Your probably wondering why I’m writing about the Health Care system in a blog of Fire/EMS Tidbits….. Read on, it’ll make more sense later – I promise.
Yesterday, I was on the phone to find out if (I guess you could call it) Health Care Insurance – I believe it’s actually called “Health Care Containment System – to find out if emergency dental is at all covered… The answer I got back was a big fat No…. The only thing that would be covered would be if I were to go to Urgency Care (or maybe even a scheduled doctors appointment – if that counts) with tooth pain… Things like x-rays, antibiotics, and pain-killers would all be covered, but not any kind of actual dental work (like say extrication of a rotten tooth)…. So what are the options for someone who is on a fixed income and doesn’t have the, say, *$300 (and that is considered a low-income option) to get the tooth in question taken care of??? Why dope (I mean dose) up on over-the-counter pain relievers (that massively screw with your stomach and liver) until you finally break down and go to the Urgency Care clinic in excruciating pain to get pain-killers (that will massively screw with your stomach and liver even more)…. Oh, and (of course) after awhile the ER doctors and nurses will start to look at you funny because your back (once again) needing something for the pain… Because (of course) dental isn’t covered and paying out of pocket isn’t an option.
So What does this have to do with EMS? Well nothing technically, if we’re simply talking about dental alone… Unless of course a person gets so sick from the usage (or over usage) of Over-The-Counter and Prescription pain-killers that they end up going to ER via ambulance (preceded by a call to 9-1-1 necessitating the need for Emergency Response). The problem is that it seems like very little is covered by low-income health insurance (and regular health insurance is so astronomically high that unless you have an extremely high paying job so (for those on Medicare/Medicaid/Low-Income Assistance) there are limited options but to home treat until the problem get so bad that – guess what – you end up with a trip to the Emergency Room (again, possibly, involving the need for Emergency Transport). And before you go lumping all Medicare/Medicaid/Etc Recipients into one lump sum under the category of useless, lesser class scum (though I’m sure most of you reading this don’t feel that way) let me remind you that many are on such “Insurance” (or what ever you call it) through no fault of their own – They didn’t ask to be in a situation where they were unable to work (or maybe they do work) and unable to afford health care…. But I’ll get off my soap box on that and leave you to ponder…. What is wrong with our health care system that people aren’t getting proper health care because they simply can’t afford it… That people are ending up lost in the cracks.