about 3 days after she arrived in nowheresville ohio, one of my from-out-of-state volunters suffered from heatstroke during a 4th of july parade. she was shaking and clammy not sweating and her words are slurring and she couldn’t stand up and she didn’t know her name or my name or where she was.
yet when she heard me say “we need to call 911” she shouted “NO I DON’T HAVE INSURANCE!” as clear as fucking day. and she kept protesting the whole time the paramedics were there:
“cant afford a doctor!”
don’t tell me people “don’t just sit in their apartments and die” because they don’t have health insurance.
At the ER, I hear patients negotiating with their doctors all the time about which test is absolutely necessary and do they really need an MRI or an X-ray or this test or that test. They ask how much those tests cost and the cost is what dictates their treatment.
Usually the doctor will say that yes that test/MRI/X-ray is necessary and the look on the patient’s face and the faces of the people that brought them to the ER is always a look of, oh my god how are we going to pay for a 500 dollar test plus the ER visit AND the prescription meds?
i always talk about the time i had to pay $1800 for a simple blood test [CBC], and the time my brother passed out at work and had to get an MRI, which cost him $5k, in addition to the $1000 ambulance ride. he had no insurance.
that sinking feeling when a doctor tells you a test is necessary is one of the worst feelings when you don’t have insurance. you comb through your bank account, add up hours of work, calculate rent and utilities and grocery bills and gas and everything else, and you just can’t ever make it make sense. because it doesn’t ever make sense. it never adds up. for-profit healthcare is such a nonsensical notion.