People think that I’m joking when I say I hate doctors and everything to do with them. Scenarios like what happened to me this morning are a PERFECT illustration of why I am, in fact, not joking when I say these things. Personally, I feel like a significant percentage of the American health care system is a scam. Physicians prescribe medications left and right for “conditions” that may or may not exist; at the same time there is little to no emphasis on patients helping themselves by exercising regularly, eating healthier (e.g. lay off the McDonalds every once in a while for starters), and understanding that it’s a natural byproduct of the human condition to feel “off” every once in a while. If your mom just passed away and you’re feeling a little depressed, then here’s an idea: you’re supposed to be feeling that way. Far too many people run to their “doctors” who then prescribe the newest drug on the market to take those feelings away.
But there’s another scam that gets my blood boiling and that’s the insurance business. For the past two years an amount has been taken from my paycheck every two weeks to pay for my health insurance. For the past year and a half an additional amount has been taken from my paycheck every two weeks to pay for my partner’s health insurance. I have no qualms about paying for this insurance because I believe that a) you should work hard and pay for the things you want, and b) it’s important to have health coverage in the event that you get seriously ill or injured. I will leave it at that because this post is not about the politics of health care and/or what “type” of health system we should have. I, personally, have been fortunate in that I have not once had the need to use this insurance since I began paying for the coverage; consequently, I haven’t “needed” to see a doctor in years. This has been especially true for a little over a year when I began running road races regularly and working out consistently, and I cannot remember the last time I felt seriously ill. I make sure to get enough sleep each night, I consciously make decisions to pay the extra couple of dollars for a wrap at lunchtime rather than eat the cheaper option of fast food (which I very rarely eat in fact), and I try (though struggle with) to take time off and vacations in order to recharge (I seriously felt so great coming back to New York after my 5 days off spent in Boston doing next to nothing). I take care of myself as best I can, and it seems to pay off.
However, I finally gave into all the “suggestions” that I go get a check up today because hey, that’s what people do, right? I’ve already written a full account of what occurred at my appointment this morning here (or rather, what did not occur), and I’ve managed to fully calm down from what I believe is just a ridiculous system of health insurance and so-called “qualifying doctors”. You may need to scroll down the Yelp page a bit to see my review, but it should be at the top. Read it, then continue reading this post to get the full context…
Look, I pay for the insurance and have done so for the past two years. I am, by far, the LOWEST cost patient you could have and my tax dollars pay for FAR bigger drains on the Medicare and Medicaid systems (to fund a population that does not provide the same monetary contributions to the system and opts for a far less healthy lifestyle). You’re going to deny me a routine check up because I happen to use a subset of an insurance company that you’ve arbitrarily decided not to accept? It’s the SAME company, and it’s not like I had much of a choice as to what exactly my employer chose as its insurance coverage! I don’t waste my time going to doctors unless I absolutely need to for a reason, and this is one of the major ones.