In which I horrify an abortion protestor.

I’ve been getting some rather extensive medical testing done (nothing wrong with me- it’s just a formality for a project I’m embarking on). It’s been a long exhausting process (I’m uninsured and relying on clinics) involving lots of blood draws, time off work, hours in the car and more hours in waiting rooms. It turns out that Planned Parenthood provides primary care, and was the only place I found that would do the complete physical and tests I needed at a reasonable price in a reasonable time frame. On my last visit, I finally finished with all of the most rigorous testing and all I needed was one more appointment to get some paperwork filled out.

Now this particular Planned Parenthood gets protesters. It’s kind of frustrating to walk past a group of glaring, yelling people with gruesome signs protesting the only people who are willing to give you a pap smear (I don’t see these protesters providing help to the uninsured.) In fact, it makes me angry as hell that these people think it’s useful to harass and shame poor people who just want to go to the damn doctor because no other doctor will see them. But anyway, this particular day (like most weekdays) was protester-free.

I got my blood drawn. Lots of forms filled out. Lots of taking clothes on and off. And at last, after spending three full days at doctor’s offices dealing with this stuff, I was done.

As I walked out of the clinic, I was jubilant. I shouted to my guy friend, “Yes! It’s finally over! This is awesome! WooooooO! Awesome!” and was practically skipping as we high-fived each other. My face was aglow with sheer joy.

Just as I reached the car, a woman rushed over and shoved a business card in my hand. She looked ashen. She said “Call these numbers if you need help.”

It was for Christian “post abortion counseling.”

It took me about five minutes to connect the dots before I busted out laughing. That lady probably went home to her husband and told him the horrifying story of our youth today who are actually gleeful about abortion. Bwahahaha.

Sometimes misunderstandings are kind of funny. Sometimes they’re completely hilarious. Yours is one of the latter.

Kind of off-topic, but you mentioned being uninsured and I was wondering- have you compared the costs of doing things uninsured with getting a policy? I always thought being uninsured was more expensive than having at least bare-bones medical coverage… :confused:

Another good way to deal with the situation

even sven
Great story !!!

The world is a better place because of what you siad. :smiley:

I should be getting insurance in two months, unfortunately this stuff has to happen right now. I’ve been lucky for the two years I’ve been uninsured (haven’t spent a penny on a doctor until just now), but every time I cross the street it’s a gamble I don’t end up in the hospital and go bankrupt.

Also, since nothing I say about money will ever escape nitpicking, I understand the risks of being uninsured and if I get in a car accident tomorrow and go bankrupt I’m prepared to accept that.

If you mean “bare bones” as in HMO, paying as you go can be less expensive.

Consider, you are 15yo and get a strange lump near your voice box(it is thyroid cancer) but the HMO Primary care doctor puts off the needed testing (US & biopsy) of that strange lump in your throat for 3-8 months while it increases in size. Finally HMO PCP send you to get an ultrasound from a radiologist who is never going to see you because the sonographer (not a doctor) actually performs the US. The sonographer dutifully reports what s/he sees to the radiologists who observes static print outs from the “not quite state of the art” US machine that has poor resolution.
You are shuffled to a surgoen for a biopsy which, now 9-11 mths after you first noticed a quickly enlarging lump in your neck, show positive for malignancy. Now to surgery with a HMO surgeon who does NOT know that * with cancer you remove the entire gland and lymph nodes if they are enlarged too*. Back into surgery when they determine it was cancer and get the other half of the gland.
Have a scan that is not going to tell you anything because you are a teenager and they are ineffective in children.
All that was paid for by the HMO. The problem is that they did not give you a whopping dose of I 131 to be sure and ablate any remaining thyroid tissue because it cost too much.
Your parents decide to see a specialist that they learned of on the web. It is going to cost a bit. But the non-HMO doctor tells you that your condition could have been determined, diagnosed, and treated within 3wks to 2mths if you had just gone and paid out of pocket.
“Bare bones coverage” with a HMO has just cost you about 7mths with a cancerous thyroid gland and subjected you to two painful surgeries. And you are going to need another surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes. Not to mention the ghastly scars on your neck.
Paying as you go and using real doctors would have cost less $$ and time.

HMO are not set up to save you if you have a cancer. They are set up to “maintain” your health. Which I guess makes sense. You have to start out healthy and never get sick because they don’t want to cure you, just “maintain” your state of wellness.

Can one tell I think HMO are a waste of paycheck contributions and time?

She has all bases covered. Good on you girl…

ILovCoffee Has it right ----- so much of the time.

Your filing for bankruptcy would mean that your health-care creditors (e.g. ER facility if you were run over by a bus) would lose out on being compensated, and they don’t get a vote in the matter. So, your “choice” to be uninsured has negative consequences for other people, not just yourself.

Please be aware that I’m not trying to criticize you here, sven; the fault is in the system, as you are well aware, so this post is for those that are not aware of the situation. I write this as an uninsured (and uninsurable, due to previous spinal surgery and its ramifications, thus a “pre-existing condition” – and self-employed) person. The system is set up to lead someone in my situation to not only lose my own financial credibility, but to stiff creditors by filing for bankruptcy. (The US is essentially unique amongst “Western” societies in having bankruptcies due to medical expenditures). Given how frequently this happens in the US, the health-care providers have to build the risk into their pricing structure, which is partly why non-insured patients are billed at a higher rate than those with insurance.

[Note: I have no intentions of stiffing creditors; the lack of alternative options makes it an amazingly tempting scenario, however. Bankruptcy is not in my own future, although I know a few people who have taken that route in the last few years, and in some cases it was entirely due to medical expenditures.]

I am still amazed – as a European born-and-raised – when I walk by my local Fire Department or Police Department station, and chat with the local first-responders. It is completely understood that these institutions, which involve protection of the property and safety of the local citizenry, are viewed as being an inherent part of society. On the other hand, discussions of Universal Health Care are viewed as a socialist conspiracy.

[Apologies, sven, for the hijack.]

I think I just shat myself laughing at the mental picture that gave me: I’m still seeing your gleeful dance, and the woman’s horrified face. Good on you for not spoiling the joke by enlightening her.

If this was based on actual experience, I’m sorry you ran into such a bunch of incompetent doctors. However, based on my years of working in hospitals, I will note that there are not “HMO doctors” and “HMO surgeons,” and what insurance you have does not affect the quality of the training of the physicians in your health care plan. Doctors and surgeons take (in all cases I’ve encountered) a variety of types of insurance, and will do what they need to help a patient. Typically if a particular procedure will not be paid by an HMO, they will either find a way to do it that fits within the HMO guidelines and helps the patient, or go ahead and do it anyway. (Note, there are of course exceptions, etc.)

The major limitations of an HMO, on the other hand, do not at all appear to be oriented towards preventative medicine, which’d actually make sense but would require major rethinking of how we handle medicine. No, instead they use the “gatekeeping” of needing a referral from your primary care physician to go see a specialist. I’ve only once had a PCP deny a request from me to see a specialist, when I asked to see a neuro-ophthalmologist due to having many migraines with visual auras. She said (sensibly) she would prefer I see a neurologist first.

Gak! My sides are now aching because of the laughing jag I got onto from your post! :smiley:

It’s at times like these I wish I had magic powers to read minds. I’d love to know what counseling woman was thinking right then. :smiley:

In any case, insurance won’t be an issue in two months- thank goodness for my perk-filled dot com style job. The 3k insurance would have cost for the last two years would have eaten nearly half my savings or nearly half of my income for one of those years- and I have literally never seen a doctor up until now. Maybe not the best choice, but frankly it wasn’t a great set of options.

Three cheers for my super-cushy new job! Three cheers for freaking out abortion protesters!

I have to go back on Friday…I keep thinking of things I can say this time.

“I can’t wait to do this again!”
“I wonder who’s it was…”
“This is a lot of work. Maybe I should just become a lesbian.”

Way to go even sven! :smiley:

Obligatory Onion link.

“I laughed. I cried. It was much better than CATS.”

Thanks for the smiles!

Haw haw haw!

For years I got my medical treatment at Planned Parenthood because I had subsistence-wage jobs and had no medical insurance. Since I’m a healthy person, my yearly visit to the gynecologist was all I needed.

So people who protest Planned Parenthood really irk me. Where the hell else do they think poor women are going to get medical care? Where I lived, Planned Parenthood didn’t even perform abortions, anyway; they made referrals to separate abortion clinics.

Thank you for the enjoyable anecdote.