Forget all about the big philosophical questions of reforming the health care system. Let me tell you a couple of small medical insurance stories that my family has gone through over the past two months.
Chapter I - the twin mix-up - we have twin boys. When one is sick, the other quickly follows suit. It's the whole contagion thing. Anyway, some weeks ago both twins came down with a nasty cough, that progressed to the point where the doctor prescribed them both antibiotics. The two prescriptions were delivered within a couple of days' difference from each other, and while we had no problem filling the first prescription, our health insurance refused to authorize the second prescription, assuming that this was for the first child. An hour on the phone with the insurance company while at the pharmacy was not enough to correct the problem, and eventually we paid for the prescription out of pocket and waited several days while the insurance idiocy was worked out and we got reimbursed for the fiasco.
Chapter II - my wife took the kids to the dentist the other day - regular check-up and cleaning. She paid the dentist and filed a claim with the insurance. The insurance company sent us an explanation of benefits, but didn't send us a check. Alpaca called them to figure out what was going on. Turns out they sent the check to the dentist. They will now cancel the checks they already issued and send new checks to us.
Two small incidents. Nothing earth shattering, just tedium and annoyance. But there's more to it than that. Think of all the money that our health care system just wasted in the process of providing routine service to a generally healthy family. Now multiply that waste by 100 million households and you get some staggering amounts of waste. What a burden on the system. What a burden on health care premium paying consumers.
Folks, there is no reason on earth why we should put up with this insanity. What is Congress waiting for? Where is meaningful reform?
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