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.