our pocketbook...

But you know what? God is faithful and He provides what we need. So, go if you need to.

Facie said...

Mel: thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention that I just had an eye appointment three weeks ago (one week before the first blurred vision thing). I can't help but think it is unlikely something would go wrong so soon after. And, hey, this Monday, no blurred vision, so fingers crossed!

It has been 2.5 years since my last doc visit; I was having leg pains and the doc ran a bunch of tests, and nothing came up. But, yes, it was awful to pay for all of those things. I promise right here to you that if something else goes wrong, I will get it checked out! :-)

Mel said...

all right, then, Facie--a promise made is a promise kept!