Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let's Talk Health Care.

Today, I found out that what I thought was the flu was actually a kidney infection. Not bad enough to go to the hospital, thank God, but pretty darn painful.

I'm one of the lucky ones. For now.

I have Screen Actors Guild insurance, which is fairly comprehensive. It used to be free if you made a certain amount of money yearly through SAG. A few years ago they started charging a premium. Extremely low - $150 a quarter - but a premium nonetheless, no matter how much money you made through SAG. Every year, we've been making less and less money through SAG. Barring a miracle, in a few years we won't make enough money to qualify for that plan. Of course, since we're vested, we can self-pay about $900 a month.

Yippee.

It might as well be $9000 a month as far as our ability to pay that goes.

Along with that, my GP who I've been going to for 18 years has decided this year to close his regular practice, and open up a 'boutique' practice, with more personal service and no waiting to get in. All this for the modest fee of $1800 a year - double that for the 2 of us. On the one hand, I'm crushed. I started going to him when he was a new young doctor - we had kids around the same time, and he's been there for me through a lot of medical issues over the years. On the other hand, I can't say I blame him. Doctors are forced to see so many patients that it gets to be like a treadmill. There's no time to actually be a doctor, hardly - to be able to actually spend the time with a patient. Can you blame him for trying to find a little quality in life? If I could afford it, I'd sign up for his service, but I can't.

I have a wonderful OB/GYN who I was able to call today. Thank goodness it was close enough to being GYN that I could call him. I've been going to him almost as long as to my GP, and I'm worried that he, too, will 'wise up' and pack it in. He's one of that rare breed that goes beyond the call of duty. He's no warm-and-fuzzy, cuddly type - he's better. He is always there, always concerned about doing his very best to care for his patients, as is his staff (including his head-nurse wife). You can tell a quality doctor by his or her staff, and he's had the same fantastic people since I've known him.

But if the so-called "health-care industry" has its way, people like my doctors are going to be just ground under, used up, and thrown out. All to fatten the bottom line of people who aren't even involved in health care, except to find new and creative ways to deny it to people who need it.

And I am, as I said, one of the lucky ones. We have got to get these leeches out of the system.

5 comments:

Larry said...

The healthcare system in America is horrible. There are a "reported" 47 million Americans without health insurance.

Bush has spent enough on the Iraq war to fully fund an excellent healthcare system that would cover all Americans.

Instead you are stuck with "fast-food medical care."

DivaJood said...

Alicia, I've not been visiting blogs much recently because of my own health issues. And you are right. We (people with insurance) are the lucky ones. The only thing I agree with our Governator about is that health care should be accessible and affordable to ALL - and insurance should be accessible and affordable to all. Instead, we make it a priviledge for the few.

It's absolutely insane. Anyway I hope you are feeling better. I miss ya!

Alicia said...

Larry, that's what;s so galling - the billions and billions of dollars going for war profiteering - blood money - that could be going to life-saving purposes instead! Pro-life? Hah!

Diva - I wish that the Governator's words meant what they are trying to make the electorate believe. Of course, when you dig deeper, you realize that he's still trying to prop up the insurance industry. Nice rhetoric, though...

Get well soon, darlin'!

Larry said...

The governator is trying to shield his real goal of passing a law so he can run for president, by shallowing a phony insurance scheme to benefit his political benefactors.

Crabbi said...

Hi Alicia,

Like Jood (to whom I also owe a visit), I haven't been blogging/commenting much.

Kidney infections are miserable! I had one years ago, thanks to an idiot doctor who misdiagnosed a bladder infection. (I fired his ass.) Anyway, I hope you feel better soon!