December 22, 2015 is a day that will remain with me forever, literally, on my face, in my ear and along my jaw. After days of self-diagnosis via Google and the internet, my dermatologist told me Santa arrived early and gifted me with Shingles!
We know the healthcare industry is broken, but one thing that has always been a mistaken mainstay in keeping our misbegotten minds and bodies in fit form — is the need to wade into an endless cesspool while attending a doctor’s office. Nay, the cesspool is not our infirm friends and brethren, but the very soggy pond in which we are all left to rot, in situ, for an appointment that shall never arrive.
First, we had Unethical American Dentistry, and now — perhaps thanks to Obamacare — we have certain American physicians who are playing loosely with the truth when it comes to telling patients if they are “in-network” with their insurance plan, and providing the right, covered, care for their patients. “First Do No Harm” is not an oath to these doctors, it’s a cue down the path of anathema!
We, The Americans, like to think we’re in this world together — United We Stand, Divided We Fall — but in reality, we know in our bones we are not equal. We understand the separatist One Percenters own 99% of us, and we live only to mew when asked for a response from our monied overlords.
However, there was a time in the history of this nation, not too long ago — when the system could be exploited for the grander benefit of the few against the many — and that moment in time was the early 1980s.
There’s nothing quite like having great insurance only to find out your insurance coverage — for reasons still unknown — is no longer as great as it used to be a few years ago. Is that result the rubbing off of Obamacare on established health insurance plans that have now been debrided down to an even more lowest common denominator, or is something else stinking afoot?
Teacher, mentor, friend, and philosopher Howard Stein died two years ago today at the age of 90 — and I still miss him every day — and yet his death strangely seems so far in the past as to be unrecognizable. Because of all the surgical procedures he had at the end of his life, Howard would often refer to himself as the “Frankenstein Monster” held together with stitches and sealing wax.