HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Readers share their experiences of health care in the USA.

A Romland regular writes:

My poor coworker has colitis. She recently ended up spending the weekend in the hospital with full-blown diverticulitis.

A. She got a bill from a surgeon who walked into her room and was there two or three minutes and told her she didn’t need surgery. The bill even after the insurance portion was around 300.00

B. The doctors insist she have a colonoscopy. Insurance won’t cover it UNLESS there is SOMETHING WRONG.

Her husband got laid off last November and he’s been doing contract work for a company–they think the company won’t hire him full time because they don’t want to pay benefits but his COBRA runs out soon. She’s terrified that one of them will get really sick and he already takes five or six medications a month.

I realize that healthcare isn’t perfect pretty much anywhere–my dad told me about some 69 yo dude from his church who left Canada because he had cancer and they said he was too old to be worth treating which I think is downright horrible–but at this point, I’d say the US insurance companies and the US pharmaceutical companies are no better than companies like Exxon.


  • willaful
    September 5
    5:19 pm

    I can’t help thinking that there are probably a lot of different interpretations for “too old to be worth treating” and possibly what he heard was not actually what they meant. There’s a quality of life vs. prolongation of life issue with many cancer treatments, and the question of whether the body is strong enough to start with to stand the treatment.


  • And this is where discussions about end of life care are so important, but when the buzz changes that into “death panels”, the public closes its collective ears.


  • I agree, willaful — there are some stories like that about Canada that turn out to be exaggerated or even outright lies. But they’re repeated as gospel by those who are eager to shout down those of us who are in favor of universal coverage.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment