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Monday, November 17, 2014

Unless you need Demerol

So tomorrow is the big day we have been waiting for.  My daughter is having back surgery and we can't wait.  That seems counterintuitive except for the fact she has been in horrible pain for over 2 months.  She has a herniated disk and they have said it is the easiest back surgery there is.  Today the PA said she was a surgeons dream because she is thin and in great shape.  Part of that great shape is why she is having back surgery.  She is a runner, a cross-fitter, and an ex gymnast.  It all comes together for an injury.  When the doctor told her that the lifestyle she led caused the problems she just shrugged...she wouldn't have changed anything.  So now she won't be able to do certain things, but full activity is actually 6 weeks away.

I think that is a miracle.  Someone with this injury or problem 100 years ago would have just stayed in bed.  or 75 years ago.  50 years ago they had surgery but it was dicey...now, she has a 98% chance of being just like she was before.

Unless she needs demerol.  The PA said there is a shortage of demerol so she has to have percoset.  That's not much of a problem, percoset is stronger, higher chance of addiction....but why a shortage of demerol?  I asked the PA was happened.  Did a pharmaceutical company stop making it, or didn't make enough?  Have we, as a country, been in more pain lately?

Obamacare.  That was his answer.  The government thinks we use too much demerol so they put limits on how much pharmaceutical companies could make.   I don't know how you feel but I know some government workers...lots of them, and I do not want them, or anyone else in government cubicles making drug decisions for me.  Because if they do, I will be in pain.

They are taking our demerol!!

So with all the stuff about Jonathan Gruber and his claim we are too stupid and now less demerol...our lives are simply in shambles.   When I first heard the Gruber thing I realized he got it wrong.  They knew the American people were too smart, not too stupid....lets be clear.  They knew if they told the truth about it we would howl more than we did.  It's all a mess....

A friend of mine has Obamacare.  It works, they have health insurance but its not very good insurance.  They have a HMO type plan which was all they could afford and as you know with HMO's, they are very limited in where they can go and what doctors they can see.  When she wanted a second opinion on a surgery that was recommended there was no place to go.  The first doctor wanted to do a full knee replacement on her torn meniscus.  Who would do a full knee replacement without a second opinion for a torn meniscus?  He told her he had done 50.  50?  You want to go to someone who has done 5000...with a small amount of investigation she found out he wasn't even an orthopedic doctor, he is a bone cancer doctor.  Since her plan only has one orthopedic group the chances the second doctor will disagree with the first doctor are pretty low.  My friend only pays $136 a month, and that includes her husband.  They have a very low income so they qualify for a subsidy.  The subsidy is $900.  A subsidy is another word for government assistance.  If they had a higher income they would be paying $1036.....she was very embarrassed to tell me how much the government assistance is.  Before Obamacare they were paying $1100 which was about to bankrupt them.  So this is a perfect example of something had to happen to fix health insurance....but this solution seems horribly flawed.  They have health insurance but not much health care.  She hasn't gotten her knee fixed because she doesn't feel she needs a full knew replacement.  And she doesn't trust the doctor to do it anyway.

And to top it all off, we are running out of Demerol.



7 comments:

  1. I'm sorry your daughter is facing back surgery but I hope she feels much better soon. I had a friend who said she felt better the moment she woke up from her back surgery. Yay. And your line about Gruber -- and being worried that people were to smart is great. I wish it was true.

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    1. I am depending on that, I know she will feel better

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  2. May your daughter have a successful outcome and quick healing.
    There are many different plans to choose from at different prices--unfortunately, we get what we pay for--she was paying $1100 and now $136--she chose a very limited plan. It's not the first time I've heard the no-2nd-opinion options on the lower cost plan issue, that is a problem. At the same time, people have to look more carefully at their plans --at more than cost. The reason she's saving $ is that the plan is bare bones. No question, lots of "birthing issues" in this program. Obamacare's big benefit is that pre existing conditions can't be denied coverage. But other parts of it are problematic for some insureds. I have no answers, but I think we can't expect to pay low prices for what is still private insurance and get great coverage. Changes are needed but I don't know what is doable. I'm just glad M. and I are covered under his work plan. But as a partner, he has to pay for it himself and it is very $$$. No easy answers.

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    1. Which brings us full circle, the wealthy will always have great care and the poor will have insurance they wouldn't have had, but the middle class will get squeezed.

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  3. Hope the surgery went well. She is in my thoughts and prayers

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