Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The emergency room is NOT health insurance

At dinner with a group of silicon valley executives a few nights ago, the only woman (as usual) and, as the conversation progresses, I learn the only Democrat at the table.

A debate on health care ensues. Obama-care, can Mitt Romney get elected because he is tainted with the same brush etc. Someone at the table (not me) says it is a crime that 55 million people in the US do not have health insurance.

And one of the gentlemen says "Of course everyone has health insurance - it's called the emergency room".

Well, I am ashamed to say, I jumped down his throat. And said ...

"That's insane. In my case I have had strokes, and without anti-coagulants would probably have another stroke because I have a bad gene. My preventative medical costs are $450 once a year for my visit with the neurologist and $249 a month for my medication. So $3,438 a year if my insurance chose to consider my condition pre-existing.

In your worldview, were I unable to afford the preventative care, my "insurance" would be wait for my next stroke, go to emergency as I am having a stroke - maybe become paralyzed or lose critical function (or die which I admit would be cheaper) - certainly stay in hospital for a week or two - run a large number of very expensive tests - shoot me up with expensive anti-cogulants to try to disperse the clot and then use medicare to pay for ongoing therapy and recovery. I went through that process twice already when we did not know what was the underlying cause and it is very, very, very expensive. I was one of the lucky ones that I did have good health insurance at the time

Do you seriously believe what you just said?"

Yup. Feisty on that issue clearly.

1 comment:

SSH said...

Yeah, but you come from the communist British healthcare system where we routinely kill old people to save money, so you're biased ;)

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