Another day in Paradise and I’m in a brain freeze. There is no subject on the face of this earth that I want to write about, so I’m writing about not wanting to write. It might be because my opportunity clock alarmed me too early this morning, and I wasn’t quite prepared for taking on an opportunity. The sky was very dark grey and ominous. By the time I finished breakfast it was snowing huge flakes the size of my fist and falling fast. Although the sky was dark the space between the sky and mother earth was a very bright white.

This was a day that was supposed to be easy. One task I had to accomplish was a phone call to the State of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. My Lovely was awarded a Medicaid insurance card under a little known law that Governor J. B.” Pritzker signed into law back in February. Under this law folks without Social Security numbers can apply for Medicaid services. Basically, it came as a letter stating that she qualifies and it contains her name, an RIN (Recipient Identification Number) and her date of birth. The date of birth was shown wrong. Somehow the month and the day were transposed from reality. The month should have been a two, and the day a three, but they had it as the month is three, and the day is a two. All this told me was that anytime she will use this card, the bill will be sent to the State and they will bong the request for payment because her birthday will be different. I needed to get that straightened out.

In the fine print of the letter was a statement “you may be required to enroll in a health plan”, naturally, I wanted to know if she needed to do that. If you want to know if you need a health plan please call the “Health Plan Benefits Hotline.” I dialed and immediately got a voice stating that the call volumes were high and that there were at least 20 people ahead of me and that the time to wait would be twenty minutes, so much for a “Hotline.” I chose to wait . At least they played some decent music to keep me holding, with an occasional break telling me to keep holding because my call was important to them. I paid some bills, and cleared my desk while holding. At the twenty-three minute mark a real live human named Kion (Kee-on) came on. Kion immediately asked for my social, and I had to remind him that the call was about my Lovely and not me, and she didn’t have a social, would her RIN do? A confusing thing about this letter was that I was also approved and awarded an RIN. I made a fatal mistake of asking him why I was included in the award. The next ten minutes was an interrogation about me and my circumstances and nothing about my Lovely. I had to remind him that this was about her and not me. It didn’t matter, he was busy typing away explaining to his computer why I should be removed from Medicaid.

Eventually, the conversation got back to Lovely. I still didn’t have an answer as to whether or not she needed to be enrolled into a medical plan. Kion did not know. He gave me another number for Client Enrollment Services where no doubt I will have another twenty minute wait to get a hotline connection.

Grrrr! The snow was three inches deep by the time I ended the call, and it was time to take Lovely to her doctor’s appointment.

Where Do I Start?

This post may sound a little confusing but I will try my best to make it understandable. Currently, I am in the process of dealing with healthcare in the United States. The issue is not with myself, because I have Medicare and a supplement which covers my costs. I don’t even think about it. That is probably the crux of the problem. We in the good old USA don’t think about the cost of health care often because we are covered by medical insurance either by our employer, ourselves, or by Uncle. The issue I am becoming familiar with are the people who don’t have any insurance coverage at all. They could be middle class Americans who lost their coverage because of the wonderful gift from Obama known as Obama Care, and can no longer afford to pay for the so called “free” Obama Care. Others who are in the country under unusual circumstances, and are undocumented cannot get private health care, Medicare, nor Obama Care. They are the cash paying victims of our society.

Today, I made an appointment for a simple blood test with a blood lab that is national. The doctor directed me to get a test to rule out a vitamin deficiency. At first he told me to get it done in his medical group lab, but rescinded when I told him I wanted to pay cash and keep this off my insurance. “If you do it in our lab it will cost you $161.00,” he said. “You can find it for much less at a private lab.” I took his advice.

After a few times on the internet I finally found a website for a blood test lab and the key to unlock their tests other than COVID. The primary emphasis of their site directed people to go for COVID testing. I learned that they would give me the test I wanted for $48. That is because I compared them to a competitor who was offering the same vitamin test for $54. I registered for an appointment.

At the lab this afternoon, I was asked if I had an order from the doctor. “No,” I said, but you can call him and he will give you one. They called and I was rolling up my sleeve when I finally asked what the charge was going to be. “It’ll be $100.”

“Wait a minute, the website gave me a price of $48.” The technician read the dumb look on my face and said, “Thats the price you get when you register, and pay for the test online.”

“I did register for the test online.”

“Did you pay online?”


“That’s why, without a doctor’s order it is different.”

“You mean that if I go home and register for the test online, and pay for it I won’t need a doctor’s order, and I get it for $48?


“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

I was back at the computer logging into the lab website when my wife asked me what I was doing. I explained the whole thing to her but she didn’t understand any of it. “In my country all of the tests are free, but I know a place that will do it cheaper, I had the test done a few years ago.” She gave me the number, I called and made an appointment for the test for $45, and didn’t need a doctor’s order.

I have finally reached the point I was going to make when I opened this post. One trouble with our country is the high cost of health care. It is easy to tell why it is so high. My doctor has a staff to support, and he belongs to a big doctor group that owns many hospitals, clinics, and offices. All of them cost money to support. The private clinic is much the same, but on a smaller scale, and finally the independent lab that runs on a shoestring is the lowest cost of all. That isn’t apparent when they deal mainly with people who use their insurance and don’t care what the heck a test costs. It’s my guess that the little guy makes more profit than the huge hospital group because his overhead is so low.

I’m trying to decide who is the blame for this high cost, the government for supporting it with Obama Care or capitalism for juicing the profit from the insurance companies, or the insurance companies for juicing the people and their doctors.

So why is this a problem? With so many people out of work because of COVID I see many instances where people who lost their employer healthcare now wind up paying out of pocket costs that are unsustainable. It won’t be long before Uncle is preaching universal health care for all like he did when Obama was president.

Pay For Health Care? I’d Sooner Die.


Insurance (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

The political argument about women’s health is backwards. Libs argue that Republicans will kill women by repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet, when real live doctors begin to read the bill to find how it will affect them the opposite is true. Most people who want the health care act are those who can’t afford insurance, or have a pre-existing condition to make them uninsurable.

I heard a commentator give an analogy last week which is quite accurate but defies human logic. Most of us have car insurance and house insurance. We pay for it. When it comes to health insurance, we want someone else to pay for it. Historically this has been an employer. How many times have you heard someone say they had a car accident, but did not report it to the insurance company because they didn’t want a premium increase? The same kind of logic reigns over homeowners insurance too. When it comes to health insurance we expect someone else to pay, and we use the heck out of it. Why? If we paid for health care insurance ourselves, maybe we wouldn’t be so sick.

Dr. Jill Vecchio speaks in the video about her analysis of the PPACA and the effect it will have on how she will have to treat patients. She makes valid arguments about the law. Watch it and discern for yourself if the Republicans are responsible for killing women, or will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kill more?

Never Mind

Government"s Idea for HealthcareIn days long past on Saturday Night Live,  Gilda Radner played the part of a ranting TV news reporter. Her co-anchors watched  her in puzzlement.  At the end of  her piece, the anchors would tell her the facts were  all wrong.  She would look at them sheepishly, and  say “never mind.”

That is exactly the way I feel about my last post  “They Just Don’t Get It.” I went off on a rant, and in my fever got lost in the argument. I made a huge mistake in math. My argument was that the government could buy health insurance for the forty seven million uninsured from the private sector for forty seven million dollars. Great deal, right?  Wrong. I was off by a factor of ten thousand. The cost wouldn’t be forty seven million it would be more like four hundred and seventy billion. A big difference.


I have edited the piece by cutting the erroneous math. The rest of the argument holds.

I apologize for selling the same snake oil as the the liberals. I will be more careful in the future.