The beast, in this case, being medical insurance. Hot topic these days, and I’m here to share with you, my dear readers, the utter frustration at the innate idiocy of medical insurance. In all honesty, I’ll tell you that I don’t have much use for Western medicine, other than for something catastrophic. Handsome Husband’s cancer was catastrophic, and our medical insurance did what it is supposed to do. I almost say that with a thread of surprise, because, well, I’m surprised, if not shocked, when any product does what its supposed to do.
Flash forward to NOW, as we’re traveling. Have you ever wondered how medical insurance works for run-of-the-mill people like us, when aforesaid people are thousands of miles from home? Let me clue you in. Most often, it doesn’t, at the discretion of our policy holder.
Here’s the scenario: A month or so ago, while we were in Arizona, Handsome Husband was halted in his tracks by a pinched nerve. It showed up in his back, his shoulders, his arm, his neck. Pretty much everywhere. He started acupuncture for it, and it was helping, but we had to leave Arizona, having made reservations further West, and paid non-refundable monies for those reservations. He’s managed since, but barely. Nights when he couldn’t find a comfortable position for sleeping, and had to sit upright on the couch to get relief. Not able to walk for long periods. Lots of pain. Our traveling life has come to a standstill as far as exploring new places. We looked forward to arriving here in California, where he planned on seeing a doctor at an Urgent Care. We’re required to phone our policy holder for permission to do this when out-of-state and he did that immediately upon arrival.
Let me just do a quick list here:
1. The nurse told him that this was a pre-existing condition, which means they would NOT cover a doctor visit of any sort. This “pre-existing” condition has to do, apparently, with a back injury he received while active duty in the Air Force. TWENTY years ago. And, further, before leaving the state, he “should have been prepared for anything regarding that injury, with medications available to treat himself”.
2. This has nothing to do with his previous injury. And, even if it did, pain medications only barely remove some of the pain. They do not treat what’s wrong. He’s been taking pain medications. They don’t touch it. And, again, even if this does has to do with his back injury, how exactly does one prepare for a pinched nerve? And just how quickly does the almighty f**cking insurance company think we can return to NJ for treatment? It would take us weeks. With him in pain. Idiocy.
2. He has never had pinched nerve before. Ever. The pain is NOT located where he injured his back.
3. He sought treatment for that back injury TWENTY years ago, with the Veterans Administration, only to be told that they couldn’t rate him to any degree because it was only intermittent pain.
4. In California, we discovered, when you seek treatment at an Urgent Care, personnel ARE NOT allowed to inquire about medical insurance, prior to the treatment. Only after. This sounded like a possibility for us, initially. He could see a doctor and not have to worry about payment. But wait! Afterwards, they do inquire. And we just weren’t quite sure that Handsome Husband could carry off actually being homeless. He’s an honest person, and when asked for ID, how could he not show it, which would send them searching to verify lack of insurance, finding that he is indeed covered, submitting the claim, only to have it refused, and us having to pay out-of-pocket for the visit. Yet, there are massive numbers of illegals who can seek treatment at these places, and get it covered for free. And please don’t call me a hater or a racist in making this statement-there are scores of illegals in this state who receive many such benefits, in spite of their status. Their status is a totally different political discussion for someone else to have. I’m speaking of the irony of an American citizen, a man who has been shot at in service of his country, who does everything legally, has medical insurance, seeks treatment (albeit out-of-state), and cannot get covered by said insurance. Isn’t there something terribly, terribly, wrong when this happens?
5. We know, or are at least hopeful, that a chiropractor, can help him with this. Regular medicine would dictate steroid treatments, or steroid injections, or surgery. None of which sounds good, but at least a doctor could discuss options. If he could see a doctor. And, of course, chiropractors, who are the most likely to help him avoid invasive procedures, aren’t covered by our insurance. So, yes, we’re going to pay out-of-pocket for him to see one. (note to everyone we know: all future gifts from us will include our love and goodwill, as opposed to tangible gifts).
Here’s my rant (and I know that many of you will get this). You can DAMN well bet that those useless pieces of sh*t in Washington DC, our lawmakers-(you know, the ones who cater to the lobbyists), would be immediately covered by their medical insurance, if such a thing happened to them, even if they were out-of-state. Hell, a doctor would probably make a house call to treat their poor little useless selves! They wouldn’t be told they have to be in their state of insurance domicile. They’d be pandered to, and everything possible done for them. Oh, but that’s right. They don’t have the insurance the rest of us peons do. They’re special and protected.
So pissed now. Medical insurance is good for catastrophe. Anything else, not so much, especially when you realize that Western medicine isn’t about treating what’s wrong-its only about treating symptoms. It’s not about wellness, it’s about sickness. Handsome Husband and I have both considered canceling our policy, but we all know where that would get us: a fine, under Obama care, for not carrying insurance. Not that any back-door deals are going on with that, of course! How jaded it would be of me to believe such a thing!
My state of residence? New Jersey. My current state-of-mind? Pissed.