Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Health Insurance Corporate Thugs Have No Fear of Christmas Future

I can't believe it's been about a week since I posted last. Last week was crazy with snowdays & delayed openings. Plus I was getting Edith and myself ready to go to Vermont for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Kind of a quick trip, up early on Friday morning, back on Sunday morning. Poor Edith puked in LaGuardia airport while we were changing flights. At least it wasn't on board the plane. People surely must have appreciated that.

I feel besieged by hospital billing errors, big credit card bills, endless streams of tasks. It's to the point at which I feel like I become an automaton or a robot (are those the same thing?).

I'm also trying to find the right medical insurance plan for our family, and it is tough sledding, as they used to say in VT. This one company that claims it is offering a PPO wants to micromanage your drug prescriptions like you wouldn't believe. The level of hassle and obstacle that they are putting up is unbelievable. Robert uses Zoloft as a serotonin replacement therapy for his neurotransmitter deficiencies (that is, NOT as a depression or anxiety treatment). Typically, Zoloft is covered under a plan's highest drug co-pay level. Fine. But these people want you to have 'preauthorization' for Zoloft, and not just any preauthorization. You have to prove that another drug for the same condition doesn't work for you. So people have to compromise their health for months--in the case of Zoloft, you have to prove that 2 alternative medications don't work for you.

The level of human cruelty involved in this type of machination is just unbelievable. Why subject people who are ill to drastic changes in medication, just to prove a cost-cutting issue? What keeps knocking me out about health insurance pinheads is not just their dedication to the banality of evil (surely there is a separate circle of Hell for the people who design health insurance plans that subject other human beings to indignity, deprivation, and worsening health issues--please Lord, hear my prayer), but their arrogance in believing themselves to be the supreme Medical Overlords of the Universe. I mean, it doesn't matter anymore if YOUR doctor, who spent a lot of time in medical school, has personally examined you, and knows all of the details of your medical history--it doesn't matter if YOUR doctor believes something to be medically necessary. The bureaucrats that dispense your health insurance plan can, on a whim, without ever examining you, knowing about or caring about your medical history, or reading through your chart--these people, who probably don't even have a medical degree, can determine, apparently through a Ouija board, that whatever your doctor thinks is medically necessary is, in fact, NOT medically necessary.

People--socialized medicine is here, and it's not the government that's running it. At least the government might have some interest in maintaining the health of its population, or might actually be accountable to voters for such a thing. See, the good thing about making government responsible for health care at some level is that you do have the power to vote the bastards out if they do the wrong thing. When socialized medicine is being delivered by a bunch of corporate thugs, you might as well be dealing with the Mafia, only they don't take bribes.

Let's face it, the CEO of Aetna or Cigna or Blue Cross doesn't really give a good goddamn if you die or your child dies. They just want their holiday bonuses. Today's CEOs, unlike Scrooge, wouldn't be intimidated by a bunch of ghosts. They'd just rip off Tiny Tim's other leg with their teeth and then say they wouldn't cover a wheelchair.

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