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Given the previous post here I believe it’s rather apparent that money is tight. Being older, it’s supposed to be important for regular doctor visits and given that I have a few identified health issues, it’s certainly important for me. Not having health insurance because of being self-employed and not making enough money at it to afford individual healthcare (someone of my age and health will pay over $500/month at the least and you still have exhorbitant deductibles) I opted for a clinic that has a sliding scale. I pay the maximum fee at this clinic because of our combined income but it still beats the $200/minute price of other doctors plus they have in clinic urine and blood tests which always accompany my visits.

Now, before you curl your noses at my going to such a clinic, remember these clinics need money to operate, especially when they operate on sliding scales. I don’t mind in the least rubbing elbows with the folks who have no other option but to go there because it’s all they can afford. Realize this is what the Democrats have in mind when they talk about Universal Healthcare. Remember this paragraph when I’m done.

My doctor is always accompanied by a nurse practitioner because he’s pretty much blind now at his age. Mind is still sharp as a tack so that’s okay. They have been a decent team and I have no objection to them in this scenario. But that’s as pleasant as it gets.

I’ve been seeing this team somewhat regularly since I started going to this clinic at the first of the year. I say somewhat regularly because I’m supposed to have been there every month for the last nine months but wasn’t able to do so and only once was it my fault.

Every time I go, I make the followup appointment but within a week or two afterwards, I get a call saying there was a mistake made and could I reschedule. The reschedule is always more than a month later that the day they called to reschedule. Finally get to the next visit, repeat scenario. Then again. Then, I had to cancel one because of circumstances beyond my control, which is the only difference between that rescheduling and the previous ones, because the very same thing happened. A week later I got a phone call that there was a mistake and could I reschedule. It’s getting old now, right?  Don’t worry, that rescheduling resulted in yesterday’s visit so we’re done with that part now.

Yesterday, I showed up for the interminably rescheduled appointment. On top of this, I was fasting in anticipation of blood tests. Nothing to eat or drink after 6PM. The eating part I could handle alright but the drinking part is a little rough because I don’t function well without my morning cup of coffee. I wasn’t even allowed water let alone coffee. I suppose that comes from getting up before 4AM every morning. But the appointment is for 9:30AM.

In retrospect, I should have known from the get go something was terribly wrong. I walked up to do the sign-in ritual and watch the receptionist look at a computer screen with a blank stare. She asked me to spell my name and several other questions. Then printed out a piece of paper for the visit. About 9:20 a medical assistant calls me back for the vitals and I thought to myself I might get out of here a little early and grab that thermos of coffee in my car and get that “lack of coffee” headache nipped before it gets too bad.

Not so. The medical assistant did the vitals then took me back to an exam room; a 6 feet by 6 feet crowded with equipment room where I sat for 35 minutes. Having gotten tired of sitting there and no room to pace I open the door and look out. I stood in the doorway for a few minutes and the whole place was quiet with one lone medical assistant sitting at a desk doing paperwork. I just stood there but while standing there, I look at my chart on the side. They use computer printouts for visits and write the names of those you’re seeing on the back of these printouts. The names on the back were not who I was supposed to be seeing.

So, I take down the papers and walk over to the medical assistant doing her paperwork and ask do I need to reschedule. I showed her the names on the back and said these are not the people I’m supposed to be seeing. At which point, to put it bluntly, all hell breaks loose. Another medical assistant comes up and breezily informs me that they all see each other’s patients to which I responded what’s the point of making appointments, if that’s the case? I told her, fine, I’ll reschedule but I was out of refills for meds that I have to take daily. Instead of dealing with that, she tries to cover by going to get one of the team I was supposed to be seeing and I was informed that they could see me but didn’t know when. By this time it’s 10:30AM, I’m still fasting, and that coffee headache is ready to take over for the rest of the day.  I blew my top at that point and said, no, just see if you can get me those prescriptions and I’ll reschedule. Instead, they go get the nurse practitioner who proceeds to get angry with me because they are supposed to see me every month but haven’t seen me since the beginning of June. I was told then, I have a urinary tract infection and that since I’ve fasted I should at least go ahead and get the blood test done while she promised to make sure I got an appointment as soon as possible with her and the doctor. I said okay because I’m really tired of this now.

They put me in the chair at the lab where I waited five minutes only to find out the lab technician wasn’t there because he was interpreting somewhere else and he would there in a minute. Another five minutes and I was in tears. Unfortunately, when I get angry I tear up first and they mistook my anger for something else. But I told them point blank that I’m just plain “pissed off.” Needless to say, I didn’t get the blood test, either. I do have an appointment for two weeks from now with the right people because the nurse practitioner set it up herself. Whether I get to keep it is another question. Who wants to bet they don’t call me within a week to reschedule it?

I wouldn’t bet it.

Welcome to the future, ladies and gentlemen. This is universal healthcare in the making. And to think, for every dollar you pay in, you’ll get something like $.04 worth of healthcare. Is it going to be worth it?

16 Responses to Sojurner Into Socialized Medicine

  • Jambalaya says:

    😡 😡
    I feel your pain. If they really want a good look at universal health care take a look at the VA system.

  • hillbilly says:

    Yep, and that’s what the federal government wants to subject all of us to. I do have to apologize though. I exxagerated the office fee for a private doctor. For a family practitioner it’s closer to $165. For a speciallist it’s around $200. On averages. Some are higher but considering you get a minute with them after interminable waits and the doctors are always late for the appointments, it’s just too much to pay for poor service.

    And guess who set the caps? The federal government.

  • alpine william says:

    Amen! Look at what a good job the gov’t is doing with its other endeavours. If they would stop robbing us to pay for idiotic programs perhaps we could pay our own insurance premiums. Wow! What a concept! 😡

  • hillbilly says:

    AW, that’s the problem. Instead of fixing what they already broke, they keep slapping bandaids on which don’t fix anything. It just covers it up.

  • hillbilly says:

    BB, I admit I only skimmed it and the reason why is the clinic in the above experience is run by Vandy. Imagine that, a conservative at Vandy advocating universal healthcare.

    Since there are several of them I won’t mention this one by name. It’s not the doctor’s fault, it’s the peripheral staff that are the problem.

    His argument is the same talking points that are used by others arguing for it; nothing new. Plus he doesn’t even look at it in the form it is in right now with state and federally sponsored health clinics throughout the nation. Throwing money at it and making it universal is not going to make it work any better.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    So, if there are no charity or gov’t sponsored clinics,
    where do those without health insurance or a ton of
    $$$$ go? We pay about $6000 per capita, compared with an average in Europe of $3000 per capita. But
    47 million of us are uncovered. It is a mess, it is indefensible, it doesn’t work. I guess it’s the cure
    people argue about. If you skim
    you will find that most doctors and businesses are
    for some type of universal care. My personal experience with clinics, doctors & nurses has been
    very good (it helps to be healthy, of course)….but my experience with health insurance companies has been absolutely disgusting. Last go-round, I had to ask for the area supervisor, request a phone record from January and deal with people in Toronto before
    they would budge. Not a fan, and won’t name the
    company….they are all alike…in it for ONE reason.

  • hillbilly says:

    I agree with you on health insurance companies. 47 million aren’t uninsured by inability to get insurance. A great many of them don’t get it by choice, i.e. the yunguns who don’t think about getting sick.

    Yeah, some of us are and there are options that we can choose from, but it’s not the best care in the world. So, instead of fixing it, they make more people experience the same so “we’re all in this together.” Well, that is, everybody but the ones who are dictating and arranging the whole thing.

    About those doctors, do they get a guaranteed fee or will they have to work for a living? I guess if I was a doctor and was guaranteed a certain income regardless of competency, I’d be for universal healthcare, too.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Hard to say about doctors. Just heard from one of my daughters; has excellent health insurance and is in fine health. No doctors in her area are taking new patients. You may be right: we have socialized medicine already…we just pay much more for it. 🙂

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Yes. $.04 to the dollar. Where does that figure come from? Consider:
    with respect to
    The data shows we currently have the most expensive healthcare in the world, far and away: and we rank 37th in what we pay for. Those are the facts which are driving the majority of physicians, businesses and us citizens towards universal healthcare. Dunno about you, but I would be in favor of paying about half what we pay (like Germany or France) for a far better system.

  • hillbilly says:

    the .04 comes from something I heard on a news program in passing and it was specifically talking about government subsidized healthcare not overall healthcare including the private sector.

    Yeah, I’d like to pay about half too but you know why we pay so much? Because the Democratic Congress set the cap.

  • hillbilly says:

    BB, I’ll get to that tomorrow but I believe it is the one. Unlike the masses who worship Obama, I haven’t agreed with Bush on everything he has done. Nor will I agree with McCain.

    But Obama… if you don’t act as if he’s perfect, you will find yourself silenced. He has already tried it going so far as to demand the DOJ do something about it. His arrogance is unbelievable.

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