29 November 2018

A Personal Rant!

I seldom rant on this blog. I figure that most people get enough ranting in their life from family members, acquaintances, and the news. I know I do.

However there is something happening in my personal family life that makes me (as my Grandmother used to say) so mad, I could spit! I can think of other terms, but they're NSFW or this blog.

Those who follow the blog on my personal Facebook page may have noticed that I shared a fundraiser from our Son, Zachary. It was titled, 'Help keep my family off of the streets'. And he explained,

Long story short, my job is killing me slowly I need back surgery to be able to go back to work. First doc can do the surgery ON dec 26 with 4 more weeks of recovery. I've been out of work since November 1. I have short term disability insurance but it had a waiting period and only pays 60% of pay. I am still waiting on doctors to send in paperwork for it as well. Also it does not pay all the bill's. My doc read me the report, severe stenosis and 3 herniated discs. Going to need back surgery. Behind on everything and unless a miracle happens soon I won't be able to pay rent let alone bills.

Actually, whilst both are back related, he needs two surgeries, one for the stenosis and one for the spinal problems. The first, a laser procedure, was originally scheduled for next week at Research Hospital in Kansas City, MO. He has insurance, Research is 'in network' with his insurance carrier, so no problem, right? Wrong!

His insurance carrier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, has informed him that to be fully covered, the procedures must be performed in what they refer to as a 'Centre of Excellence' for back problems.

Oops! The nearest 'Centre of Excellence' is in Springfield, MO. It's a 350 mile round trip to Springfield (the next closest 'Centre of Excellence' is in Texas). Whilst he has a car, it's not exactly new. As anyone who has ever had non-emergency surgery knows, you don't just show up for the operation. There is an appointment to meet the surgeon, then there's usually a pre-op appointment. Then the surgery happens followed by at least one or two post-op appointments with the doctor. Whether or not his car would make it is a question, but there's also a matter of cost. Gasoline is not exactly cheap, and his older car doesn't get great mileage.

He can have it done at Research, but then the insurance will only pay 50%, leaving him with 10-15K due. Also, he would have to pay 20-30% of that upfront along with setting up a payment plan in advance. He's been off work for a month, he still has bills from his previous two hospital stays, he's about to lose his house and they expect him to come up with between $2,000 and $4,500 cash on the barrel head?

His mother and I would like to just say, 'Here, Son' and take care of the problem, but I'm retired on a fairly small fixed income. The Cuter and Shorter Half had to buy a new (used) car during the summer to drive to work, so she's not exactly rolling in dough. We've sent him what we can.

So there's the background and here's my rant. I've lived in both the US and Canada. Yes, there are problems with Canadian Medicare, but let me tell you a story.

When Tommy Douglas, who, by the way was Kiefer Sutherland's grandfather, introduced Medicare in Saskatchewan in 1961 whilst he was premier, he was denounced as a communist, and the doctors went on strike.

By 1981, Douglas had been inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2004, the CBC held a national poll to choose the 'Greatest Canadian' of all time. Douglas came in first, beating out statesman, humanitarians, Sir Frederick Banting, the discoverer of insulin, and Wayne Gretzky (who came in tenth), and had been awarded the Owen Adams Award of Honour, the highest honour the Canadian Medical Association can bestow on a non-physician!

Canadian Medicare works! Don't tell me how horrible 'socialised medicine' is, and how free market medical care is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I know better!

As a conclusion, let me say that I am not asking for help, but if someone were so moved, out of charity, leave a comment, and I'll try to get in touch.

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