Saturday, November 24, 2007

Uninsured? Need health care?

Get a PredatorCard!

Can't pay for all your health care up front? Have no fear, the doctor, lab, hospital, dentist, whoever will let you pay it off in installments. Except that apparently they're not exactly explaining to you that what you're signing isn't an agreement to pay them, it's an application for one of those usurious credit cards suitable only for [fleecing] the credit-unworthy.

Paul Krugman laments that they're treating patients like animals:
Remember, things like this don’t happen in any other advanced country. Only in America.

I have to agree on that only in America, but treating patients like animals? I wish. My veterinarian lets me pay off unexpectedly high pet care bills in interest-free installments and I'm getting a bulk discount on basics for the ever-multiplying cats. Humans should be so lucky.

Maybe if I learn to purr....


Anonymous said...

If I need an x-ray I'm going to my vet. It can be done immediately and is cheap. Go to a doctor and you get a 'script to go to a lab, and then you get billed by your doctor, the lab, and a doctor who 'reads' the x-ray.

This is insane. At one point my Mother and her poodle were both taking Cipro. The dog's meds were the same as my Mother's but cost 90% less.

hipparchia said...

i'm guessing the poodle is 90% smaller.


drugs, labwork, x-rays, and hospitalization too. i spent a fair amount of time at the bedside of a friend recently. my vet's kennel is swept, mopped, and disinfected more often and more assiduously than those hospital rooms were.

andante said...

I've sure changed my approach to large medical bills. Previously, I've called the billing office at the various hospitals or physician's office and explained that while I can't pay off the bill in total at this time, I would send them xxx amount of dollars monthly until it was paid. They ALWAYS thanked me for letting them know and said that would be fine.

You can't do that these days. The formerly friendly billing office abruptly refers you instead to a credit company, and they tell YOU how much you must pay monthly or risk legal action.

You can't blame the providers; they need to be paid and should be paid. We should, however, blame the government (regardless of party) for rolling over for these predatory lenders who are insinuating their way into life in every way imaginable.

hipparchia said...

i can blame the providers. just because there are vultures out there waiting to prey on poor people, doesn't mean the providers have to use them.

but you're right, lack of regulatory oversight is the big problem.

Anonymous said...

i blame the providers, because they could have, and should have, spoken up decades ago, but refused to.

and i agree with hipparchia. the doctors are the ones allowing these vicious credit managers to hassle the patients.

all they have to do is say, "no. my patients will not be hassled. my patients will pay as they can afford to."