The Fraus Abide

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More on Obamacare – the “health care” crisis in general.

Yesterday, my father-in-law arrived from Oklahoma. He’ll be spending a week or so with us. Upon arriving, he asked us to look at the back of  his neck; told us he had a rash or something that was driving him nuts. We drove him down to the one of those walk-in “urgent care” places – it was after 6 p.m. and forget about getting an appointment with a standard GP or dermatologist – not just because it was after hours, either. You know the drill: Call the fraus, try to get an appointment. Maybe they’ll slot you in next week sometime. That’s if you’re already a patient. Absurdity Number One. Getting in to see a doctor without a labryinthian process that makes the DMV seem a paragon of efficiency.

Does anyone remember a time when one could just walk in – not to “urgent care” – but to one’s regular doctor? And be seen – without all the folderol?

I listened to the intake process as my father-in-law sat at the desk with the frau. One obnoxious, irrelevant – but very intrusive question after the next. Where did he work? What did he do? What does his wife do?

All part of the insurance shyster shuffle.

And that’s Absurdity Number Two.

Bill – my father-in-law – had a skin rash. Turned out to be shingles. A minor thing. An obviously minor thing that could be diagnosed and treated simply, easily and cheaply. But because of this insurance insanity, reams of paperwork had to be filled out – and numerous charges applied. I don’t doubt the total tab was several hundred bucks . . .necessary to pay the fraus’ (there were two of them – and one doctor) salaries.

It is an epic make-work project that we all get to pay for. Only most people (all people who support Obamacare) don’t see it because they only see the “co-pay” – not the $600 a month (soon to be more) that goes to the insurance mafia in order to pay for the salaries of the fraus – not just the two or three of them at the doctor’s office but the legions of fraus shuffling paper at the insurance mafia HQ. There are probably 10fraus for every one doctor. None of them provide “health care.” They just make it cost more – and make it an odyssey to obtain.

I have some moles I’d like to get rid of. They are not cancerous – just ugly. Why can’t I simply ask a dermatologist to cut ‘em off – and forget the lab tests? I’ll happily absolve him of any legal culpability in the event some were cancerous. He probably can rule out cancer with 99 percent accuracy just bylooking at them – and those seem like good odds to me. Informed consent. Kick the lab tests to the curb – and it’s just 5-10 minutes of his time, a quick slice with a scalpel, some antiseptic and a Band-Aid. How much could this – should this – cost? $100, perhaps? Instead, it costs multiples of that – to pay for all the mandated tests – and of course, the fraus who make sure all the forms are filled out.

Take away all the insurance shysterism – the cost-padding mandatory over-caution that takes no account of cost or benefit since, after all, someone else will be paying (or so we are led to believe) and what would do you get?

Reasonably priced medical treatment.

Both my father and my grandfather were doctors. My grandfather was an allergist. He still had his office and his practice when I was a little kid, in the mid-late ’70s. This was before HMOs (bequeathed unto us by a got-damned Republican – Richard Nixon –never forget this) . . . when fee for service was still the norm. When people used insurance for emergencies (if they used it at all). His office was on the first level of the brownstone in which he lived. He had a nurse assistant. No fraus. And so, no preposterous paperwork. You came in, got your shot, paid the $20 or whatever it was – and that was it.

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