Corporate Greed . . . so-called health care

This first appeared on my Facebook page but I want to expand the audience.

AMERICA will collapse under the weight of TOXIC GREED!
Move back from your computer for a moment because I’m about to explode with a rant that could overheat your system.
Since I have been self-employed all my life and have donated many years to non-profit service we have not had access (funds) to commercial health insurance. Instead, we joined a Christian needs-sharing group (Samaritan Ministries) and send $370 each month to fellow-Christians who had health-related expenses. This has been most rewarding and ALWAYS sufficient for the major (not catastrophic) expenses we’ve encountered along the way.  They also have an add-on optional program for those who want catastrophic coverage but we didn’t think we’d need it.
So, now that I find myself in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant, we are meeting the “enemy” and finding that it is our out-of-control medical industry.
What do I mean?
  • Example A: We went for a 75 minute consultation with a physician (Dr. Deeg) at SCCA (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center) to hear what they could do for me. Later I discovered everything we learned from him in a 15 minute youtube lecture he gave a year ago. Since we didn’t have insurance we had to give a $600 deposit before he would even talk to us, then, today we receive an additional bill for $700.80. No labs, no exam, just words.
  • Example B: the financial coordinator met us after the Dr. left to say that we would need to provide $600,000 up front to have the procedure -and, “no, that would not include 4 months housing, transportation, meals” which we’d need to line up so we’re close by for follow-up testing.
  • CONTRAST that with the $43,000 price tag we’ve gotten from the top transplant physician in India. A price which includes all testing, procedures, housing for 2, and meals. Oh, that’s right, we’d need to pay for our flights ($2800 for Rebecca and myself roundtrip).
  • Example C: not wanting to commit to having it done at SCCA, I still wanted to get the necessary typing-test to find out which of my siblings is the MATCH for my DNA. “Yes, we can start that process for you,” the sweet receptionist at SCCA says. “Since you don’t have insurance we’d need $6000 per sibling plus yourself… up front.” ($30,000 -to help you with the math).
  • CONTRAST that with a private internationally-acclaimed bone marrow testing company (located down the road in Portland) who is doing it for $1800. Total. For all 5 of us. (www.bonemarrowtest.com)
Most of you reading this (if you’re still with me) probably have insurance of some kind so you never face these realities. I just thought it’d be good for you to know why the system collapsed (when it does).
Oh, one more thing -not a rant but a rave: In stark contrast to this is the way the team at Providence Hospital/Oncology have treated us. Since they’re still ostensibly a private, Catholic-owned medical provider, have as their mission (posted boldly on the walls of their offices): “As People of Providence, we reveal God’s love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, through our compassionate service.”
They, as well as those who serve with them (SouthSound Radiology, Incyte Labs, Cellnetix) have given us a phenomenal break since our income for the past couple of years has been “below the poverty level.” They are among the few remaining caregivers who do what they do “under God.” Unfortunately, they watch nervously as their independence is at risk with upcoming legislative regulations.
What can we do? As for me and my house, we will boycott and broadcast these abuses. Remember, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing.”

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely outrageous!! I had surgery a couple years ago, the bill being in excess of $79,000 (just the hospital for an out patient surgery – the surgeon and her assistant, the anesthesiologist, lab work, x-ray and radiologist, pathology and pathologist were all extra) They would have wanted the entire amount in entirety up front had I not had insurance, but since I am fortunate to have insurance, they accepted $12,000 and change as payment in full from my insurance company.

    Happy travels and all the best to you.

    Reply

  2. Well said. Unfortunately,the church has all but abandoned healthcare as one of it’s primary missions to care for the sick. So government gladly fills the role of healer. As a result, government regulations, mandates on insurance companies and lawsuits have created a system of high prices.

    Reply

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