Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I get hive outbreaks from an unknown allergen that sometimes will go away with two benadryl and sometimes, will take me out and require IV steroids to stop the reaction. This happened to me last week.  I was walking home when the reaction started and by the time I got home and took the benadryl I knew it was going to be a bad one so I called a taxi to take me to the hospital. Now I am smart enough to know that I should have called an ambulance, but I didn't want to pay for it. As a result, the reaction increased, I passed out on the sidewalk and someone walking by called an ambulance.


I have health insurance and am not in financial dire straits. I can afford the ambulance ride. But the last time this happened it took six months to setttle all the bills between the health insurance company, the doctors, the ambulance and the ER.  Six months of phone calls, faxes and e-mails with various parties trying to confirm who had paid what.

My friend just got back from Denmark and described their social system of free healthcare, daycare and subsidized vacations.  She got it right on. We do it wrong.  

We construct situations that needlessly add to the anxiety and administrative burden of life and call it freedom or free market. I want to have a conversation with someone who argues that health care should be a "market". I want them to explain how people who are sick and vulnerable should be required to make rational, informed decisions about their care.  It is ridiculous and there should be a way to force the conversation on healthcare to acknowledge that.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right on. IMO there is an inherent conflict between profit and health care. Seems to me that the only ones benefiting from the current system are the insurance and drug companies who are making money off of other people's misery.