Our Health Care System

On Friday afternoon I wrote about a friend who tried to get unemployment benefits from Massachusetts. She was on the phone (they don’t accept applications in person or online) most of the day, going through all of the prompts, and eventually she would be bumped off by a computer generated voice stating that the office was too busy to take the claim. She can only apply on Wednesdays and Fridays because in Massachusetts you are assigned a day by the last digit of you SS# (Wednesday in her case) and Friday is a free-for-all. Today is Wednesday. She started at 8:30am and has tried 15+ times so far. I have received a few texts stating that the same thing is happening.

Yes, Aggie, but what does this have to do with health care?

The answer is obvious. This is rationing. She cannot receive unemployment benefits because they have set up barricades that make access to the system impossible. Imagine being really ill, elderly, and being told you could only get in cue to see a doctor one or two days a week, based on your SS#, and then being expected to spend entire days trying and failing to get into the system. And the beauty of it is that they will report that unemployment numbers for Massachusetts have decline substantially and that people are less sick.

- Aggie

5 Comments »

  1. Buck O'Fama said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

    Reminds me of an old quote by Michael Barone: “The Soviet medical system kept down the heart disease caseload by placing cardiac care units on the fifth floor, walk up.”

  2. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

    Exactly. And I’ll tell you something else. I got a text a couple of hours ago, explaining that she’d called her State Rep and that the State Rep had helped to get someone from Unemployment to work with her. And this is exactly why people can like their personal reps, but hate Congressmen in general. No matter how much money he votes to waste, she’ll always be grateful for the service.

    - Aggie

  3. Kimmi said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    How long do you think it will be before they start to ration health care?

  4. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    January 23, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    Kimmi,

    I think it is hard to predict because there are so many variables: the wealth of the nation, the political make-up of the regions, the individuals on the decision making boards, the public tolerance to rationing. But one of these days, each of us will know someone who is denied treatment because of age or pre-existing conditions. I hope I’m wrong.

    - Aggie

  5. Kimmi said,

    January 24, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    Aggie:

    I hope you are wrong too but I think you are not.

    Kimmi

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