Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quote of the day

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
- William E. Borah, former U.S. Senator from Idaho

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quote of the day


Fairytales don't tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist.
Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.
- G.K. Chesterton

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quote of the day

"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quote of the day

"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
- Muhammad Ali

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Musing on my health insurance

Yeah, I don't think that's the right Kaiser. Thanks Google.
This started off as a Facebook post and quickly grew too wordy for that...

You know, I've had Kaiser Permanente health insurance for something more than 20 years. I've always had people recoil in horror when they hear that. It seems that so many people *hate* Kaiser, although I run across some folks, like myself, that love it. Seems to run at either extreme. Although I've noticed this pattern: the people that love it, have it; and the people that hate it, don't. Maybe that's because the people that hate it used to have it and quit, or some other thing, but I tend to think it's, for the most part, something different.

Kaiser started out many moons ago in the city of Oakland, CA. When I was growing up in the 60's in Garden Grove, I knew two things about Kaiser. One was that my aunt and uncle that lived in Oakland used Kaiser (to this day I have no idea why I retain, or ever had, that knowledge) and two, there was a little Kaiser office over by "the hills" (not the ones on TV) where we used to ride our bikes. "We" never went in that office and didn't know anyone who did.

What I think I'm getting at is that I think Kaiser suffers from an image problem where some folks think that it's sub-par care because it's the insurance "of the poor folk" or some such thing. I"m not putting this as eloquently as I'd like.

Anyway, I've always been satisfied at the least, as usually happy, with the service I've received from Kaiser. Ok, there was once this lady doctor in Garden Grove that treated Sarah and she was kind of a bitch...but maybe it was her time of the month or her dog died or something...but that was nearly 20 years ago.

I digress. I'm pleased as punch with Kaiser. I have a friend who insists that Kaiser is terrible and that he'd never go to a doctor that he couldn't pick out himself. OK, well, I've been going to the same GP for years. He always remembers a little bit about me, if not everything. But hell, I don't expect him to remember everything. He deals with thousands of people between the times he sees me. And if he says I need to go to a specialist for something, I let him send me. Hell, I wouldn't know how to pick put a good specialist if you held a gun to my head.

Kaiser has never balked at doing something that I thought needed to be done. When Sarah was little, her primary doctor thought she might have some hearing issues. She sent us to a specialist. They worked with Sarah for a few hours, and did all kinds of tests that I *know* were expensive. They determined that there was nothing serious. Future issues? None. Total cost to me? Nothing. 0.

I could go on and on with stories, but why? Those that like Kaiser, like it. Those that don't will never believe me....or care.

What made this all come up today? Yesterday I had my yearly checkup. I  paid my $10 and then proceeded to wait less than 5 minutes to be called. The nurse checked my weight, BP (111/65 if you're playing along at home), and temp and asked a few questions. Then she told me I was due for a Tetanus booster, and did I want it today? Also that I am due for Bone Density screening, and gave me the info to call and make that appointment. Then I waited less than five minutes for Doctor House (yes, my doc is Dr. House) to come in. He asked me many questions about habits, live, stress, etc, and proceeded to give me a head to toe check. He even noticed and expressed concern about a bruise under my toenail that I hadn't given a second thought to. He gave me my prescription for Omeprazole (to treat my recurring heartburn) and some pain meds for my intermittent recurring back pain. Told me I needed blood test again, and had I eaten this morning? I said no. He said great, you can do it right now. You're in good shape. See you next year.

So I go check in at the pharmacy, which was the longest wait of the day. I probably spent 8-10 minutes in line waiting. Then off to check in for my lab work. Checked in a waited less than 5 minutes to be called in. Nice guy, needle in, needle out, and I'm done.

Back to the pharmacy, and another ten minute wait. Get called, pay another $10 for my two prescriptions, and I'm outta there.

Just a normal office visit. Office visit, pharmacy, lab tests, and I'm in and out in about an hour. Clean bill of health and $20 spent.

Now, the part that sent me over the edge. My lab results starting coming in at 2:00! Less than three hours after I left the building. The last of the results came in around 1:00 am this morning. All my lab test results, in my mailbox, in about, what, 14 hours? You can't beat that kind of service with a stick.

Part of the reason I don't want to leave the state is I don't want to give up Kaiser and have to start "managing" my own health care.

I am not getting reimbursed in any way for this