Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Maverick Healthcare

The part of John McCain's acceptance speech that I can't get out of my head is the part about healthcare, and how he won't put a bureaucrat between us and our doctors.

I am one of the lucky Americans who has medical insurance. Evil, Inc. of course got us the cheapest policy they could find, but we have a policy. Here's my story as it relates to someone between me and my doctor:

When I was a pretty damn good basketball player, I tore my ankle up something awful. I fell so fast and hard that the leather high tops I was wearing actually tore on the outside of the right ankle where the ligaments gave way. That was somewhere in the ballpark of 20 years ago. Since then, the ankle and my foot have become increasingly fucked up - full of arthritis, bone spurs, and knots and crap where the torn ligaments kind of balled up. It's grosser than that, but I'll spare you the rest of the details. Since the original on-court injury, which was awful and incredibly painful, I have re-injured the ankle with bad sprains maybe 6 or 7 times. Poor me, right?

So lately, the pain has been significant enough for me to seek help from my mostly holistic doctor. She looks the mess over and shakes her head. Her opinion is that surgery is impossible, but that physical therapy might be beneficial. She writes me a referral to a PT, even though I shouldn't need one since I have a "preferred PPO" plan. Great, I have a treatment plan -- why did I wait so long?

I go to my Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass website to find an approved PT. Since I live in Colorado, that's always fun, but I found the spot after about 15 minutes where I could look for Colorado docs (posing as a Mass resident who is travelling). There aren't any PTs listed. I call my HR person, and she looks for me -- nope, no PTs listed. She calls our broker, who looks for her -- no PTs. They're going to get back to me.

My question for Johnny Maverick is this: how would all these asshats between me and my imaginary doctor being paid by the government -- thus allowing my family members who don't work for companies that buy them policies access as well -- make me want to vote for him?

That's all I wanted to say on the issue.

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