Vision exceeds reality on health care

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As someone who has been touched a couple of times by the insensitivity of our health-care system, I'll relate a story that took place recently.

While at my job, a back pain extending through my left leg got worse, to where I had to leave work and go straight to my primary doctor. The doctor completed his examination and prescribed me pain-killers and a corticosteroid. He told that I should feel better in two days. If there was no improvement, I should contact him.

Realizing I was not getting better, I called my employer and my subcontractor, and neither of them provided disability compensation. Please note that I am a highly trained and educated individual with a doctoral degree, and still these benefits are not granted. Is this fair?

My condition got even worse to where I was not able to walk, and I went back to the doctor's office. He prescribed a stronger pain killer and ordered an MRI, and tried to schedule an appointment with a specialist right after the MRI. Next day, upon arrival to the office for the MRI, a staff person notified me that the health-insurance company did not approve the MRI. A friend called the insurance company, but no approval was granted. Because of my severe pain, I asked my friends to take me to the emergency room, where they injected me with pain-killers and performed the MRI.

It is incredible that we brag about the greatness of this nation, but its health-care system performs far below those expectations. We also see employers not providing adequate benefits for these situations (e.g., disability compensation).

It's time to implement good values and a sense of fairness -- not only in our families but also in our corporate structures.

Jose A. Cortes-Concepcion, Ph.D.

Aiken, S.C.

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Dcortes 05/14/10 - 10:11 pm
Chillen, with the exception

Chillen, with the exception of two comments posted early implying I was an ilegal immigrant just because of my Hispanic name, I really don't care much about anything else. I do partially disagree with you on the way to handle this problem, but I have no hard feelings against anyone. The comment on the pic to cormingmon came out due to the recent events that have been taking place, I tend to be overcautious. On the other hand I have to admit you had a great sense of humor based on the comment from the pic. As long as we're respectful, I can spend long time arguing about any problem. Diversity brings greatness to America!
I think what we've seen in the post still reflects the current polls where the nation is spltted about the reform bill. So, I was not expecting something exactly positive in this overly emotional scnario. But finally, I can tell you one thing, I do not wish anyone to go through what I have past during the last days. With this I close my discussion.


KSL 05/15/10 - 11:49 am
In the past I was

In the past I was hospitalized for an acute medical condition. The insurance company was contacted and through my doctor a stay in the hospital and a treatment plan were approved. However, it became necessary that I have emergency surgery for the condition on the day before I was to be released. Somehow, that authorization was not requested. Neither my husband nor I knew that, so you can imagine our surprise when we were contacted by the insurance company saying they were denying the payment for the surgery and the additional hospital stay that was required.

The matter was resolved by a simple letter to the doctor and our insurance agent who contacted the insurance company .

lsmith 05/15/10 - 01:18 pm
While I think the writer

While I think the writer should have been more aware of the range of benefits in his insurance plan, it goes without saying that our system is clearly a broken mechanism. As one who has been hospitalized numerous times over the last 10 years I have experienced just about every shortcoming it has. The most pressing problem is the increasing gap in what the insurance company will pay for in the course of care. It's getting more and more complicated each year. Also increasing is the amount of copay and out of pocket costs policy holders must bear. These fees are not in place to help the insurance company in any other way than discourage you from seeking treatment. The idea is if the patient has to pay a fee to see the doctor perhaps he'll just try to wait it out. Sounds simple enough other than many people are dangerously delaying treatment and in many cases finding they waited too long. When you pay 800.00 plus a month for health insurance it really is a crying shame to see someone break their leg and still have to pay all of the costs themselves due to deductibles and out of pocket costs. The way it's going now, even the best health insurance is going to be little better than catastrophic coverage in the near future whereas you will have to accumulate and pay thousands of dollars in upfront costs before the insurance company will pay a dime. Most people I know are having enough trouble just paying the insurance premiums by itself.

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