Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the world as I see it

Have you noticed a change in the world around you? Yes, I'm speaking generally to Americans in America. And I've been noticing a change.

It's taken place slowly, and I don't know that I can put my finger on when the change happened, but it's the rise of a new "protection" racket.

It's called Insurance.

Every time I turn on the television, I am bombarded with the messages about how I can be safe, how this company or that "protects" me, or can ensure that I don't suffer from the inconvenience of smashed cars, or trees falling on my house, or Allstate's "Mayhem". . . .

Even the term "Life Insurance" is a misnomer. They can't ensure my life, they can only pay money to my designee upon my death.

Same with accidents. Allstate doesn't "protect" me from "Mayhem", it pays money to repair the damage Mayhem caused. And if Mayhem caused a death? They are powerless to do anything but pay money. I don't know about you, but money can't replace life in my eyes.

Which leads me to the health "insurance" debacle. It's a racket which, combined with the threat of lawsuit (for which doctors obtain the "protection" of malpractice insurance) adds up to us paying a whole lot of money to people who don't provide health care! And who generally don't pay back enough for us to get the care we actually need. Does this make sense?

Then, the people who don't have the money to pay the people who don't provide healthcare and don't pay enough for us to get the care we need, show up in Emergency Rooms where they can't be turned away (insert law here together with legislator's stump speech about all the good he's doing the poor and disadvantaged) for treatment they don't pay for and make it difficult for actual emergency medical cases to be seen in a timely fashion. Oh, and in New York? The people who don't have medical insurance - but get Medicaid - might soon be able to apply for transgender surgeryunder that system! I'm thinking not many insurance companies would voluntarily pay to change the sex of their policy holder. . . .

Which leads me to the other major change I'm seeing, that of choice. We seem to think we have the right to choose just about everything or anything. But that's a subject for another day.

Meanwhile, I'm choosing to pay fewer and fewer insurance companies. The biggest problem with this is that once an insurance company gets into the field, the "providers" - those that actually do the work needed - get used to working with the insurance companies and they change their business practices. They bill the insurance companies less - but more often (and with guaranteed payment) - and they bill individuals a whole lot more. Have you noticed the change in your vet's billing? Me too. It's becoming another health care debacle, with sky-rocketing prices. And less and less choice for us, by the way. Now we get the prescribed optimum treatment, whether we want it or not. And if we can't pay for it - or don't want to give Fido IV's, for example - then we get NO treatment. It's an all or nothing proposition these days.

God, I hate this world.

Sorry - not a good way to start the day, is it? Meanwhile, I get to try and write a letter to one of my providers who has finally gotten around to sending a year's worth of billing to my medical insurance company. You got it: they denied the claim. And now the doctor wants me to pay thousands of dollars for treatment I assumed was being paid for by my medical insurance. . . .

The good news is that the rain has broken and we are predicted to have an absolutely beautiful day! A bit warmer than it's been. It will be a wonderful reprieve from the cold and wet and a time to relax a bit, before the cold and wet really sets in for the winter.