Wednesday, September 2, 2009

“But I Can’t Afford the Red Pill!”

“Are you sleepy at night? Do you wake up in the morning? Does hunger occur after not eating for extended periods of time? If you have displayed any of these symptoms or know someone who has, you could be suffering from Normalitis. You should ask your doctor about Noneedacil. Yes, Noneedacil. From the makers of prescription glasses with no lenses and the pet rock comes Noneedacil. Results from an independent, quadruple-blind study funded by the board of directors of the company that owns Noneedacil show that patients who took Noneedacil were more likely to take Noneedacil than patients who didn’t (did I mention Noneedacil?) Ask your pusher if Noneedacil is right for you.”

*Side effects include death, dying, nose bleeds, stomach upset, indigestion, aneurisms, diaper rash, erections lasting longer than 4 hours in women, Men menstruating, chicken pox in monkeys, monkey pox in birds, bird flu in pigs and swine flu in guinea pigs a.k.a. you. Pregnant women or women who wish to ever have healthy children shouldn’t take Nooneedacil.

Before I persist, I would like to commend all those (doctors, nurses, midwives, shaman, dulas, etc…) who have dedicated their lives to helping and healing others through the practice of medicine. This is not directed towards you. This is for your boss.

The healthcare industry is in need of serious overhaul. This is not because Lobbyists influence policy making in Washington D.C. This is not because our hypochondriac culture promotes “cure” rather than preventative measures for all ailments, real or imagined. This is not because healthcare costs are the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in America. This is not because although the most expensive in the free universe, U.S healthcare cares less for its citizens than certain “undeveloped” nations. The reason the healthcare system needs an overhaul is solely because I was told that I had to pay $176 dollars for a prescription ointment and when I asked for the generic brand as a cheaper alternative, the doctor gladly called it in, bringing my new total to $167 (net savings = 9 dolares). This prompted me to consider alternative homeopathic methods of treatment before finally submitting my wallet to a stomach pumping of sorts:

Mix 1 eye of newt, 2 smidges of Bitter Root, 1 bag of Bat balls, 3 pinches of Nutmeg, and a dash of Mike Lawry’s jerk seasoning in a bubbling cauldron, then bake in a steam powered oven @ 75 degrees for 17 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve tepid.

Needless to say, I am not a fan of healthcare bureaucracy as it stands. With the myriad of diseases that require only funding to eradicate, why would pharmaceutical companies squander resources developing new drugs when they could easily pool funds and literally cure some ailment? But alas, there is no profit in actual progress. There is however money to be made in incremental, regressive, partially hydrogenated rehabilitation. I now understand the backlash against the Obama administration’s attempts at reform and the rational behind slanderous and misleading comparisons to Nazi death panels. The pharmaceutical industry has always been opposed to a final solution.

I read a book a while ago by George Bernard Shaw called the Doctor’s Dilemma. The underlying inspiration for the story was an actual doctor in London who performed procedures that neither helped nor hurt his patients. The ultimate result was that said doctor grew substantially wealthy for his efforts. Sound familiar? Ever wonder why you can’t leave your doctor’s office without a requisition and referral to copay yet another specialist for some overpriced, ineffective medications or treatment? By the way, The Doctor's Dilemma was written in 1906. It seems there have been doctors without borders (as in not knowing where to draw the line when money is involved) for almost a century now. Until there is some sort of elixir that cures common greed, there will never be an end to this.

Now if you will excuse me, a group of soon to be illegal immigrants, including myself will be attempting to cross borders in the hopes of a better life. We’s escapin’ to Canada!!

Sidebar: It was brought to my attention many years ago that a certain medication (Procardia) was prescribed 12 days before a certain Crazed Afrykan’s father suffered massive cardiac arrest. It was also later identified that this medication may induce, yes you guess it, cardiac arrest in 1-7 % of patients. Now who’s to say if this had anything to do with it? But my point is this: who’s to say it didn’t? No one really cares that a drug that helps a million others may be the one that causes another person’s Pop’s heart to literally pop. The only ones who may concern themselves with that however may be the families of that seemingly insignificant percentile. Sidebar complete.

You Damn Right it’s Personal!


G-Man said...

Well said my friend. Here is the reform I am looking for and I don't care if there is a public option or not..i just want these few things.
*the rates don't go up if someone gets sick
*health insurance is not a consideration when changing jobs or careers
*you don't lose your policy if you get sick, if you become unemployed, or even if your employer goes out of business
*you won't be billed for "out of network" services in hospitals or elsewhere - these services are part of your coverage, no matter which hospital or team of doctors treats you
*you don't have annual, lifetime, disease-related, or disease-recurrence caps
*you won't be billed at 20%, 30% or more for expensive medications
*nor will you ever go bankrupt due to unpaid and unaffordable medical bills piling up
*Also, forget expensive copays
*Forget too the denials, the constant slog of endless 0800 calls (yours and your doctor's) to your insurance company for requests for coverage or adjustments, wasting huge amounts of people's time, energy, and productive capacity every business day

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