This Space for Rent

I love the American health care system, really I do.

About a month ago, Silas dove onto a hardwood floor, and split his chin open. So, off we went to the emergency room, where -- after waiting two hours -- they super-glued his chin back together and let us go home. A few days after that, they sent us a bill for US$565 for the emergency room visit ($70 for the superglue, $190 for the emergency room visit, and $255 for the "emergency room surcharge fee") with an attached note saying that we didn't have to pay because it was being submitted to our health insurance company.

Today, we got a note from our health insurance company stating that, guess what, there's a huge deductable on our goddamn health insurance and we'd have to pay that entire bill (plus a couple of additional copays for some other visits to the doctor's office -- apparently when they said a US$30 copay, they actually meant a US$60 copay. Silly me for assuming that a health insurance company would actually write down what they insured for.)

One would think that a emergency room visit would actually count as, well, an emergency room visit, and that they'd not want to have people holding off on a minor medical emergency so it can develop into a major medical emergency which would cost them a lot more money to cover.

But if you'd think that, you'd not be very familiar with the third-world awfulness that healthcare in the United States is becoming. To the evil gnomes who run the (*spit*) "health maintenance organisations", healthcare is bad because it cuts into the profit margin. So, I end up paying for health insurance AND THEN I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY OWN HEALTHCARE, because they deductible and copay everything up so high that they don't have to pay more than 35¢ a visit to the doctor.

But I'm sure that the campaign contributions are flowing like a river from the HMO's over to the Evil Party, and that's all that's important in America today.