Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Interesting story

  1. #1
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Interesting story

    The medical system in the U.S. comes in for a lot of criticism, but maybe you'll find this enlightening.

    Earlier this year, my brother in Arkansas began feeling a little queasy, with some abdominal pain. We happened to drop in for a visit, and he was clearly in distress. We took him to the local hospital, where they did a scan and prescribed some medications. We went and got the prescriptions filled, and left for home the next morning.

    The hospital called him that morning and told him to get himself up to Fort Smith to their parent hospital (a Catholic hospital serving as the local main hospital). He showed up, they looked at his records, and admitted him.

    He told them he had no income and no insurance, but was eligible for VA care. They called the VA (which is, essentially, "socialized medicine" for impecunious veterans). The VA dithered for 3 days.

    Finally, the doctor at the hospital said he had to operate immediately. He did so, and took a section of my brother's colon out, cleaned out a terrible abcess, and put in a temporary bag. A few day later he closed it up, removed the bag, and worked on getting it all cleaned up. My brother ended up spending almost 2 weeks in the hospital, some of it in intensive care. The VA never did get around to approving a transfer for him.

    My brother got a bill for the whole thing, almost $100,000. He wrote the hospital a letter explaining his financial situation, and eventually (about a month later) received a letter forgiving the entire debt.


  2. #2
    TC
    Guest

    Re: Interesting story

    My brother got a bill for the whole thing, almost $100,000. He wrote the hospital a letter explaining his financial situation, and eventually (about a month later) received a letter forgiving the entire debt.
    Great story. Glad to hear your brother is over his problem.

  3. #3
    D_E_Davis
    Guest

    Re: Interesting story

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    He told them he had no income and no insurance, but was eligible for VA care. They called the VA (which is, essentially, "socialized medicine" for impecunious veterans).
    That's not quite correct, Mike. It was only 4 years ago that the VA established a "means" test, and even today the cutoff is at $57,000. I'm well acquaninted with several fairly affluent individuals who get quite inexpensive medical care and prescriptions from the VA.


  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Interesting story

    Glad it turned out ok, first of all.

    It'd be interesting to findout how muchof the bill went for " administrative" costs vs. actual medical supplies, doctor fees, etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,934

    Re: Interesting story

    >>He told them he had no income and no insurance, but was eligible for VA care. They called the VA (which is, essentially, "socialized medicine" for impecunious veterans). The VA dithered for 3 days.<<

    Delivery of care in acute situations is always a worry. I'm guessing the hospital eventually forgave the debt because they will be reimbursed. Only a guess.

    Is your post some sort of sideways swipe at any form of socialism?


  6. #6
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Interesting story

    Yes, it is. And no, the hospital will not get reimbursed. It will come off its bottom line, and figure into its taxes.

    There are those who will say the poor or uninsured can't get medical care in the U.S., and that's just not true. We have never had a "health care crisis" here. We have an insurance crisis, and that is a problem that can and should be solved.

    And, having dealt with the vaunted health care system in France, I would much rather be taken unconscious after an accident to a hospital in the U.S. than almost anywhere else in the world. I would say "anywhere else," but I haven't been everywhere by a long ways.

    And I know where Canadians go for their health care when the need is most urgent, and it isn't in Canada. Especially cardiac care, and most particularly pediatric cardiac care.

    Once again, I challenge anyone to name a major medical advance in the last 100 years that was made under socialized medicine.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Interesting story

    "Insurance" is, itself, a bad joke.

    My wife and I have (theoretically) dental coverage, but the ukase involved in obtaining even a partial reimbursement is so ridiculous that I just hand over the Visa and pay out of pocket. (This, of course, is probably just what the insurance companies want.)

    My father's a retired MD; he was still practicing just as the HMO scheisse began to pick up steam. Before this happened, the typical doctor did not need an office full of bueraucrats to handle insurance papoerwork. Doctors didn't have their judgment second-guessed by non-MD flunkies working for an insurance co.

    Another problem,of course, is liability/malpractice insurance and the attendant issue of litigation. The expense and threat to career involved are simply outrageous. It's a wonder anyone even goes intomedicine these days.

    Finally, the tag team of a country increasingly peopled with overweight, sedentary, body-abusing loads and state-of-the-art (but costly) medical treatments to deal with these body-abusers. If we were a healthier society, our medical costs would be much lower. To a great extent, things like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease, etc. can be remediated by lifestyle changes and healthy choices. But instead, people want - and expect - a pill.

  8. #8
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: Interesting story

    Dental and hearing insurance are two of the least useful and most needed coverages. It's hard to eat well and perform productively without good teeth and good hearing.

    When this whole event started, I thought I might be posting here an indictment of our current system and a call for more socialized medicine, but I was pleasantly surprised.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,934

    Re: Interesting story

    Well Mike, some would say that socialized medicine is the same as health insurance. And is a seperate issue to clinical capacity [of which the US has much]

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Interesting story

    I believe (well, I hope) that many people,maybe even a majority, understand that the problems we have are not likely to be fixed by a socialized system - and that we'd lose a lot in the process as well. I'm not sure what the solution is - or even if there is a "solution" as such given the wide range of "problems," some of which are still under the control of indviduals themselves. For example, one cangreatly reduce the likelihood of even needing to visit the doctor (aside from routine check-ups) by simply maintaining proper body weight, exercising and avoiding things like smoking. We have millions of people inthis country who are under a doctor's care, taking expensive prescription drugs, etc., as a result of poor lifestyle choices. Then there is the issue of providing care to people who are societal parasites - for example, violent criminals. A thug gets shot by another thug - and the system (read: us) gets to pick up the $100k tab for surgical and post-operative care, etc. It's fine by me if a doctor wishes to donate his time and expertise - but I have a real problem with "donating" the equipment, OR/bed space, drugs and so on to save a person. Upon recovery, such a person should be compelled to "work it off" in some way or otherwise make restitution. We also have a similar situationw ith irrsponsible people who make babies they can't provide for. Such children ought to be adopted out and the parents put into a CCC-type service to learn a trade or otherwise make themselves useful. Those whoproduce a second child they cannot support should have their tubes tied (or a vasectomy performed). Just as you or I don't have any right to make our neighbors buy us a new Hot Rod, no one has the right (or should have the right) to compel society to finance their repeated irresponsible unprotected rutting. Wear a raincoat - or expect to bear the consquences.

    Elect me. I'll take care of it!

  11. #11
    TC
    Guest

    Re: Interesting story

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I believe (well, I hope) that many people,maybe even a majority, understand that the problems we have are not likely to be fixed by a socialized system - and that we'd lose a lot in the process as well. I'm not sure what the solution is - or even if there is a "solution" as such given the wide range of "problems," some of which are still under the control of indviduals themselves. For example, one cangreatly reduce the likelihood of even needing to visit the doctor (aside from routine check-ups) by simply maintaining proper body weight, exercising and avoiding things like smoking. We have millions of people inthis country who are under a doctor's care, taking expensive prescription drugs, etc., as a result of poor lifestyle choices. Then there is the issue of providing care to people who are societal parasites - for example, violent criminals. A thug gets shot by another thug - and the system (read: us) gets to pick up the $100k tab for surgical and post-operative care, etc. It's fine by me if a doctor wishes to donate his time and expertise - but I have a real problem with "donating" the equipment, OR/bed space, drugs and so on to save a person. Upon recovery, such a person should be compelled to "work it off" in some way or otherwise make restitution. We also have a similar situationw ith irrsponsible people who make babies they can't provide for. Such children ought to be adopted out and the parents put into a CCC-type service to learn a trade or otherwise make themselves useful. Those whoproduce a second child they cannot support should have their tubes tied (or a vasectomy performed). Just as you or I don't have any right to make our neighbors buy us a new Hot Rod, no one has the right (or should have the right) to compel society to finance their repeated irresponsible unprotected rutting. Wear a raincoat - or expect to bear the consquences.

    Elect me. I'll take care of it!
    All sounds good to me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,071

    Re: Interesting story

    Looking at it from a different viewpoint, I find it abhorrent that ANYONE should be left worrying for over a month over an enormous hospital bill.

    'Can you pay?'......that shouldn't be a question a hospital admissions person is required to ask.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,934

    Re: Interesting story

    >> >>, no one has the right (or should have the right) to compel society to finance their repeated irresponsible unprotected rutting. Wear a raincoat - or expect to bear the consquences.

    Elect me. I'll take care of it! <<

    All sounds good to me. <<

    You could always sterilise people you don't like.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,732

    Re: Interesting story

    I'd only be for that in cases of extreme irresponsibility - such as producing more than two offspring that the person can't or won't provide for, financially. Once is an understandable accident; twice - you've demonstrated you're either an idiot or just don't give a damn. I don't see why, come "number three," society hasn't got a right to say enough is enough.

    Or am I being harsh?

Similar Threads

  1. Interesting Person Here
    By Jim Rose in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-20-2009, 12:09 PM
  2. Interesting story about Driver's Ed
    By chiph in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-23-2008, 07:22 AM
  3. Two interesting developments
    By mrblanche in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-24-2007, 06:08 AM
  4. This is pretty interesting...
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 09-15-2007, 08:44 PM
  5. Interesting Commercial!
    By Jim Rose in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-14-2007, 01:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •