Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It Will Cost Me HOW Much To Breathe?

This isn't meant to be a serious post that opens up commentary on the state of health care. I'm more relaying this story because I'm annoyed and I think it proves that something is very wrong -- I'm not sure exactly what it is that's wrong. But something is. Very.

So I've been fighting this hacking cough for the past week and I hate going to the doctor so I was just kind of willing it to go away, which wasn't working so well. So after a weekend of my parents lecturing me on "taking care of myself" I decided to break down and go to the doctor when I got back to the city.

So I went today -- in and out in about 10 minutes and I walked away with a diagnosis of bronchitis (ok fine, Mom, you win) and a prescription for antibiotics.

I went to the pharmacy on my way back to work to get the perscription filled. So the pharmacist does her thing, whatever it is, making pills magically appear and what have you. Then she looks at me from across the counter, head cocked to the side and a grimace on her face as though in horrified shock and says:

"It's going to cost you $50. For five pills."

She says this to me in a pretty incredulous way, and in my mind I'm like "what fresh hell?" I've been through this with my health insurance before and I'm not so surprised, but she says it in such a way that it's almost like a question. How does she expect me to reply?

"$50? Oh, thank you no, I don't need to breathe that badly. If it was $10 it would be worth it, but $50? Eesh. Guess I better learn how to live with depleted levels of oxygen and a debilitating cough right quick."

"$50? Oh, I'm sorry, I must have given you the wrong insurance card. Here is my other insurance card, the one that doesn't suck that I use when I REALLY need medication."

"$50? Oh, never mind. Do you know how many extra-dirty martinis I could buy with that money?" (Probably only 2 in this city but that's moot).

"$50? Never mind, I have to pay rent this month and that just set me over." (This is actually the truth but if I die it doesn't matter whether or not I have an apartment so my health must come first).

"$50? I'll give you $10, how does that sound. $30 you say? How about $25? So glad I've been practicing my haggling skills."

So of course I just said "Yeah, well, not much I can do about that." Paid for the damn pills and went back to work.

I'm not sure what needs to change here, but obviously it's something I can't do much about. So lady pharmacist, if you have any ideas, please shoot them at me.

Total cost of my diagnosis and treatmeant with doctor's co-pay? $65. I must really like me some oxygen.

No comments: