Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Best in the World

We have the best healthcare system in the world. Which is why I sat in a room for an hour to listen to someone offer incomprehensible series of letters (PPO, HMO, PCP!) in an attempt to explain how all of our medical lives are being turned upside down just because magazine was sold to another company. One woman is regularly taking a prescription that our new insurer doesn't cover. Others are worried about their children's checkups, or their wives' OB/GYN coverage. Probably three times more people than were in that room were affected by the change -- and those people were just a fraction of those in our company. All these people, all at once, with our lives disrupted. We have no power over this. None.

I'm not moving, so why should I change doctors? Especially since I did it six months ago when my original company decided to swap plans. Sorry, buddy -- The Company says so. Nothing we can do.

We're powerless. Thank god we live in America, where your employer decides the medical care you deserve. This is idiocy.

Best in the world my ass.



Greg! said...

I feel your pain.
I'm still trying to decipher the reasoning behind Aetna's seemingly random demands for "pre-approval" of prescriptions from my primary care physician. Even after jumping through an assortment of hoops -- which delayed my getting a prescription filled by more than a week -- my co-pay was more than half what the total cost of the prescription would've been if I'd just paid for it out of pocket in the first place.
I can't gripe too much, though, since I also know that my co-pay on another prescription is just slightly more than 10% of what that drug's actual out-of-pocket cost would be with no insurance.
Still, Aetna is about to fiddle with our plan again, and there's a chance we might chance health care providers.
So, yeah, maybe we do have some of the best healthcare in the world. Living just outside Philly, I'm near all manner of high-end medical facilities. Getting an MRI or some other amazing test is no big deal. We can treat conditions that as little as twenty years ago were practically death sentences.
But the fact that we have some of the best heathcare in the world certainly doesn't mean we have the best healthcare system. Not by a long shot. Not when so many people have no insurance coverage, and those who do find they must devote inordinate time and effort to becoming expert at how to work a system which ought to be simple and straight forward.
We have great healthcare and a rotten healthcare system which too often makes it damnedly difficult to get access to it.

Ami Angelwings said...



I'm sorry Rob!!!! :(((


Ppl in Canada complain a lot about our healthcare system too, but at least it's not like that. :\ I'm actually quite happy here... :|

*more hugs* :(

Who said you have the best healthcare tho? :o Doesn't like.. one of those European countries have that title? :O

I always just assume that one of those countries is the best in everything ^_^

Rob S. said...

That's exactly it, Greg -- we have great technology, and great doctors and nurses and other dedicated professionals. (We have crappy ones of each, too--including equipment--but I'm willing to give any one I encounter the benefit of the doubt.) But the system that surrounds it, this huge, hulking beauracracy, is ridiculous. And the fact that it all hinges on our employers, and that even if you stay at the same job your employer can change the insurance plans it offers, and if you leave, who knows what you'll het, and you have to have a Ph.D in bullshit paperwork to understand ANY of it... I don't even have an end to this sentence.

And thanks, Ami. "Best in the world" is something that Americans hear a lot -- in this case, said by anyone invested in the status quo of our healthcare system (particularly insurers and politicians). I suspect that it's Sweden that actually has the best healthcare in the world, but that just be my sense of irony, since the whole reason we're going through this is that we were bought by a Swedish company.

Sharon GR said...

We go through this dance every couple of years, too. Dear Husband's company is a "small" company for insurance reasons, and periodically (depending on the current number of employees) is in some kind of insuance purchasing pool for such companies, so we get tossed around a lot. We also have enormous contributions for health care, for the same reason.

If I go full-time with the government I currently work for, I'll be in such good insurance shape compared to where we are now. Long live socalized medicine!