July 28, 2009
Are You Paying Attention?! Health Care Reform
Will Affect Your Future!
Earlier this year I had major medical problems that because of my self-provided medical insurance were expertly handled and my health was restored.
I thought I would share with you my experiences with my health care and insurance in light of the proposed changes in health care by the Obama administration.
I woke up one morning with pain in my back near the left shoulder blade. The pain later moved to my left upper arm and I still had the cramp in my shoulder. After several days of trying to work it out as a cramp or something, I went to the Doctor. I was able to get an appointment immediately.
He diagnosed it as a rotator cuff injury. He proposed medications to see if they would resolve the problem. After increasing pain over a period of several days, I asked for more assistance and he provided additional medications that did not help. Looking for a second opinion, I went to an arm and shoulder specialist who immediately agreed with the diagnosis and suggested physical therapy. I was able to obtain an appointment quickly and without having to get approval from anyone. The pain was now even worse and had moved down my left arm. My left arm was almost useless at this point.
The Physical Therapist after working with me and evaluating my shoulder, told me that she did not believe it was a rotator cuff problem and more likely a neck/nerve issue. I went to an orthopedic back specialist. He recommended an MRI. I had almost no use of my left arm. The pain was unbearable and nothing helped. Even strong pain medications did no good. I could not sleep or lie down without increased horrible pain.
The MRI confirmed that I had a herniated disk with a nerve protruding and causing the loss of use of my left arm and the pain. The doctor prescribed a series of injections into my neck to see if surgery could be avoided. I again wanted a second opinion and a Neurosurgeon was recommended by a good friend and Doctor of Internal Medicine.
I visited the Neurosurgeon and he reviewed my MRI and told me that the series of shots would not work and that I needed immediate surgery. We scheduled the surgery for 6 days later and I had to continue sleeping in a recliner until the surgery could be done. I had the Neurosurgeon do the surgery.
The medical care that I received before, during, and after the surgery was superb. The surgery was done at Baylor Hospital in Downtown Dallas. The care at the hospital for the one day that I was a patient there was above any expectation that I could have had. The after care by the doctor and physical therapy team was outstanding. The assistance that I received from my insurance agent and company was excellent in all areas. I am now fully recovered from the health issue in question.
Our insurance plan had a deductible amount that once met, provided 100% payment of all charges after the deductible. The total cost of all the medical treatment was over $50,000 for the entire situation.
I have the following questions about the health care plan proposed by the Obama administration.
1. Would I have received this level of service from a government run plan?
2. Would I have been able to contact four different doctors, obtain an MRI, Physical Therapy, have surgery, and end the horrible pain in 4 weeks under the proposed plan?
3. Would I have been able to choose the best doctor of my choice, the best hospital of my choice, and the best Physical Therapy provider of my choice?
4. If I don’t like the plan that is proposed, can I choose to pay for and keep the great coverage that I have now? If so, for how long?
5. If I don’t want to take a chance on the new plan, can I keep my insurance in place? If so, for how long?
6. Will the government force my insurance providers to raise the rates and drive me to the new government plan because private insurance carriers cannot be competitive with a government run agency?
7. Will my representatives in government listen to what I am saying and try to protect my interests?
If you agree that you do not want to turn over your health care to a government run agency that is run like the IRS and many other government agencies, then you need to add your voice to the cries for action by our representatives.
What can you do?
Call and email your representative with your opinion: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml I have called all of them and talked to someone in their offices. I plan to send this information to them by email.
Do you have time to devote to this important issue? If the government is going to force us to use a health care plan, then all branches of the government should be required to use that plan also. There should be no exceptions, including President Obama and his family.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter about health care. Inaction could result in one of us someday being prevented from obtaining the health care we need. My situation was very real, painful, and mentally challenging. I thank God and Judi for helping me get through it with the assistance of all the resources I have mentioned above.
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