Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Blogroll Entry + A View Into Socialized Medicine

The company that handles the benefits for the company I work for is not particularly efficient. I heard (second hand, after personally asking a couple of times) that the benefits meeting was going on on a day that I was not at work, within a few minutes of it actually happening.

Then I heard that we had until all of the next day to fill out the paper work, though eventually that was (silently) extended to a week. (Actually, I apparently caused some agitation by pushing the deadline but, hey, if you want things in on time, you might consider some advance notice of when that time is.)

Anyway, last year I had family dental coverage (which was free) and personal medical coverage (also free). Although it didn't actually work out that way, since the dentist was on the insurance company site one moment, then not the next, then went to the trouble of being part of the dental plan (which apparently he hadn't been before), and now, this year, they've switched plans and he's (of course) not on the new plan.


Medical coverage is $0 for me for some sort of limited plan. To include a spouse and any number f children it goes to $1734 per month. More than my mortgage (with RE taxes). More than I spend on food. More than any individual taxes (though perhaps not more than all of the taxes put together).

On top of that, there were seven pages of forms to fill out, to get the "free" coverage. I don't believe I've mentioned this, but I opted to not pursue a scholarship for a Masters degree (musicology) because it would've meant paperwork. (I hate paperwork. The primary value to me of using TaxCut or TurboTax is that I don't have to fill out any paperwork.)

And, you know, I hadn't used the coverage last year. One could argue (fairly reasonably) that I don't treat my body that well. But it is mine, and I tend to treat it that way, which is to say, I don't just pass it around to whatever Hippocratic sheepskin-wielding maniac some pill-pushing-bureaucracy has decreed.

Even last year, when I had the free coverage, and I had my first medical incident that required a doctor's attention since 1985, I went to the local Urgent Care clinic rather than try to wrestle with the "free" care I theoretically should have gotten. The Urgent Care guy has given us the occasional antibiotic and set a few bones, all at prices which seem mostly fair.

This was rolling around in my head when I read Sippican Cottage's tale of woe and Lyme disease. (I didn't know people actually got that! I thought it was just dogs! That lived in the Rockies!) It's a good reminder that a bureaucracy will kill you, and completely without remorse or consideration, because nobody personalizes the organization's responsibilities.

Sip is an old-tyme Althouse commenter who, for reasons unknown to me, stopped commenting and even went so far as to erase his old comments. But his site is one of the gentler spots on the Internet, peppered with old black-and-white photos and remember-whens, without any of the sort of technophobia or misanthropy that is common to such things.

Also, he makes replica antique furniture. Hmmm. He might be able to make an interesting HTPC case, eh, what?


  1. Ruth Anne had Sip make something for her and was very pleased. I bet she'd give you a recommendation, if needed, if you e-mailed her.

  2. I have no doubt it would be good.

    I'd be curious to see what Ruth Anne had made, though.


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.