And I know that for millions of people it is, I’m not here to debate that. All I know is that we have excellent insurance with a well known company and no matter how much money I fling out of my wallet every month we can’t seem to get good health care to save our lives.
I’ve had chronic stomach and intestinal problems since I was a small child that have worsened significantly in the past few years since I had my son. Exercise, healthy living and dietary changes didn’t even seem to help much (I’m a gluten-free vegan for god’s sakes, that alone would make me immune to stomach problems in a more fair and balanced universe). In the past year alone I know that I’ve spent thousands of dollars, despite my “great” insurance, seeing various doctors, specialists and during my worst episodes, ER physicians. I’ve gotten lots of wonderful explanations from those same people, like “It’s probably stress,” and “Eat more fiber.” Homeboy must not have heard me say I was a vegan because if I eat any more beans than I already do on a daily basis I think I might start shitting trees. At any rate, a wonderful Cafemom friend clued me in one day to a naturopathic doctor in my area, and out of desperation I decided to check it out. Without making a long story even longer, I’ll just say it was a life changing experience. With a few little dietary tweaks that I never would have thought of, some supplements and high quality digestive enzymes, I’m feeling better than I ever have in my life. All to the tune of a $450 bill for my office visit and supplements. A $450 bill that was declined by my “great” insurance company faster than you can say “In’t that one of dem der hippie doctors?”
Never mind that I’m not in pain for the first time in years, this wonderful insurance company of mine only pays for me to visit real doctors apparently. And now we’re experiencing the same vicious cycle all over again with my son, who started having bi-weekly sinus infections about a year ago with no explanation. We’ve seen multiple ENTs, pediatricians, allergists and immunologists with absolutely no results, yet that same “great” insurance company had no problem shelling out for all of these complete wastes of time. They paid for the woman ENT who told me that she suspected the root of Brody’s sinus problems were really a rare esophageal condition that I shouldn’t bother looking up because she was the only doctor who believed that it existed. They ponied up the dough for the doctor who exasperatedly advised me to “Please stop reading the insert that comes with the medicine ma’am, just give it to him” when I called his office to report side effects that Brody was experiencing after being placed on a new med. They didn’t even mine paying up for the last immunologist we saw, who instead of discussing the chronic sinus issues at hand, seemed to focus his fascination on the fact that we choose not to vaccinate and even at one point asked me “He’s already autistic, why don’t you just vaccinate him?” I sure am thankful for my “great” insurance company, or else I would have had to pay even more than $50 per visit for all of that help bullshit.
At the end of my rope again, I took Brody to see my naturopathic Wonder Woman last week. She’s given me some really interesting ideas to research and suggested some things to me that I had not thought about, so with a little luck, we might finally be on the right track. Another positive was that pediatric visits must be slightly discounted because it only cost $300 for Brody to be seen. I’m not going to even bother submitting it to my insurance, because frankly I can no longer afford the multiple stamps that I’m going to use up sending them everything just so they can send it right back and basically tell me where to stick it.
I’m starting to wonder if it would really be cheaper just to drop the insurance all together at this point, given the recent turn of events. But then of course with my luck someone in this house would trip over a ball or a toy car or a fat dog and break their leg, and I’m pretty sure they don’t make holistic ER facilities. At least not in Missouri. That aside, I’m definitely starting to wonder what the point of having the insurance is in the first place if they’ll pay for anything except what actually makes us better. “Free health care for all!” is starting to sound a lot more like a threat than an optimistic promise.
It makes me wonder how many years it will take to fix this broken system and if that will ever even happen. There’s very little healing going on but there’s a whole heaping helping of greed and money grubbing to go around. Maybe someday our country will realize that it’s not the lack of insurance that’s as much of a problem as the insurance companies themselves, and the doctors who work for them. Perhaps universal health care will bring some light to this issue even faster and that would be a great thing. Because the shit is really going to hit the fan when we hand every citizen in this country a set of keys to a car that doesn’t run and hasn’t worked properly for years.
Kicking it doesn’t work; trust me, I’ve tried.