Friday, February 29, 2008

Cynical Me, Part 2

You may not know what I do. I administrate free vision clinics for children in rural areas in Ohio. I go to small towns, bring doctors and all of the equipment and we run free vision clinics…free to everyone…no cost. Come one, come all!

Last week I was in southern Ohio at a jam packed clinic. This is unusual because, if you were unaware, people often don’t show up for free healthcare. So, we usually double or triple book patience, because so many don’t show up for the FREE medical care. So we had more folks show than was normal. One mother came and brought her five children with her because one of them needed an eye exam. They had to wait over an hour to see the doctor.

By the time mom got in to see me she was irate. She was ranting and raving about how long she had to wait and why we couldn’t get our act together in order to shorten her wait. I have no doubt it was difficult to entertain her five children for such a long period of time…but her response brought to a head some of my stronger feelings about our current system and what is and is NOT working.

Why do the people I work to serve feel such a sense of entitlement for FREE services? They don’t pay a dime for their Medicaid programs, but I, with “great” insurance, pay a $15 co pay plus 20% of my entire medical bill. And when I take my child to the ophthalmologist, I still have to wait over an hour to see the guy!

In Ohio, we just revamped our Medicaid system, where private companies are running our public Medicaid program. One of the items that all companies must offer is “incentives” for patients. Meaning, if a pregnant woman who is on the medical card, makes and actually goes to her regular prenatal appointments she gets a prize….perhaps a gas card to speedway for doing what any responsible mother would do anyway. Your tax dollars at work.

“Anything the government does for its citizen that they should do for themselves makes us a weaker nation.” My last thought from my friend Brandon.


Natalie said...

Love this post, D! You channel my frustrations about our systems perfectly. I think often times since we work for the Gov't, we see the worst of these situations too. I womnder if I'll be able to do this for the rest of my career a lot!

Michelle said...

I have so many feeling on this topic, but I will try to shorten it up. Bottom line no matter what insurance we all have or don't have WE ALL have to wait in long lines, and have to jump doctor and insurance hoops. If we all would realize this and not take it as a personal attack things could go a lot smoother.

drowninginblessing said...

HI! i'M back in civilization! Just got back to the city Saturday and we are wired in our apartment now. Yipee! We unpacked our bags, and are relishing in the wonderful feeling of empty suitcases for the first time in months. RM