Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Thoughts - The Ankler Experiences the Tragedy of the Healthcare System

Praise God. I have very little pain from the injury that is now a month old. I still have pins sticking out of my heel and shin, but unless, they are kicked, I'm doing okay on the infamous pain scale.

However, complications have now arisen with regard to my care. I have now experienced firsthand the problems with our current healthcare system. I got a call on Monday from the hospital where I was planning on having surgery next week to take these pins out. The lady on the other side of the line let me know, "Mr. Sanders, ________ Hospital is not covered by your insurance (which will remain nameless). If you have had surgery here, you would be out of network." Despite all the headaches this phone call has caused in my life over the past week I praise God that it happened because I would have had to pain for a full surgery out of pocket with no money.

God's providence seems to always come with some sort of suffering though. I've had to make countless phone calls to ______ Hospital and the new hospital and doctor with whom I am now going to be relating. I've had to call the insurance and talk with them.

Then, the frustration builds. I receive a bill from the insurance company (a very reputable one) letting me know they will not cover the emergency room visit, surgery, and care in the hospital the day after the surgery, which amounts to much more than I've ever earned in my lifetime of part-time high school jobs and seminarian stipends. What injustice! I was in a state of emergency. My foot needed to be nearly put back on! Hello! Then, I understood. Then, I realized, and now I'm empathetic. What is it?

Man has turned away from himself. His desire for happiness ends in money and in turn dehumanizes man into a means by which money can be extracted. I have  a serious injury, a poor woman has cancer; we can't pay for our care but care we need. Care is denied or insurmountable debt is incurred. Either way they deny the necessities for good human living.

Honestly, in my ignorance I turned a blind eye. No more can I do that. I am deeply saddened that healthcare bureaucrats are dictating to doctors and nurses how to be of service to mankind.

How many people are swindled into this? I have the drive, the will and the social backing (by that I mean knowing people in the right places) to fight this and right this injustice for myself. I barely have a clue how to navigate this labyrinthine insurance system. Thank God I have family and contacts that do. Many people don't and give up and pay for the rest of their lives care the should be normal.

I don't say I have answer or have fully contemplated the different solutions to this healthcare system problem. I only know, now, that it cannot justly remain. Obamacare certainly is not the answer, but what is?

the Ankler

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