All posts for the month April, 2016

Healthcare in The United States

Published April 19, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

I have long thought that the health care system in the United States is broken. The new health care system has not helped, but hindered the already broken system.

While it this has been driven home to me on other occasions, today was a another prime example.

I am an older human being. I remember going to doctor at his office. HIS office, not a clinic or an office shared with multiple other doctors. You called, an appointment was made with the actual office staff. No phone trees or menus, no Muzak playing for 15 minutes while you waited to be shuffled to more Muzak.

The dentist was the same. He has an office, you called the office, they set up an appointment for you in a reasonable amount of time.

I rang up the clinic where I see a nurse practitioner. The clinic makes you wait for someone to route your call. Once you are routed to the appointment setters, then you have to be routed to the lab appointment setters, then to triage if your provider has questions or changes for you. All of these make you wait, sometimes up to 15 minuets, before a human answers the phone. That human is so anxious to get you off the phone, you often have to yell at them not to hang up, but to transfer you to your next destination. It seems none of these ‘departments’ look at the same screen to know what you need next. Needless to say, it is very frustrating and not efficient.

I rang the dentist my insurance assigned for me. I told them I needed a cleaning and check-up. They scheduled me in, over a month from my call. I was given a myriad of reasons why it was so far out. Basically, they claim they can only see X amount of insurance patients a month. Personally, I find this to be a mountain of BS, but I have no real choice (another issue with the US health care system).

Making those two calls took me almost 45 minuets.

Today was my dental appointment day. I showed up early to fill out the paperwork (Which, by the way, asked for my social security number. They didn’t get it. I see no reason why they need it). Was shown in, x-rays taken, consultation from the doctor, handed a tube of toothpaste (recommended by my insurance) and shown the door. No cleaning. That’s right, folks, no cleaning. They do not clean the same day. I had to make another appointment for a cleaning. Again, I was given all sorts of reasons why they couldn’t clean my teeth today.

That appointment for my teeth cleaning is 5 months away. A FIVE MONTH wait to get my teeth cleaned. Thank goodness I didn’t need any work done.

This isn’t about ‘Obamacare’. This about a health care system that was well broken before the new ‘system’ was put into place. I do not agree at all with the new system. Requiring everyone to have health insurance isn’t making the system affordable. The system that is in place is not there for the people. It is there for the insurance companies. Doctors can no long afford to treat patients as they choose. They are given a few precious minutes to diagnose a problem with a patient. Doctors in a clinic setting are expected to see a certain number of patients a day. Patients give up. They discontinue treatments and stop going for check-ups because it is impossible to see a doctor within a reasonable time frame.

Nothing has changed with our healthcare system. It is still only the well off who can afford to see a doctor or dentist to get the care they need. Insurance companies keep raising the premiums and the deductibles and keep scaling back what is covered. Unless you can afford premium insurance, you left in the cold.

This leaves me feeling like this:

I am part of the working poor, so my health does not matter.



The Eleventh Hour Save

Published April 2, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



I have been away and have been unable to update my situation lately. Several things fell together at the last-minute and I have been running ever since.

I was saved from my downward spiral at the eleventh hour.

I was called for a job interview 2 weeks ago. I didn’t know what to expect, as usual. They were looking for an office assistant. It was located in a small town just north of me, about 20 minutes away. I stepped into the small lobby and was asked to wait a few minutes while the owner of the company wiggled out of her busy office to sit in on the interview.

The three of us , the owner, the administrative assistant, and myself, sat in the small lobby and chatted. It was a very relaxed interview. They asked about my experience, if I thought I learned quickly, and if I liked a busy day. A small dog wandered in and asked to get acquainted. I learned his name was Gus. Gus sniffed me over and promptly hopped into the chair next to me to be petted. I petted Gus and answered questions. The next thing I knew, the boss lady said ‘Well, if no one has anymore questions, I am fine with her. Can you start Monday?’. And just like that, I had a job.

I agreed to begin that following Monday. I drove a short distance, stopped and called my property manager. I told her I was staying in my apartment. I had a job. I called Luke and told him I didn’t have to move back into the spare room. I had a job. I rolled down my window and rejoiced to the world. I had a job!

I spent that weekend unpacking all the things I had packed up so carefully. I rearranged my apartment to the way I thought might work better. I re-hung my art and photos. I cleaned out things I no longer needed. In short, I finished making my apartment my home.

This has been difficult. This been heart wrenching. This has been eye-opening. People opened their hearts, their time, their pocketbooks and offered their homes to me. It was unexpected. It left me astounded and often in tears. I have many ‘thank you’s’ to attend to.

They are late, but they will be fully heartfelt.