Monday, August 17, 2009

The U.S.A. Healthcare Knock-down Drag-out Debate

I really don't understand why totally insane knuckle-dragging haters some so-called conservatives are so against the public option, or for any health-care at all. Some of them claim that the U.S.A. has the best health-care system in the world, which, as a person who recently visited the U.S.A. and had an experience with their piece-a-crap world's best health-care system, leaves me flabbergasted.

As an Appointed Missionary of TEC I receive pretty good health care, except that I have to pay everything up front and then, if so moved, the health-care company will reimburse me. But at least it's sumpin'. Also, living in Panamá, I can go to one of the local Departmento de Salud clinicas and see a doctor for fifty cents. The meds from the Caja Seguro Social are not terribly expensive, if I were inclined to use this service. Even though I am extranjero, I have access to socialized medicine.

Here in Panamá we only need a doctor's prescription for certain medications, but one can purchase most medications without one. I take a medication for high blood pressure and, since I am pre-diabetic (aren't we all?), I take metformin. I just go to the farmacia and buy my meds when I need them. I ran out of both medications while in the U.S.A. I went to Long's Drugs in Oakland (which is becoming CVS or something) and was informed that I must have a prescription for my meds. They wouldn't listen to reason (how the hell does one abuse these meds, anyway?) so I had to find a doctah.

The Lovely Mona called Tara's doctah to make an appointment. He wanted $150.00 up front to see me to prescribe medications I already take. Fortunately, the SOB he called to cancel the appointment, which meant I saved $150.00 but still didn't have my meds. After consulting friends and family, we found the address for a Quickhealth Clinic in East Oakland. We took BART and then hoofed it to the address. The clinic was located in a farmacia (it was a farmacia, not a pharmacy; all the signs were in español). A menu was posted on the wall: $59.00 to see the doctor for anything, and then the rates for various tests. The form was bilingual, as was the receptionist, and after filling out the form and paying my fee, I waited to see the doctor. The wait wasn't long and the doctor was very cooperative. We had an interesting discussion about power and control in los estados unidos and he said, "I'd love to read a paper which proves that people in Central America overmedicate because they can purchase their medications without a prescription!" I received my prescription, purchased my medications, and went on with my life (they also supplied all paperwork needed to be reimbursed by my health care company, who has stiffed me on one med, the bastids!).

So, how do these right-wing nutcases figure they have the world's best health care system? How many different levels of denial do they deal with in their lives?

Our man the BB has a post on the same subject (with a provocative title!), so go read it, please. As always, he makes a lotta sense.


Matty Boy said...

I too have had the chance to enjoy the benefits of the World's Best Medical System without insurance, and they tried to charge me $7,000 for something I really needed (sewing up my forehead after falling off a bike at high speed) and $17,000 for something that was a false alarm (chest pains that turned out to be really bad indigestion). They "gave me a deal", still thousands of dollars each time, after I proved I was either flat-ass broke or just your average amount of broke. Had I said I made about $50,000 or so, which isn't that much in the S.F. Bay Area, I would still owe my soul to the company store.

The big problem is that it's easier to be against something than it is to be for something, and that's why we are getting so much noise.

WV: exteling. No one with sense is exteling the virtues of la sistema estadounidense.

brian said...

I'm not pre-diabetic. In fact, I don't have any diabetics in my family. Maybe it's your family history and your diet and lifestyle.

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