oldschool CxC

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

For me, I'm going thru some Hard Times --> July 4th, ended relationship, ex-fiance moved out. Back to solo, guess that's OK. It better be! My mantra for the day is "Be the change you want to see in the world" (Ghandi).

And achievement: On July 3rd turned 10 years clean and sober. Not a beer or joint for 10 yrs!
Impossible to imagine, improbable for someone like me. At one time I wouldn't have desired such an accomplishment, but at 35 I feel blessed to have truly and deeply experienced my life for the last decade -- b/c life is so fleeting anyways.


Also saw Wes and his troops blow thru the Bay Area. Tisha & 3 (Kieran, Caleigh, and Maya) will be staying in Nova Scotia for 5-6 mo's coming soon, and Wes will be up there a lot. But he'll also have a vacant house and maybe too much time on his hands, so ... if you were buds & you got his digits, give him a buzz! Or hit me up & I can supply the code.
Jeremy P (Wes' cuz) is also in Marin right now, recovering from some medical issues. I saw him and he seemed OK, hopefully will continue that way.

I took an After Effects class at bavc.org last week, told my work it was UNIX class. Wow, that was an amazing class. I'm feeling like I'm moving closer & closer to where I'm supposed to go. Exciting.
Also re-newed biz licenses on 7/3 in Oakland (had 'em prvsly only in SF) for threewaysmedia(.com), rekzkarz.com, and R.E. (the name I use for my digital art).

Anyone else out there doing video stuff? How's it goin'?

Lastly, I like the new CxC layout. Looks the best so far. I noticed we have some names I'm not familiar with: Ian & W. Don't ring any bells from Culver. Doesn't look like I can click people's names to see stuff -- so do we get any hints?

3 Comments:

Blogger glenn said...

Ari,

while I sympathize with your difficulties at this time I feel the need to educate you regarding the medical system in this country (or at least how it applies to me). I'm also writing this as a comment to your post so that the general public won't accidently happen upon it.

Obviously, there are private and public hospitals. The public hospitals are run basically by the local governments and get funds from the state and federal governments. These are more or less free for the patients and funds are collected from them on a ability to pay basis (in some cases). Private hospitals are privately funded and usually get money from insurance companies, although they can obtain government funds if they take care of Medi-Cal (Medicaid) and Medicare patients.

The Medi-Cal patients are pretty much low income people. Additionally, (il)legal immigrants can get services in an emergency or for pregnancy related issues (a good reason to have kids here).

When patients come to the emergency room in any hospital, they are given emergency care without consideration for their financial status. i.e. they get triaged. What the grand planners had envisioned, I imagine, is that these patients can be sent to the county hospitals for further care, as long as it was safe to transfer them (which for my purposes is pretty much anyone who isn't bleeding to death).

What happens in reality is that the county facilities refuse transfer because they are "too full." Whether or not this is actually true remains to be seen (remember I've worked in both situations). Thus, the patients have to stay in the hospital they go to (mostly to clear the ER for other patients that are waiting). Once the patient is admitted, financial responsibility begins--for insured patients, their insurance companies usually take care of the costs and even push for transfer to "contracted facilities (i.e. lower cost facilities)." If the patient has no insurance, this burden is taken by the patient.

Doctors that work for private hospitals are independent contractors generally, and do not receive funds for working there. Additionally, they are responsible for staff fees for the privilege of working in a facility. People who are on an ER call panel sometimes get a stipend for doing so.

Docs in private hospitals are paid by patient's insurance co's. If a patient has no insurance, guess what?

So, finally, to answer your question.

Yes, the money did come out of my "paycheck" (I actually don't have a paycheck, but I do receive payments).

No, I'm not upset that she did not pay.

Yes, I am affected by this poverty (and guess what? so are YOU and everyone else).

What you don't know is that this story is just a little slice o' life for me. I've taken care of cash patients by the score (I call them "freebies"), so it's just not at all that unusual for this to happen to me (thus I am not upset for doing free work.)

However, this is the first time someone basically said to me "fuck you. I invalidate all that you have done." That's why I think it is funny.

If she said something to the effect of "I'll do what I can" or if she gave me a plate of cookies even, I would accept the gesture. I have a pt. who gave me $10 and I am thinking about erasing her debt because I understand the need.

Look at it this way, if she was poor, she would get Medi-Cal, which would cover her expenses, including my fees. If she doesn't qualify, it's because she has assets of some amount (which she doesn't feel the need to pay me with--for any amount at all.)

And as for the last comment, most of the deadbeats I see are American citizens who don't have jobs and like it that way.

Remember, I'm just one of many who have this experience. Sony was right in imagining that it has some impact on health costs.

Also, I wonder, would you give props to someone that went to Morton's, ate dinner, and told the manager, "I just don't want to pay for the meal." (Actually, you probably would). You can rest assured that I would not allow someone to die if I could help it, but as I noted before, she put herself into debt as soon as she came to the private hospital.

Lots of people don't cover ERs because of the chance of this happening. I do it because I absolutely love what I do; however, I never expected that someone would snub me like that, so directly.

Socialized medicine would be nice, but I think quality will suffer. People have to wait for authorizations with the current system; just think what would happen in a country of this size if you had to wait for the approval of some gov't. lackey in order to get treated.

So, with the risk of one long winded and misguided ranting reply, do I answer your question. Chew on that awhile and remember that I'm doing my part for this country and its people.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Sony said...

Ian is my brother who lives up in SF, drinking the same water as you. Congrats on the sober life.

Not sure why a lady who delivers a snarling F.U. to Glenn, and jacks up the cost of insurance for all the others on the board deserves "props", but I guess that's just you being you.

2:15 PM  
Blogger REkz said...

Actually, Glenn's explanation was very informative. I didn't realize it worked that way.

Glenn, I hope the good karma you do is returned to you 10x.

re: that user saying "F.U." to Glenn, I didn't see it that way initially. I do see how Glenn (and Sony) might see it that way now that I hear you viewpoints, but I still wonder if they were saying they deserved the medical attention regardless of their poverty.
(Maybe that's NOT what they were saying and I'm incorrect?)

Re: socialized medicine, I've been to multiple countries with socialized medicine (Spain, Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, Czech Repub, and Israel) and I never experienced any delay waitin for forms or clearances before getting treatment.
I did have to pay a nominal fee in some locations for a visit (I believe the most was $20), and in Austria I had to visit a govt office during work hours to get that $ back.

Considering how many billions of $$$ are so easily given away by us tax-payers to go kill Iraqi (and other) peoples, it's very curious to me that there is so much outrage at the huge 'burden' of the social expense of medical care. (And the enormous expense is ludicrous, propagandized, and untrue, but that's another matter.)

The way I see it is world govts view military expense as a positive, socialized medical expenses as a negative, and any social 'welfare' expenses for poor people as bad. Why? B/c they see no return on the expense for helping poor people...

I heard this argument when I was living in Australia, particularly from the more openly racist political parties.

You guys seem to think I'm on crack, but having just recently re-read "1984" (Orwell) and currently reading "Why I Write" (Orwell), I don't think I'm tripping out.

The virtue I think we don't share is idealism. In my heart, I believe there are more humane ways of living and being that could be actualized. Even if 'man is an animal' and selfish at heart, I don't think man has to leave a legacy of destruction in order to 'enhance and improve' life quality or secure his own position in the hierarchy.

I believe that education and increased awareness can help people to make better decisions.

For instance:
If people really knew the horrible cruelty of the meat industry, and the negative effects of eating 'tortured' animals, most people would (at least try to) eat free-range meat or go veg.

If people know the effects of eating GM foods or hormone foods, they would try to eat organic foods.

If people really know the impact of war violence (by having friends/family 'on the wrong side' or merely knowing innocents that are killed/kidnapped/tortured) they will reconsider a positive view of war.

People who lack information can make the wrong choices in error.

Perhaps this is illustrated by how I interpreted Glenn's patient's comment?

But now that I have insight into Glenn's information & viewpoint, I can see that perhaps I was off.

11:33 PM  

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