Poverty and the Search for a Diagnosis – Hidden Costs of Healthcare. Plus RWNJ News.

This is why, in part, poor folks end up in ERs, very sick:

  1.  Most people, when sick, do not feel like advocating for themselves, especially if the illness goes on and on for months or years.
  2.  Most poor folk are treated disdainfully by some doctors – ie, my endocrinologist – and are reluctant to challenge the doctor or insist on explanations. This can result in years of untreated illness.
  3.  Medical transport to other cities is either non-existent or costs a lot.  So it’s hard to get a second opinion if you don’t have a car/money, or if there is only one specialist who takes Medicare in your area.
  4.  Not every doctor takes Medicare.  Many doctors out-of-state do, of course, being a national program…but what Medicare doesn’t pay, Medicaid will pick up but only if you see a doctor in your home state.  Out-of-state doctors/hospitals will charge the patient for the balance that Medicare won’t pay, and it’s sometimes considerable.

There are costs to healthcare that people don’t realize, especially for the poor.  Having wanted to just throw up my hands and give up, on many occasions, I can totally see why people actually do give up for good.

I wrote once that, when you’re poor, everything takes twice as long, and it’s so true.  If you rely on transportation services (like the senior van) to get to doctor’s appointments and tests, you spend a lot of time sitting for hours in places and on vans, as you feel ill and hope you don’t have to hobble off to a bathroom somewhere, or worse.

A trip to the lab in my case, for example, takes 3 hours.  That’s, for most people with a car, an hour, usually.

But when you take a shared ride van, you wait and wait and wait, as the driver drops people off and picks them up (which is why you have to schedule a van to pick you up at least 2 hours before your appointment, so you won’t be late).  Then you have to wait for them to come pick you up when you are done, and wait while the driver picks up and drops off others again.

If you are ill at the time, it’s a nightmare.  Wipes me out for the rest of the day.

No one thinks about that.  I don’t expect them to.  But it’s a typical experience for many poor and/or elderly who are ill.

And, to make things worse, the transportation service now wants to charge people for going to the pharmacy if it’s not the closest one to their home.  $6,40 and 2 hours for a round-trip medically necessary run up to the pharmacy?

Their explanation for this?  “Some people order a van to get a prescription at a grocery store, then come out with a bunch of groceries, so they are using the service to get free trips to the grocery store.  A few people have ruined it for everyone.”

Ok so why not just kick those people off the van?  I suspect it’s because they can’t, as people would claim they are being denied free medical transport.

Ok so, who cares if they buy groceries?  The transportation service, clearly.  They want their $6.40, dammit!

Weirdly, when I asked about where I had to go now for prescriptions – so that I wouldn’t have to pay – they cited 3 places, one of which is a grocery store.  “It’s closer than Walgreen’s, where you go now,” the rep said.

So let me get this straight – if I go to Walgreen’s, I have to pay $6.40, even though it’s medically necessary.

If I go down the street to the local grocery store, it’s free.  But I better not buy any groceries!!

Something’s not right here.  But arguing is fruitless.  As with many companies who deal with us kind of people, their reps and even their supervisor (whom I have talked to) are all condescending and downright snooty.

So now I don’t bother.  I’m sick.  I’m tired.  I’m sick and tired of doctors and labs and 45 and Nazis and white supremacists and Republicans and middle-class snobs. And central Pennsylvania.

Today’s weird news comes from Sports Illustrated (“ESPN’s Robert Lee Decision Was Made Out of Fear of Negative Press”, Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated website, 8/23/2017)

The announcer was pulled off from broadcasting a UVA football game because of his name (Robert E. Lee without the “E”).  The reason?  In light of the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, ESPN felt that the announcer “would be mocked”.

Mocked?  You mean, as in “mocked on Twitter”?  By whom?

According to right-wing nutjobs, “the alt-left” (what they insanely like to call us) would be “outraged that someone with that name would be broadcasting something something leftists are crazy whatever”.

This goes right along with the right-wing nutjobs (RWNJs) claiming – as their idiot leader 45 does – that all leftists want to tear down every statue of every historical figure because…”political correctness run wild leftists are all violent leftists don’t know history something something we hate them.”  Oh, and we’re “trying to destroy American heritage”.

American heritage, to RWNJs and basically everyone else who is right-wing, too = white supremacy.

The nerve of those leftists!!

Recommendation for today is a site called RepublicInsanity, which features “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day”.

Be good.  Be kind.  Don’t let your cat sit in your lap when you are blogging!

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