Wednesday, September 19, 2007

War has been waged over water

At least that's what my husband says, every time we have to write another check to repair something so that we can enjoy a daily shower.

I did get my run in [and my daily shower] before the repairmen came yesterday morning, and a forceful stream of water is once again coursing through the veins of our spliced water line. Paul – it's really kind of a shame when you're on a first-name basis with the guy who installed your water pump – informed me that there was a thicker water pipe available now, but since we paid an ungodly amount of money for the current water line, I just thanked him for sharing.

Still don't have blood test results back. It's been a week. Apparently the way our insurance works is that if the hospital lab analyzes my blood, we have to pay out of pocket. If the hospital sends my blood out to a particular – and apparently slow – lab, the insurance pays for it. At least until October 1, when a new and definitely not improved plan kicks in. I feel like going back to the doctor and asking him to order all kinds of fancy-schmancy tests, to take advantage of this previously unknown-to-me benefit.

I favor the healthcare reform proposed by the good folks at Physicians for a National Health Plan. [You don't have to be a physician to join, and non-physicians only pay $40 for a year's membership. Hint, hint.] I'm not articulate enough to explain their plan here, so I hope you'll click over and then ask your congressional representative to endorse HR676.

Hillary's proposal is all over the news this week, and I happened to catch some of Rush Limbaugh's commentary yesterday afternoon. [I'm a reformed Republican; now I listen to Rush to see what the "other side" is up to.]

Frankly, I would think Rush and his ilk would be supporting the Dems' proposals, as they all [except Kucinich] endorse a plan that hands insurance companies a goose on a golden platter. Sounds like it would be pretty good for big business.

One of these days my husband and I will have to decide whether to pay an insurance premium … or Paul, the water guy.


jeannie crockett said...

I'm pretty sure you will delete this comment, but I like you anyway here goes:

And why shouldn't you have to pay an insurance premium? And do you think that comments such as "I feel like going back to the doctor and asking him to order all kinds of fancy-schmancy tests, to take advantage of this previously unknown-to-me benefit" have anything to do with the high cost of health insurance?

On the other hand, my husband and I don't want to move because we have such phenomenally great water pressure. We miss our shower as much as our bed when we travel.

I do hope you figure out what's wrong. You do so much right, and the scale just doesn't move. I'm older than you and I don't have that problem. If I were as "good" as you, I'd weigh what I weighed in my 20's.

Debbi said...

I'm not saying I shouldn't pay an insurance premium, nor does PNHP. But health insurance companies spend more of their time denying claims than approving them, and they also deny coverage to many, many, many people due to pre-existing health conditions. It's good business for them to accept you if you're young and healthy – they won't have to pay as many claims.

My line about asking my doctor to order a bunch of tests was said in jest. I'm definitely not what I would call a frequent or habitual healthcare consumer. And my doctor wouldn't do that anyway.

The universal, single-payer health care plan that PNHP endorses would still require a premium – it's not free health care. But the premium would be a reasonable amount that most of us can afford. If I were still paying for a private health insurance policy, the premium would be about $600 a month, which is certainly getting into the out-of-reach range.

I think I'm about as healthy a 56-year-old woman as you'll find, except for an extra 30 pounds. That alone would get me denied from coverage by many companies.

The other part of the current healthcare system is that insurance companies are practicing medicine. I had to have special dispensation from my carrier in order to get the bone density test my gynecologist ordered. When my husband prescribes a drug not in a company's formulary, he often spends hours justifying his choice and frequently the patient has to "fail" on two or three other drugs before the drug of choice is allowed.

Feel free to disagree, and thank you for being polite about it. My own opinion is that big business has no business playing doctor.