Thursday, November 16, 2006
UPDATE on BabyGirl's Eye Surgery
Weds was a VERY busy day for us. Hubby and I had to go to my OB/GYN for a check up and an ultrasound early in the morning (all is well w/ me and Baby to Be!) and then we had to see BabyGirl's pediatric ophthalmologist/ surgeon in the early afternoon. For those of you unfamiliar with her medical issue, please visit here and here. Now, Hubby and I love her eye dr/ surgeon. He is wonderful, and has made us feel very comfortable depite him having to take a scapel and cut into both of our child's eyes. So, after her eye exam (all is well, and we go back to see him in 6 mos) we discuss w/the good Dr. what kind of problems we encountered w/our health insurance-- despite the surgery being pre-approved, the anestethiologist refused to accept the insurance's payment and demanded that we pay the remaining $1000s. Now, the good Dr. had already dissussed w/us previously that he is 100% pro-universal healthcare b/c he is being nickle and dimed to death by insurance companies who refuse to accept his opinion and expertise as a doctor & surgeon. He asked us what did the insurance pay for his part of the surgery: It was less than $700. He then asked what did the insurance end up paying (after we threatened a lawsuit) for the anestethiologist's bill (it was just over $2000). Imagine that, will ya? The guy who puts your child under (which is a highly skilled and important job) receives 3 times the amount than the guy who slices into your child's eyes and determines whether she is blind or not. That seems beyond screwed to me. So, after much hestitation, the good Dr. sighs a long sigh and says that by this Spring, he has to decide if he will continue doing surgery at all, b/c he cannot afford to fight w/ insurance companies at the rate that he is in Ohio. He said he guesses that he is luckier than some doctors, b/c in many states, they simply cannot afford to practice medicine at all. We checked this doctor out COMPLETELY before allowing him to perform this surgery on our kiddo. He has ZERO lawsuits against him at all, yet he cannot afford to haggle w/the insurance companies any longer? I guess that Repuke straw man argument that healthcare costs us so much due to lawsuits is 100% crapola ... as if we didn't already know that: In 2003, medical malpractice insurance cost the 900,000 doctors in the US $11 billion. That breaks down to approx $12K per dr. What did Americans spend on healthcare for 2003? $1.5 trillion plus.) God knows all of the sick uninsured folks couldn't be driving up costs, huh? I'm very sad that BabyGirl may lose her doctor, but I might be even sadder that Ohio's kids will be losing out on a great surgeon who loves his work-- but is driven to quit doing it due to all out corporate greed.... greed that could be taken care of head-on if only we had universal healthcare.