Friday, 15:30 hrs.
I have won a bronze medal for my poem "Maturation" from poetry.com. However, in order to get it, I have to pay $190 shipping and handling and to cover the cost of reading my poem aloud at the semi-annual convention and symposium in Philadelphia. Had I accepted all their offers to commemorate my "excellent" and "outstanding" poem, as well as one of the transportaion & accommodation packages for their convention, I would be out-of-pocket about $6K.
In reality, I have actually LOST, since they give out 79 bronze medals and 39 silver medals in additon to the only meaningful cash prize of $1K for the top poem, but they didn't tell me that until they had solicited me with every sales gimmmick known to man. Had I won, I probably would have been required to buy a $1K transportation and accommodation package to Philadelphia to get it.
posted by highhatsize 3:17 PM
I got a bill from my health insurance company the other day for a minor hernia repair that I had done on an outpatient basis in March. The hospital charge, that is, the charge for the operating room, prep room, and recovery room for the few hours that I used them was $8K. $6K was written off by contract between my insurance company and UCSF. So I paid $400, which equals 1/5 of $2K. Were I an individual who wasn't indigent but couldn't afford insurance, I would have paid the whole nut. I wrote an email to UCSF subsequently to find out if they accepted any "health care discount" plans. Insurance which pays nothing towards the charges but gets you the contract rate that traditional health insurance companies negotiate. The answer is "No".
It is abundantly clear that UCSF wants nothing to do with people whose bills aren't paid by a large organization, either an insurance company or the government. I would guess that it is impossible to collect hospital bills from delinquent patients who simply have no money because the very hospital procedure itself has pauperized them. However, Medicaid patients are discriminated against by being made to wait however long the hospital decrees for any procedures that could be considered "elective".
I wonder what would have happened were I uninsured. Would thev hospital have demanded payment in full upfront? Is there an unpublished process by which uninsured but solvent individuals are able to negotiate a fee other than the outrageously high figure published at the time of their surgery. Just how debilitating is a condition allowed to become and still be considered "elective"? That's a damned elastic word. A liver transplant is elective for 12 months if you have 12 months left to live if you don't get one. The last two months may be pretty gruesome and the last two weeks may be so awful that you are actually not longer eligible for a transplant but its still "elective". They probably would have sent me to "social welfare" ,whose hospital representative would change weekly in NY, who would have counseled me on becoming welfare eligible before the operation. I wonder if there is another procedure by which "occasional" welfare clients who only need their medical emergencies paid for can avoid mixing with the "career" welfare clients who need their life paid for. If we could cut the insurance industry entirely out of the picture, how much more would it cost the government to pay for everyone's health emergencies upfront instead of paying for those it can't avoid?
posted by highhatsize 8:57 PM
12:22 hrs. pdt.
Just read and article with photos of the American general who's supposed to train the Iraqi army. He's never seen combat. A very intelligent and apparently competant officer, but he's never seen combat. I wonder what made the Bushoisie think that he was a good choice.
posted by highhatsize 12:19 PM
So, just learned that one of my fellow alumni, of a preceding class, is going in for an angiogram. He's obviously pretty concerned about it. I wrote him saying not to worry, particularyly in NYC, which is what I truly think. The cream rises to the top, in this case, and if you're going to have any surgical procedure done, without having time to research it, you're best off in NYC. Having lived in smaller cities in the US, I've got to say that medical parameters of acceptable performance vary WIDELY. Of course, even in NYC, you run the risk of a 'klinker, a surgeon who shouldn't be operating because he's too old, too drunk, too drugged, or too disinterested.
posted by highhatsize 8:28 PM
Monday, June 28, 2004, 13:10 hrs. pdt.
Just finished posting a message on my alumni bb to the effect that we should get out of Iraq immediately despite the fact that the resulting chaos would kill many Iraqis. How could that asshole have gotten us into the position where I have to hand out cold blooded advice like this. If we had just kept out of other peoples' business, we could be arguing about the deficit and free trade instead of life and death. How does one rationalize being the final responsible party for the deaths of tens of thousands, after having dodged military service himself? After he's dead, his brain should be preserved so that future generations with the appropriate technology can measure just what quality of mentation was missing in him.
posted by highhatsize 12:57 PM
I guess that I don't have to date these. The system does it automatically. I wonder if it puts the time in as well.
Just got back from the dentist for the second time in three days. One central incisor was loose and the other temporary crown had come off. Another two and a half hours on the table. Perhaps crowning hasn't progressed far enough in reality to be of use to the hoi polloi. If I'd just had dentures installed, at least that would be that. As it is, I feel as though half my life is being spent in the dentist's chair.
posted by highhatsize 4:06 PM
My, my. It's been over three years since I first started this blog. In that time I have aged ten years. Really. People look at my driver's license and think that the photo was taken ten years ago. We have also invaded Iraq. A president who came of age in the Vietnam Era; used his father's political connections to avoid service therein; and was as conscious of the carnage as was I, started a new Vietnam in Iraq. The ONLY good thing to come out of the Vietnam War, I thought, was its inoculation of our political masters against pointless foreign interventions. I guess the ease of Iraq I made Double-You forget the lesson.
posted by highhatsize 11:06 AM
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posted by highhatsize 7:45 PM