Pissed off nurse.

Ok, you are catching me in a bad mood today! All of this healthcare reform talk has got my feathers puffed up like a crazy rooster about to attack (except for the fact that roosters are male and I’m not but, you get the point). All I keep hearing over and over is how nobody can afford insurance and how the government is going to cut costs out of Medicare and make healthcare affordable for all.

What I don’t get is why in the pre-natal Medicaid clinic in the hospital, at least 60% or more of the patients I see have their nails done, pedicures and carry Iphones or Blackberrys. What happened to the good ol’ pay as you go phone, they don’t require you to carry a media package that costs $115.00 a month. Let’s not forget the expensive purses and jewelry that is usually sported and the kids that are dressed like they stepped off the cover of a Dillards magazine.

What about the emergency room loaded with patients that have NO insurance yet, fit the same profile as far as accessories. They don’t want to pay $90 to see a Dr. for an ear infection that they have had over a week and decide it is an emergency, so they are seen, sent a bill for about $1,000.00 and never pay it. What about the patients that do have Medicaid yet come to the emergency room for every little cough, bump or scratch. Some prefer to ride the ambulance because they think it will get them seen faster for their sprained ankle. Good tax dollars at work there!

It infuriates me to no avail that my tax dollars are spent in this way! NO ONE in this country is denied medical treatment if they do not have insurance in an emergency room. If you have been in a car wreck and need surgery yet, you are uninsured; you are still given the same stat treatment. You get your surgery, you are still taken care of in the intensive care unit, given whatever medications, equipment and therapy you may need.

I fully admit there are those that truly need Medicaid; I have a family member that is one of them. It’s the abuse of the system that drives me insane. One day, just out of curiosity, I had a well dressed pt. come in with her medicaid card. I just happened to step out back as she was leaving…. in her brand new 7series BMW.

Why do people expect physicians to work for free? Do people not understand that they have to pay for their office, their nurses, their staff? What about the $350,000.00 loans they are trying to pay back from going to school an extra 12 years. We have the best physicians in the world in this country yet the government keeps cutting reimbursement.

If you owned a restaurant and the meal I (the government insured) ordered costs you 15 dollars to make but, the max I pay you is 12 dollars…uh I’m no mathematician but I think that would constitute a FAIL! So in effort to make up for the 3 dollar loss every time you fed a patient like me, you have to charge the (private insurance company) 22 dollars to make up the difference. So in effort to cover their overhead and rack up their profits they up the insured’s diners rates.

It’s all a mess, the fraud, the abuse, it’s sickening. The private industry is a wreck, they keep hiking rates because of this cycle. It’s crazy the profit they turn! It to makes me want to vomit. Bring in good ol capitalism, what this country was founded on! Let them truly compete against one another to bring down costs. Instead they have created monopolies that dictate what the physicians can do and how they can treat their patients because they literally own the states. Healthcare reform is a must but, socializing medicine will put us in the same boat as so many others. I heard a patient bitching the other day in the waiting room because they had to wait two hours to see the Dr. , I was thinking to myself, just wait to see if Obamacare passes, you will be waiting two and a half weeks.

I’m by no means a Harvard grad or carry a masters of any sort but, I do have common sense, a huge heart and love my country. If someone is hungry I will feed them, if someone is thirsty I will give them a drink. The American population as a whole is full of wonderful, charitable human beings. Look out how we donated to Haiti. I’m not talking about the government but, the personal donations of millions of caring, selfless, loving Americans.

I am going to stop this rant now because I could go on for HOURS! Just had to get that little bit off my chest, my feathers seem to have de-poofed a bit. Guess we will just have to see what happens.

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  1. Alex Kessler says:

    Love your posting and could not agree more with many of the points you made. I do not claim to know the answer to the many healthcare issues we face today. However, we all see the abuse of current government healthcare programs like medicare and especially medicaid. I mean I wouldn’t dream of visiting the ER for a sprained ankle, heck I pay enough of a co-pay for a clinic visit. Yet, like you Jennifer I see many people on medicaid and the uninsured treat a trip to the ER as a clinic visit. My only concern with this healthcare reform is what is going to happen when everyone has insurance provided by the government! Are we on track to see medicaid type abuse on a broader scale? For example, how would you treat a rental car versus a car you own that you had to work hard to obtain? Bottomline, I don’t know alot about the new healthcare reform or what the “answer” is to all the issues facing us in healthcare, but nonetheless I am nervous about what lies ahead.

  2. Colette says:

    I understand your frustration. However, my 32 year old son has no insurance, no money, and a low paying job. When he got a bad ear infections it cost $130 for 3 minute doctor visit, and $140 for prescriptions. Basically a weeks pay. How can anyone afford that? A weeks pay for an ear infection??? Since he didn’t have any money, I paid the freight. But am wondering how people without any recourse take care of medical problems. What if it had been his daughter??? And he didn’t have any money????

  3. Diane says:

    I have to disagree on some points here. First – yes, nobody is denied medical care in this country when they go to the ER. But those that don’t pay are being subsidized by your and my taxes. Medicaid recipients are paid for by our taxes. So what’s the difference between having a government sponsored program in place that will (hopefully, eventually?) cover everyone, even those who slip through the cracks of being working poor and unable to qualify for medicaid because they actually have a job, and what we have now (which is a government sponsored program that, in large part, only covers people who refuse to take financial responsibility for themself)?
    I’ve worked at several different types of medical facilities (private offices, ambulatory surgery centers, etc) and I can tell you that the doctors like having medicare and medicaid patients because they know that they will get paid. The government generally doesn’t change the rules as often or as arbitrarily as private insurance companies do. Your biller learns the rules and you submit your claim and it gets paid. Unlike private companies that pick and choose what they will cover and change the rules on a nearly monthly basis.
    I agree, there are many people who abuse these systems. If the system was set up so that affordable healthcare was available to everyone and not just to the ones who are unable (or, in a lot of cases UNWILLING) to work, this might actually help to remedy the abuse problem.
    In my opinion, the biggest problem with health insurance is the insurance companies themselves. There was a time in my state when all of the health insurance providers were not-for-profit. Use of insurance was self-limiting because instead of having a co-pay, you paid 20% of the cost of your medical care and the insurance company paid the rest (up to a certain $ amount, then it was covered 100%). This meant that most people took a more active role in their health care and made sure that things like diagnostic testing were neccessary before committing to pay the 20% deductible.
    Think about it – is it really ethical for a company to decide what medical care a provider can perform based on profit?
    People in this country also have a very misguided set of priorities. As you stated, they will complain about paying a doctor $100 for medical care but think nothing of dropping $1200 for a purse. They’ll whine about a $30 co-pay while talking on their $500 cell phone that costs $80 a month to maintain the service on. I could go on but I won’t.

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