Friday, June 02, 2017


In the midst of the ongoing disaster that has befallen the country, I had a reminder recently that healthcare in the USA is still a wreck. When I had my episode of food poisoning (or whatever it was) in Michigan recently, my concerned wife took me to an urgent care. We of course had to pay out-of-pocket for service (about $100), as we were way outside our network (the group of providers who have agreements with our insurance company). I submitted the paperwork to our insurance company when we got home (Duke uses Aetna), to see if they would reimburse some of that amount. Nope. Rejected, because we didn't call them first to get approval—not something you think of at a time like that. Thank God I waved off the 911 responders when my daughter called them after I first got sick and almost passed out. We might have been out thousands of dollars. And this is with really first-class insurance, mind you. I have great insurance through Duke. You can't get much better in this country.

People from countries with real healthcare systems find this kind of thing shocking, but it's par for the course here. And our government is actively trying to make it worse. It's just one more bit of dreadful in a sea's worth, but it's worth remembering that the disastrous state of healthcare in the US affects all of us, even the lucky ones with insurance through our jobs. And again, our government is trying its best to make it worse. You can be quite sure it will be worse for everyone.