Oct 20, 2009

CARS AND BONES, THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SHIT LIKE THEY USED TO

Just after we finished moving Dear husband sent me a picture of the half toe nail he lost while helping someone else move some furniture around. The funny thing is he moved all of our furniture two weeks ago without any incident and then while helping one of my mom’s friend he got injured (he learned that lesson of wearing sandals while moving beds). I couldn’t help but immediately think that we might have to go to the doctor and pay an arm, a leg, our first born, the cat, the dog, the LCD TV, my shoe collection (NEVER!!) if he fractured a bone since we are one of those millions uninsured in this country.

That of course made me think of the many of my republicans/conservatives friends and acquaintances who talk crap about those uninsured and how they are a burden for the state and their taxes. I have felt tempted to defy them but I always sometimes choose to remain quiet because most republicans/conservatives I know cannot be reasoned with when it comes to those issues, the same way us liberals cannot be reasoned with when we get asked about gay marriage, pro-choice, etc. I have never (for the record), EVER left an unpaid medical bill, regardless of how high they are, if I cannot afford it then I won’t go to the doctor, which has worked out pretty well so far since I am disgustingly healthy. The obscene hospital bills that doctors shamelessly ask for when they treat you is the reason why we have the B.O.B rule in my house (Bone/Organ/Blood), which estates that unless organs, blood or bones are showing there is no need for a doctor. Once I had to put up with a sinus infection for two months without treatment because there was no B.O.B, and only caved in when I couldn't kiss, talk or eat because I couldn't breath and do all those at the same time.

Stuff like that always makes me think of home (I know I am predictable, shoot me). I don’t know if is the resiliency you have to develop when living in a country where things are not as easy as here. Maybe is because people are used to make do with what they have and what they are given, maybe because you have to make what you DO have last, or maybe is just because we are a crafty bunch but every time broken bones becomes an issue I inevitably think of car accidents, totaled cars.

What the hell is wrong with cars here that won’t last past a good crash? The car in the picture is considered totaled here and back at home they would’ve patch that shit up and put it on the road again! (I am not quite sure yet why I make that sound like a good thing) Capitalism is what’s wrong with cars today. If your car looks like the one in the picture then forget about it, you need to buy a new one. Back home they would’ve put that car together with scotch tape if needed and made it safe drivable for another ten to twenty years.

Capitalistic societies are used to disposable things; disposable appliances, disposable vehicles, disposable houses, disposable clothes, disposable shoes, disposable everything! You don’t repair, or fix, or patch up when you can get a new one! And the same way they dispose of vehicles that are perfectly repairable in other countries they take forever to repair broken bones. The same way it would take thousands of dollars to fix a car, it takes also thousands of dollars to fix a broken wrist. I mean for Pete’s sake (why Peter and not Paul?) why do you need to go through days and days and thousands and thousands of dollars of physical therapy over a broken wrist? Are bones here made differently from bones everywhere else?

We had an employee once who broke his wrist falling on it in July and he was still receiving physical therapy in October even though he went three times a week. What the hell? If the wrist is going to take that long to heal just chop the fucking hand off! Do doctors really think patients don’t know that we know that they are just trying to milk the insurance companies? And if they do know we know then aren’t they ashamed of the people that have no insurance and cannot afford to spend 15 minutes of electric treatment for a broken wrist that doesn’t hurt, isn’t swollen, is working perfectly well? I mean if I break my wrist and have to go to physical therapy I’ll freaking stuck my tongue in an electric socket and get my therapy that way!

Why do you need to go to a Doctor (and pay him of course) so he can tell you, you need to see a specialist for your mammogram when you know perfectly well that is the case since you have a history of breast cancer and you need an exam every year?!

So now you have a go see a doctor to tell you to see another doctor, so that, that doctor can get your mammogram done and send you to yet another doctor that went to school specially to look at films, and then go to that film doctor to take a look at the films you have already paid THREE doctors to get done. When you have all that those bills up the possibility of breast cancer suddenly isn’t the scariest thing in the future, is it?

So what is it with the greedy Doctors, the disposable cars and the unfixable bones? Is it like this everywhere else where Capitalism is the order of the day? Is it really Capitalism or is it just my prejudice against it? Is it something else that I am missing?

4 comments:

Fearsome Comrade said...

Cars get destroyed in crashes like that because of several reasons, all of them stemming from government regulations:

1. Crumple zones. The government requires cars to have "crumple zones" that absorb the kinetic energy in a crash. I won't get into the science of it, but basically, there's a lot of energy in a moving car, and when it stops suddenly, it has to go somewhere. In old-fashioned cars that didn't bust up much, a lot of it goes into the driver's body. In a modern car, it goes into smushing up the outside. It means you have to buy a new car...but that's a hell of a lot better than buying a new spine.

2. Efficiency requirements. The federal government has laws mandating the average mileage of cars on the road. The heavier your car, the more fuel it takes to get it going and keep it going. So in order to make cars that meet government fuel efficiency standards, car manufacturers have to use lots of lightweight materials like plastic and aluminum--materials that get easily destroyed in the event of an accident.

The weeks of therapy you talked about is what is known as "defensive medicine." Back home, the doctor bound you up, you healed up, and that was it. But in the USA, after you heal up, if you're a bit stiff, the doctor runs the risk of you hiring a lawyer to sue the crap out of him for malpractice. Hence, you get weeks of therapy to make sure you get as close to 100% as possible. Besides, the state government probably requires the insurance company to pay for it anyway. (When I was a kid in Indiana, I broke my wrist--I had a cast for a few weeks and no therapy. Depends on state tort laws, I guess.)

I don't know the specifics of the last case, but in many circumstances, specialists can't see you without a referral from a GP doctor because of legal requirements.

In general, when you are required to do something that makes no sense, you can find a state bureaucracy somewhere at the bottom of it. The USA does not have a capitalist medical system. It's state-corporatist. The only countries I know of that have anything close to capitalist medicine are Mexico and India.

Mel82 said...

Wow... well thank you for educating me.

And you are right, better a new car than a new spine.

Dear Husband said...

@Fearsome

This is Dear Husband. I also grew up in Indiana. Great comments by you on this post. It is my personal opinion that this country is already, as you essentially stated, a welfare state. I'm saddened by this and my ideal government is Libertarian. You can imagine my contempt for the government being the single largest employer (don't know if it is factual) in the nation.

Fearsome Comrade said...

Dear Husband, I'm pretty sure we went to high school together, since I found Dear Wife's blog through your Facebook.