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Monday
Jan152007

love letter to health insurance

A few weeks ago, I had an encounter with a serrated knife and a loaf of pecan-raisin bread that resulted in five stitches in my thumb. I went to a nearby small emergency room, and was in and out in two hours. The doctor and the staff were all friendly and competent; the care was excellent, and my thumb healed well. I just got the explanation-of-benefits from my health insurance company; the bill total was $2587.85, of which I am responsible for $62.37.
This is, arguably, what the US health care system is best at; definitive care for an acute condition, with no follow-up and no prevention. I'll take it! Now if we could just expand that quality of care to chronic conditions and prevention, and provide it to everyone regardless of financial means or immigration status... that would be something. I wonder how Arnold's latest proposal for mandatory health insurance would cover my self-employed neighbor cutting her thumb at work, or an illegal immigrant cutting his thumb cooking breakfast for his family. Thank you, Aetna and Seton Medical Center, for taking care of me. Please take care of everyone else, too.

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