Stupidity All Around

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

Warning, this post contains a disturbing/ gross story followed by a rant, click cautiously

Today at work coworkers were discussing razor burn when one says “The first time I had razor burn I thought it was herpes and went to the hospital.”

Well I then made the drastic mistake of entering the conversation, “Why did you go to the hospital?”

Her, “I had never had it, I didn’t know what it was.”

Me “I meant why not a normal doctor?”

Her “I don’t have health insurance or money for a doctor; the e.r. doesn’t make you pay then they just send a bill and report you to credit agencies and I don’t care”

This actually prompted a discussion between her and another coworker as to medical bills/ credit with the other person there claiming that they can’t put them on your credit report.  I chose not to continue my involvement in the conversation at that point.

By that point I was already pretty full of questions

– Why do we have a health care system so broken that poor uninsured people’s only option for routine health issues is an ER that will ruin their credit?

– Who thinks razor burn looks like herpes?

– Who can’t look up herpes online and find out that that isn’t it?

– What did she think the ER would do about herpes if it was it? Did she think they had a magic herpes removal wand?? Really that is my biggest question. If it was herpes, what could she have thought was going to happen at the ER.

I really am struck by how iconic this is of two huge problems we have as a nation. The first being lack of sex ed and the second being lack of  health care access.

If she had sex ed adequately she may have realized that the ER couldn’t do something to just make it go away and tried to get to another doctor over time. Hopefully in that time she’d have learned about razor burn and the whole medical system wouldn’t have gotten involved. Or she may have known enough about herpes to know that wasn’t it.

The real thing that bugs me is it is so indicative of the health care problem. If you don’t have insurance doctor visits are prohibitively expensive.  The health care bill passed doesn’t do nearly enough.   It makes it far too easy for employers to get out of coverage by using part time statuses or by reclassifying workers as contractors.  It doesn’t get rid of anti-trust exemptions which help make insurance prohibitively expense to purchase as an individual. It doesn’t give us a public option to buy into.

Single payer system please?