Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lose Your Effing Shirt!

It’s the exciting new game from Parker Brothers… Lose Your Effing Shirt (or more)!

Kids love it… You start out with your playing piece – a healthy ovary (a walnut) on a board designed with beautiful lady parts in full color! Roll the dice to find out what happens next!

With each turn you'll get a meager payment and find out if your ovary develops a cyst and if so, how fast it might grow and how large! No one is left out of the fun, everyone gets a cyst at some point!

You're also dealt cards that represent typical family assets - home, cars, appliances, furniture, clothes, electronics, and so on. These will be important later and you're free to try trading with other players to acquire the assets of your choosing. You can also decide to buy insurance at the beginning of the game, or risk it and see what happens!

With each move on the board, you attach another layer of cyst growth onto your walnut until the first one to reach 10cm proceeds to the hospital where you have to guess how much each procedure will cost, and guess correctly, before you can have it done. Then, to pay for your procedures, you must start selling off your assets. If you can't pay, you lose!

The first one to have the cyst removed (or not need to go to the hospital at all) wins!

The EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) from my trips to Alameda Hospital and UCSF came… Guess how much it is to get an MRI? $4,807. I got two of them – one abdominal scan, one pelvis = $9,614!  Bargain!

My trip to the ER, my first trip to Alameda Hospital, cost the low, low price of about $4,150 – for the lab tests (just blood & urine) and the ultrasound. The ultrasound itself cost $965 – for 20 minutes of time with the machine and the tech.

The second ultrasound I got at UCSF cost $973, plus the cost of gas & parking meter and the pain of having to hear her run her mouth about her trip to Hawaii while jabbing my innards with the vag cam.

Now, for the big enchilada – the giant pomelo…
The surgery… Guess how much?

$47,060.15  Yup – Forty seven thousand sixty dollars and fifteen cents. For a same-day procedure.

I don't know what most of the codes mean so it's hard to know what each line item is. Just one item runs $11,970 - no idea what that was - maybe my time in post op. There is one item I recognize - scalpel - that tiny thing cost me $1,133. Just the one - you'd think that might be for a pack of 100.

Thankfully, we have insurance. We still pay a hefty out-of-pocket maximum, but the rest is covered. Without that, we would be totally broke and trying to sell a car and perhaps one kidney each. 

Obama's health plan does not fix this problem. I wish it did, but it's a joke. Also a joke, that companies like Blue Shield make multiple BILLIONS of dollars in profits every year and they continue to try to raise premium rates.

So, how do we fix this? 

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