Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Joy of Obamacare

I try not to get too personal in my writing. In blogging it is hard to avoid exposing your own life from time to time. I have a little story about the shakeup in health care brought about by Obamacare. It is not one of these tragic stories that makes the evening news. There is no rare and devastating illness involved where I have lost access to treatment and will shed this mortal coil due to this absence of care in mere weeks.

This is a story of annoyance, unwanted, and unneeded change that is afflicting so many older people today. We will survive this as we have many other things in life. This is not a cry for help or sympathy. It is just a simple narrative that is an exemplar of why this whole Obamacare mess should not be.

My supplementary insurance carrier sent me a letter a few months ago telling me that my cardiologist was being dropped from their plan. You tell a man my age that he can no longer see the cardio guy that has been taking care of him for a decade or more and you are interfering in a serious and important long term relationship.

I called the customer service line supplied by the insurance company and spoke to a young man about my concerns. He assured me that they understood and that this was being handled and corrective action was being taken. This, of course, made me happy. They knew that what they had done was an error and they would soon fix it. Wonderful. They assured me that I would get something in the mail straight away correcting out the situation.

Sure enough, about three weeks later two letters come in the mail. One for me and one for my wife. They had solved their problem all right. As of January first both of us were dropped from their rolls. Thank you so much and goodbye. Never darken our door again.

So now the hunt starts for a new carrier. I called my cardiologist's assistant to find out what insurance went well with them. We attended a group meeting on health care insurance a few days later. The insurance that was recommended was available. It included my cardiologist and our family physician. Needless to say, we signed up. 

I have to have a monthly blood test. I have been using the same lab for a long time. The lab is at our nearest hospital and since I have been a guest there on occasion, I thought it good practice to have all my records in one place. I knew that previous to all these healthcare changes, our new insurance company did not cover their lab. So I made a phone call.

I was assured by a young lady that with all of the changes they were now good with our new carrier. So with a winter storm on the way, yesterday morning I headed into the hospital to get my blood test done before we got snowed in, and lo and behold the young lady gave me bad information. So no blood test. 

So back to square one and back to home. Call my cardiologist. Get a new prescription for the tests. Wait until the snow clears and head for a new lab.

Believe me I am not whining. But I do have a low tolerance for frustration. This has been very frustrating and most annoying. More so because it is all politics. If you haven't noticed, politics is getting to be too much a part of our lives lately, and I do not see it getting better very soon. I think this little story is just a good example of that manipulation of people's lives which is not necessary and should not be. Free markets made this country great. Government controlled markets are in the process of bringing it down.

1 comment:

  1. As with all things....the pendulum always swings, water and electricity find the path of least resistance, and change is always inevitable. With the advent of the "Unafforable Care Act," many doctors and patients are frustrated with the new system. The next step is a doctor a) leaving the system (e.g., resigning); b) reducing his hours and number of patiets; or finding a new way altogether.

    The impetus in all of this is the fact that eventually, Obamacare will fail--say, two or three years from now, just in time for the presidential elections (when all the knights on white horses will come out of the walls to save us)--and we are left with complete government control of our health (aka, single payer system).

    To counter this, the medical community "may" create a new means of acquiring and giving services. One of those would be what's called "medical tourism." You can see it happening already, with some insurance companies offering hip replacements, not locally, but in key geographic areas of the country or overseas. It generally will be free or low cost (hmmm, for large corporations and their employees), the caveat being one has to pay for the flight to get there...The flight from the USA has now begun.

    Other avenues are to pay low cost, but more direct medical expenses from a menu offered by "medical services companies." In otther words, pay the IRS fine having no medical insurance, but have instead, a medical avenue that is more direct and immediately responsive to one's needs.

    Pretty soon, no one will want to sign on to Obamacare (especially the young), thus ever-increasing taxes and premiums just to support it. Once people balk at it, then the 'single-payer' system will be created.. Whoever is in political power in 2015/2016 will be ousted....that's why I fear the Republicans and conservatives will lose even if they win in 2014...

    Welcome to our future...we have met the enemy, and he is us (Pogo, I think).