Hospital Apocalypse

I don’t necessarily want to contribute to any of the apocalyptic fervor that our culture seems to enjoy so much, but with my recent elbow injury – I’ve been thinking about how much my world could potentially change if my surgery and recovery go poorly.  As a musician, I would prefer to keep all four of my appendages functioning properly.  And optimistically, I believe that the music will only continue to improve as I age.  But if things change and my right arm becomes useless – then this situation is basically the end of the world as I know it.

Economically, my world is also getting rocked by this injury.  I got a call today from a lady at the hospital to talk about my insurance deductible.  As if I need any more debt, I will now be owing upwards of $2,500 (money that I don’t even believe in) to my surgeon.  Thankfully I didn’t cancel my insurance when I had the impulse to a couple of months ago.  So the good people at blue cross blue shield will be covering ninety percent of the bill.  However, I plan on calling them to negotiate that.

There doesn’t seem to be a great many options for me at this point.  I don’t have the extra cash just laying around to give to the hospital.  I’ve been paying slightly more than $200 per month to the insurance company for the past three years.  In total it’s something like $7,200.  Perhaps I can talk the good people at blue cross blue shield into letting me pay ten percent of that…

My options seem like a cornucopia compared to this North Carolina man.  James Richard Verone is 59 and was a truck driver for 17 years and then got laid off when the economy tanked.  The stress and other health issues eventually became too costly for him and too much pain to cope with.  So he decided to rob a bank.  For one dollar.  He handed a piece of paper to the teller demanding one dollar and emergency medical attention.  He waited patiently in the corner for the police to arrest him.

Of course, if Mr. Verone and myself were citizens of Canada our heath care would be covered by the state – which is fine by me.  Socialized medicine is a much more humane way of living.  It’s also more neighborly.


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