Health care and the insurance that pretends to cover it remain a big issue. And the biggest sub-issue is the treatment for pre-existing conditions.
Everyone’s for treating pre-existing conditions until you seek treatment. Everyone’s for covering pre-existing conditions until legislation requiring it comes to a vote in a legislative body.
Everyone’s for treating pre-existing conditions except yours.
You walk into the doctor's office or the doc-in-a-box “clinic” because you caught cold. After a while, a doctor comes in and looks you over and says “Hmmm.” Doctors are good at saying “hmmm” and med schools teach “hmmm” as a required first semester subject.
She asks you how long you’ve had the cold. You answer about two or three days. Doc says “Hmmm, so you’ve had it for a while.”
“Yes, maybe a couple of days.”
Doc: “Well, that makes it a pre-existing condition. I can treat you, but your health insurance won’t cover it.”
Or maybe you took one of those “at home” pregnancy tests and then you visit the doctor.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Furtwangler, pregnancy is a pre-existing condition.”
In fact, so is every other condition.
You don’t go to the emergency room for a leg that isn’t broken, even if it might be someday. But at least a not-broken-leg is not a pre-existing condition.
So stand your ground. (Remember, you can stand. The leg’s not broken. Yet.) The E-room staff will love you for taking up space and time, after all… the doctors and nurses and aids have little else to do because … well, they don’t treat pre-existing conditions.
But they do offer pre-existing magazines while you wait to be rejected. When the outdated magazines in your doctor’s office get too dog-eared, they get sent to the nearest emergency room. It’s a research trove. Especially if you’re interested in dead magazines like US News & World Report, Life, Look, Colliers and the early issues of Architectural Digest from the pre-Victorian era.
And to be serious for a moment: If your real pre-existing condition is about to be treated with an implanted electric spine stimulator, get another opinion. An AP report issued last night shows that more than 500 people have died from shocks and burns.
--Carlos Ghosn update: he’s still in the clink and when he gets out, he’ll be out of work, at least as chairman of Nissan. Ghosn allegedly understated his earnings in Nissan’s corporate filings. The directors met on Thanksgiving Day and voted him off the board.
--Two developments in the ongoing Sears soap opera: 1. They’ve put up a list of 500 stores still open but that they want to sell. And 2. They’re trying to give monster bonuses to failed executives, something the bankruptcy court probably eliminate without comment.
--Speaking of retailers, thank you, Neiman Marcus, for the fast service and huge elaborate packaging of an online order that could have been sent in a cigarette pack. But when you send a dozen or more pitches to an e-customer, you’re obnoxious. Even Mega-Mart doesn’t do that many emails in that short a time.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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