I'm having a health issue which will hopefully and probably turn out to be nothing serious, but I'm feeling super shitty and have to get some tests done, so I'll be taking the next couple of days off. I apologize for being cryptic, but the only thing I hate more than being sick is writing about being sick.
Instead, I will just briefly note how nothing reminds you of how garbage the US healthcare system is than having to use it. Sitting in urgent care on Tuesday night, I was the only person with health insurance, and, even with health insurance, I was at urgent care, essentially an after-hours walk-in clinic, instead of emergency because our insurance covers more at urgent care than emergency.
Everyone sitting in the waiting room was talking about how they debated whether to go to urgent care or emergency, trying to balance the urgency of their distress against the potential costs of emergency care.
The people without insurance were having to provide proof of income, in order to qualify for the sliding scale subsidized healthcare offered by this clinic. Which is an amazing service, that nonetheless creates an administrative burden at a most inopportune moment.
Yesterday morning, I spent hours on the phone with my insurer, trying to figure out where I could go for tests that were in-network. They're not the places that the urgent care physician wanted me to go, because he's in a different network, so I don't know what will happen with the follow-up. It's a maze of bureaucratic bullshit, which we are required to navigate during illness in order to to try to maximize corporate profits while simultaneously minimizing our financial exposure, so we don't go bankrupt just trying to access the care we've ostensibly paid them to provide.
And that's if we're fortunate enough to have health insurance in the first place.
This is not the best healthcare system in the world. And as long as patients, healthcare providers, and insurers are primarily preoccupied with cost, by necessity or design, it never will be.
(Although I am always appreciative of well-wishing, there is no need at all to feel obliged; I just wanted to post something informational for the Shakers who tend to worry when I deviate from my routine.)