I just had an experience – about half an hour ago – that confirms my opinions about the “health care” system in this country. Right now, I am sitting at my desk typing this – instead of getting stitches on a fairly respectable gash I have on my left leg – courtesy of a “caress” from my chainsaw – because the effing quack is unavailable (busy with appointments with people who aren’t bleeding) today and that leaves the mercenary Urgent Care joint that would likely charge me $1,500 for a couple of butterfly stitches and I will not pay those bastards except in fish heads.
So I jumped in the shower, cleaned the gash out with soap and water, then washed it out with sterile saline solution, spread Neosporin on it, packed it with gauze and wrapped the bugger tight with elastic tape.
It’s a lot cheaper than the got-damned Medical Mercs at the Urgent Care place – and since my doctor is unavailable, I guess it’s up to Dr. Eric, DDS, LLd, et cetera.
So here I am, thinking about it.
Getting mad about it.
I’ve got a fairly important situation but my regular doctor – the guy who is supposed to be my “primary care” guy – is useless to me because the only way I can see the guy (if it’s even him, probably it’ll be his physician’s assistant, who isn’t even a doctor) is if I make an appointment several days out.
But guess what? I need the bastard now.
Not two days from now.
The doctor isn’t in.
I have to bully my way through at least five Fraus – the sour paperwork women who man the front office – before I could even get a date to see him. He wouldn’t even know I was out there in his waiting room, bleeding, because of the Frau Screen. So he deals with sniffling kids and prostate checks and forget about it if you really need to see the man right now.
The presence of these Fraus is a modern development. Like “health care” (as opposed to medicine).
Do you remember the Bad Old Days – you know, before we had “health care” but had doctors – when you could just go to the doctor’s office and he’d see you. Especially if you were… bleeding? And it was kind of…. urgent?
Today, we have “health care” instead. The doctor will see you… next week.
Probably it will be his not-quite-smart-enough for medical school physicians’ assistant. You’ll be billed at the same rate as if you had seen the doctor (eventually) of course.
Or, you can go see the Medical Mercenary at the Urgent Care place. He will see you. Actually, he sees you coming.
I have dealt with these bastards before. Last year, my wife got second degree burns on her hand. Not a big deal, but it hurt and it was night and of course the “primary” doctor was home and couldn’t be bothered, so we went to see the Medical Mercenary instead. For applying some burn cream and writing a scrip for pain killers… we got slapped with an $800 bill.
You can imagine what they’d charge to give me a local and a few stitches.
So can I. Which is why I am here at my desk with my leg wound cleaned and disinfected and wrapped by… me.
And at least I could see me today. And my prices are reasonable, too.
This is what it’s come down to. You have insurance (or maybe you don’t) but getting medical care is either Soviet in terms of the bureaucracy and the wait – or you get raped if it can’t wait. The screw job for a trip to the emergency room – no prior approval! – is worse than a Cuban Donkey Show.
The Urgent Care place will fleece you just as deftly but at least – as in my case – you have the choice to not go and self-treat.
That’s the fulsome scurvy truth, folks. More people are “covered” than ever. But good look getting treatment when you need it.
Or being able to afford it.
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