Friday, September 10, 2010

Health Care "Reform"

Democrats are not running on the “healthcare reform act,” not even mentioning it in their campaigns, while liberal bloggers are defending it with somewhat anecdotal evidence and unsubstantiated statistics. I can only go by my own experience, and I have no idea what role the “healthcare reform act” has played in it. The quality of care that I am receiving in the past year has declined noticeably, and the cost charged by the providers has increased quite a lot.

My primary care physician announced a new care plan whereby I must pay $1800 per year simply to remain in his care. That fee does include a “free” annual physical, but all other services will be charged at the same rates as in the past. If I am unwilling to pay the fee he will not charge to transfer my records to another physician.

I checked, and our insurance will not cover that type of annual fee, nor will our Health Savings Account. Our insurance does cover normal charges for an annual physical exam, without any copay.

I found out two weeks ago that I need some dental surgery and, due to an anti-coagulant medication which I take because of a history of small strokes, the dentist needs to see the results of a blood test which he thinks I should have been given to monitor the action of that medication. The various doctors that I see are all giving the dentist’s office a run-around, and it appears that I have never had that blood test. I don’t know if it is actually needed with this medication, suspect that it is not mandatory, but the dentist is unwilling to proceed without it and none of my doctors is willing at this point to order it.

So it appears that I may need to make a doctor’s appointment, pay the copay and have the insurance company charged for an office visit, merely to pursue the question of a blood test desired by the dentist. Perhaps this test should have been ordered before this, perhaps not, but all of the doctors consulted by the dentist merely blew him off.

Could it be that ordering the blood test now might be admission that it should have been ordered earlier and therefor no doctor’s office wants any part of it? That question might be reflective of the level to which my trust in the medical profession has sunk. My impression is that if the year-long discussion on “health care reform” did nothing else, it raised the "c-y-a" attitude to ever higher levels.

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