Daniel Eran Dilger
Random header image... Refresh for more!

There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy

200809110004
Daniel Eran Dilger

Insurance premiums: $400

Panoramic Xrays: $350

Preparatory Orthodontics: $6,000

Going out for two binge dinners the night before: $40

Maxillofacial Surgery: $70,000

Being told Kaiser Permanente may cancel your policy on a whim after you’ve been paying premiums to them for for ten years, realizing that no other insurance would ever pick up your case, and living in a country where the president thinks everyone has health care because they can visit an emergency room: Priceless.

Also priceless: my mom wrote to tell me, “Your pic actually looks better with your face filled out!!” Certainly, a face only a mother could love. My head is actually so big the pictures can’t even capture the full effect. Even more unflattering (warning, some are gnarly) pics if you continue.
.
Surgery was scary enough, but not knowing for sure it would even happen till the last moment was fairly terrifying as well. Fortunately, I was able to trump the bureaucracy of Kaiser with CalCOBRA regulations, making me happy I live in a state that forces “free market” healthcare to do certain things they are not financially motivated to do.

I’m a big supporter of the market in lowering prices and inducing innovation, but clearly healthcare fails to function in an entirely for-profit system. One of our nation’s most respected Republican presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, recognized both Social Security and transportation to be similar cases, and inaugurated the Interstate System as America’s largest socialized project ever.

The Interstate System was snuck through Congress as a defense plan (“we need Federal highways through Montana so we can truck around ICBMs”), officially titled “The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.”

Also sold to Congress as a war project was the financing of another socialized project: the Internet backbone for DARPA. And of course, our military itself is a huge socialized project, because we don’t want to trust anyone to provide that to us while cutting corners to turn a profit.

Healthcare is no different. Like most working Americans, I pay for my own healthcare and even reimburse welfare hospitals like San Francisco General Hospital when they scrape me off the pavement at regular intervals and stitch me back together. However, when my insurance company can decide pretty much at any time to cancel my coverage and leave me screwed because of a business decision, we have a problem the market can’t fix.

Nobody can or will offer me alternative, competitive coverage after they find out I’m four weeks away from a $70,000 surgery that I’ve paid thousands of dollars out of pocket for in preparation. Healthcare has to be viewed as a right of citizens just like education, and just like our Federal roads, military, and other socialized infrastructure (including airports and traffic control) that both Democrats and Republicans support.

If you vote for Barak Obama, America will take steps toward providing healthcare for all Americans. If you buy into the “free market healthcare” ideas, including the idea the the ER is “access to healthcare,” that John McCain is promoting and George W Bush has presided over, and which originated under Richard Nixon, America will be left behind again. And I pray you never need any healthcare that your insurance company decides no longer fits into in its business model.

Thankfully, I was able to cut past Kaiser’s last minute efforts to cancel my surgery after years of preparation leading up to it, due in part to a number of good people who work at Kaiser, but really only possible because the state of California has passed laws forcing insurance companies to do things the free market would never support itself.

I’m now drinking fluids through a giant syringe and looking like an Eddy Murphy Klump character with ice bags around my noggin. Thankfully, I have a number of very cool people looking after me, including my buddy Brian who spent the day driving me back and forth to the hospital and brought me more stuff to drink.

You may now laugh at my expense, as I go fire some codeine between my teeth:

Everyone will be wearing one of these soon.

200809110106-1
Giggidy giggidy.

Quagmire
Barriers to entry.

wired

  • Jon T

    Ouch. Well, you’re live and well, at least seem to be, and still kicking around the politics ball!

    Glad it went well and you’re looking as ugly as usual.. ;)

  • NoNeeeed

    Advertising fail :)

    The banner at the top of the page when I view it is for Bupa, a British health insurance company. Don’t you just love contextual ads.

    Daniel: get well soon and kepp sticking it to the man. Glad to hear that at least some parts of the US understand there are some things more important than making a profit.

  • http://appleseed-as.blogspot.com/ appleseed.as

    Get well sooner than later. Here is wishing only the best to you!

    Remember, no pain no gain ;)

  • Gwydion

    Thank God I live in a country (Spain) where ALL Health Care is free

  • OlivierL

    Wow, you’re a Tom Hanks look-alike now :)

  • Brau

    Ack! $70G Ouch! Canada’s health care may be slooow, but at least it’s free.

    Re the pics: I suppose you could tell people you accidentally swallowed your iPhone sideways. Also, don’t say the word “Apple” too loud as it might be misunderstood ;)

    Seriously though, glad to see you made it through surgery and I hope they gave you lots of painkillers for the next few weeks while you heal.

  • Kyle

    Wow, why exactly do you have to undergo this suffering? You seemed just fine before they tore you up…

    About that healthcare system of yours: It is beyond comprehension to me why people put up with it. Seriously, from what I heard about it you should be having open riots by now.

    I’m desperately hoping for this election to have what I (and probably some 70-80 % of the world) would call a good outcome, but recent events have shattered that hope. Please, America, don’t make a fool out of you! The past eight years were mad enough.

    greetings from germany

    K

  • tino

    You make the mistake of assuming that health care (and particularly health insurance) in the United States is, in fact, a free market. It’s not.

    Watch TV — the news channels are best for this experiment — for a couple hours and note how many ads you see for car insurance, life insurance, home insurance, supplemental Medicare insurance, etc., etc. — and then note how many ads you see for ordinary health insurance. Hint: there aren’t many ads for ordinary health insurance.

    Since the vast majority of people in the U.S. get their health insurance through their employers — if you get your insurance through your employer, the government allows you to pay the premiums with pre-tax income — the health insurance companies don’t give a damn about what the insured parties think of their service.

    It’s a free market only in the sense that you are ‘free’ to purchase health insurance on your own, but only at a net cost that’s at least 30%-40% more than you pay for the terrible service provided by a company that was chosen by an HR committee.

    The insurance companies know this, and treat consumers accordingly. They do take care of HR people, though, since those are their *actual* customers.

  • Marc W

    Get well, man.

    As far as free market health care, definitely don’t look to the current US system and conclude that a free market system won’t work. The US system is certainly not free market as inept government regulation has warped it from being such, seriously reducing competition and creating unnecessary and expensive middlemen. For instance, I had no real choice in my health insurance provider as it is tied to my employer. My point isn’t whether socialized or free market medical care is better, but simply that the US system is not an example of a free market system due to government policy that restricts it from being so.

  • ericbrunstad

    Why are you having the surgery?

  • kmarchand

    I wish you all the best in your recovery. I’d just like to clarify something about the system in Canada, where I live… It’s not “free” obviously as it’s subsidized through taxes, which goes without saying. I think the big misconception is that it is ‘government-run’ in the sense that the doctors are employed by the government, etc, whereas it is not. A better analogy would be that is is like a big huge group-insurance plan for everyone in the province (it is provincial, not federal), where the insurance provider (OHIP, in Ontario) is not for profit, and bills the government. It’s more like socialized health insurance rather than socialized health care. I can go to whichever doctor I want and haven’t even been registered with a doctor for years because I can just go to walk in clinics (5-10 min. wait – http://maps.google.ca/maps?near=Toronto,+ON&geocode=&q=walk+in+clinic&f=l&ie=UTF8&ll=43.662408,-79.373131&spn=0.087549,0.197239&z=13) for most things, and they just bill OHIP, who has no bottom-line-driven reason to reject claims and wouldn’t.
    Anyway, I sincerely hope you have a speedy recovery. This is one of my favorite blogs.

  • Tom-MBILF

    I read the entire comment thread for the previous post, wherein a surgeon guesses what your surgery might be, and several asked why you were going under the knife. I’ve read all the comments in THIS thread, and several have asked again. You have never answered. I searched previous posts for “surgery”, Maxillofacial, and “operation” and received no results that tell me why you had to do this.

    There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy – and one of those things is an explanation.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    I had a mandibular osteotomy. My teeth didn’t line up right, which was causing trauma to my upper teeth and would have eventually killed them all. Usually the surgery is done by breaking the jaw (the lower in my case) behind the teeth and sliding the jaw ahead or taking a chunk out and sliding it back.

    My doctor decided to cut between my teeth and jaw, and align the teeth in sections, bolting them to the jaw using titanium strips. My teeth are wired together to hold things in place until the bone can grow back together. It used to take weeks, but with the metal reinforcements they’re planning to unwire me on the tenth day.

  • javsst70

    Let me start by wishing you the best and a speedy recovery. I have seen the process with a friend’s wife, and it doesn’t look fun. I enjoy your articles and the insight on the computing industry.

    Now for the other stuff:

    “Healthcare has to be viewed as a right of citizens just like education, and just like our Federal roads, military, and other socialized infrastructure (including airports and traffic control) that both Democrats and Republicans support.”

    None of these things are rights of the citizen. Our rights are defined by the Constitution. The things you list are correctly identified earlier in the article as “huge socialized projects”. These things have all come to be due to legislative action which established them as a function of government, ostensibly with the support of the public.

    As kmarchand rightly noted, none of the healthcare is free – it is all paid for by taxes. If you want an example of the difference, go somewhere like Niagra Falls and compare prices on either side of the border. The much higher prices on the Canadian side pay for those extra things like health care.

    We have a convoluted system here, where rather than providing health care for everyone, we offer tax breaks to companies to provide health care to employees. Then the governments have stepped in to provide health care to the elderly and other groups. Because of the inefficiency of the system we have developed, it is unresponsive to market influence because of all the government and corporate bureaucracy. Most people just blindly pay their co-pay and never see what the actual cost of their health care is. Providers charge whatever the most generous insurance plan in the area will bear and the rest of you are screwed.

    I agree that things need change, but as someone with lots of experience in government in the area of building roads, the last thing we need is more government in health care. Your insurance really doesn’t help when the state you work for won’t fully fund the system and they purposely delay payments to providers – leaving you to cover the costs and wait for reimbursement.

  • stefn

    Ouch.

  • http://www.jon-wright.co.uk/oldarchives/ mrunderhill

    @OlivierL { 09.11.08 at 5:34 am }

    Wow, you’re a Tom Hanks look-alike now

    More like Desperate Dan from the Dandy.

    Sorry if that sounded cruel. Only joking. Hope you make a speedy recovery Daniel.

  • Realtosh

    Dan

    You had a good chin and jawline beforehand.

    Does the surgeon give you a catalog of chins to pick from, since he was doing so much work anyway? I hope he stayed clear of that chin, there’s not much that could’ve been improved upon.

    From the sounds of your explanation, it sounds like he stayed clear of your chin, working only in the immediate vicinity of your teeth.

    Heal up quick.

  • gus2000

    Everyone reading this should go out and watch “Sicko”. Yes yes, I know it’s full of Michael Moore’s flamboyant bias, but it covers the subject of Healthcare in the U.S. and around the world. It will make you mad, and if you’ve ever been crushed beneath the wheels of corporate bureaucracy (like Daniel’s insurance provider “Killed Perma-nently”) then the film will make you furious.

    Healthcare in the U.S. can be a whole lot better, but “letting the market work it out” is not the answer.

    P.S. Daniel, you look like the Before-and-After pictures of Marlon Brando.

  • albertop9

    Dear Dan, more BEST WISHES FROM SPAIN! — where, yes, health care is not only totally free (except for prescriptions, subsidised) but also very high quality overall …and efficient!

  • http://leifwright.com leifwright

    The “giggity” comment killed me!

  • Ludor

    I’m sorry Daniel, but PFFFFHHRRRHAHAHAHAHA oh my god. Apart from the jaw-pillow, the oral wiring and the bright eyes, that’s exactly how I looked when I had my wisdom teeth taken out. Oh joy. Glad to hear you survived and everything. Great writing, simply great.

  • ericdano

    Yeah, the Government here is really capable of running Health care. They can’t even get Social Security right, and that is just money. And you want them to make Health decisions? I think not. Bad idea, and a waste of money.

    It would be a lot smarter to give a tax credit for Health care. Like make 60% of it deductible. But actually having our government run it? No way.

  • Phildikian

    I’m glad the surgery is over and successful for you Dan – welcome back!

    It’s clear that all the anesthetic hasn’t phased you a bit as you have written a fantastic post. I also believe that they need to take the “business” out of the health care industry. In my family are a couple of firefighters and they make some serious salaries. So it is possible to have a “profitable” system in place for taking care of people. Can you imagine if firefighting was like the health care industry now? Having to watch your home and everything you own burn down while you wait for paper work to be sent from here to there – or by finding out your coverage was rejected at the time you made the emergency call? That would be unacceptable nowadays, yet somehow here we are – and we’re talking about our lives here – not just some flaming worldly shit.

    I would like to know what exactly cost $70,000 from your doctor – that to me is part of the problem. I’m not saying that a doctor’s expertise and time aren’t worth anything, but like our firefighters who make a very decent salary for a “government job” it is possible to be reimburse people adequately for their time, schooling and expertise – but within reason. I don’t know a firefighter who can afford a yacht, or multi-million dollar home but they can still live comfortably.

    The reason all the operations, medications and and health care in general is so expensive, is partly because we’re paying for those who aren’t able to afford insurance.

    Anyhow, sorry for the long winded “get well soon”, but get well soon – glad to have you back!

  • http://www.jphotog.com ewelch

    Where’d ya get the Kelsey Grammar pics? :-D

  • de-villiers

    I appreciate the concern that you have with the American healthcare system. But your complaints at the free market are, perhaps, unfair.

    The American system is far from the free market. It is a highly regulated affair. No person, let alone economist, on the right would describe it as being a free-market.

    In the UK, where I live, the healthcare system is fairly described as a socialised (or even socialist) system. The state pays for everything and owns everything. And yet, it is considered by those in Europe to be awful. Particularly by those in France from where I come.

    In the “free” British system, hospitals have mixed wards so that men and women share the same space, even when naked. The treatment of the elderly is shocking. There are stories every month of elderly patients soaking in their own urine or excrement. It has now unsafe to be treated in hospital because of the relatively high prospect of catching a killer bug such as MSRA and dying even after minor surgery. It is difficult to get an appointment with a local general practitioner. An appointment lasts for no longer than a set five minutes. And it is nearly impossible to find a dentist who is prepared to provide dental treatment on the state system.

    This is not to say that I disagree with the principle that healthcare should be available for all. I support such a service. But to attack the free-market, particularly when one does not even exist, is not the way.

    There is nothing incompatible in a capitalist system in having a broadly free market and regulation to ensure that healthcare firms or insurance companies do not abuse their position. It is not left wing to agree that businesses will try to maximise profits and that government intervention is sometimes needed to guarantee service and promote competition within the marketplace.

    But it is a mistake to consider that when government gets involved in the provision of healthcare, there is certain to be great improvement. And the weasel-words of insurance companies and abuse from healthcare firms is well replicated in government-run and funded projects from the bureaucracy that runs them and the government ministers that are accountable for them.

  • Maverick18x

    My dad and I both recently had surgery at the same time, so we exchanged advice afterwords. If the codine makes your nauseous, have your doctor switch you to vicodin. When the prescription stuff runs out, start using 2 extra strength tylenol and 2 ibuprofen every 6 hours. They can be used together without ruining your liver and combined do a great job of beating the pain. Run it past your medical professionals, of course, but my dad’s nurses recommended it and mine were fine with it.

  • kmarchand

    javsst70;
    although healthcare will obviously never be free, i think your comparison of prices on both sides at niagara falls is misleading. the pricing differences are due to many other factors and not because of an additional burden on canadian taxpayers vs. american taxpayers for our system. Taxpayers in the US actually pay more per capita than Canadians do: http://www.epi.org/webfeatures/snapshots/archive/2007/1205/snapshot20071205-750.gif, notwithstanding the fact that the US government spends its taxpayer dollars elsewhere: http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/us_vs_world.gif

  • jfatz

    Holy crap, man! I don’t want to post pictures from after my wisdom teeth were pulled, I certainly wouldn’t advertise major facial surgery!

    You should grow a huge beard now. OS X is all Unix-y, right? You’ll fit right in.

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    Hoping the “McCain” look wears off soon.

    As others have said, not all social healthcare works out. Britain’s NHS is a notorious mess, despite the sunny view Michael Moore apparently gave it in Sicko. (I’ve not seen it but remember a similar rose-tinted “Iraq before the invasion” scene in Farenheit 911.)

    I certainly agree the US system right now is just terrible. But the polar opposite can be too. Europe seems to be the best menu to take lessons from on all this. The Spanish and French commenters above are quite right.

  • Be Seeing You

    Look, I sympathize with anyone who has trouble accessing healthcare or insurance. And there are a lot of reforms I gladly support. I negotiate health insurance plans for more than 40,000 employees and their families, and I would love to see wider coherent coverage. I lost a wife after a 5-year battle with breast cancer; her EOBs filled 5 3-inch binders, and totaled in the millions of dollars of expense. This year, I faced my own cancer, including three extreme surgeries, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and brachytherapy HD; my expenses dwarfed the ones Daniel cited above. Through it all, I was supported excellently *by my insurance company*. I speak from some experience. I was a registered lobbyisit on health care issues during the ridiculous Hillary plan of the early 90s. But anyone who actually believes this–

    “If you vote for Barak Obama, America will take steps toward providing healthcare for all Americans.”

    –is displaying an extraordinary naivete. Obama’s stand on health care, even if it represented a serious step forward, is no more likely to be adopted than is single payer universal coverage [you Obama fans do understand that his platform does not call for that, right?]. Obama’s plan might as well be called the “I-got-it-from-Hillary-who-took-it-from-Edwards-when-her-plan-didn’t-work-and-I-coopted-it-into-my-own.” The theory of it sounds nice, but if you do not understand the financing of health care, and especially the reinsurance of it in world markets, it won’t go anywhere without the cooperation of the insurance industry on which it relies. Our system is deeply flawed in many ways, and needs much work, but if you look around the globe, so are many others. Britain’s health care system is even worse, and so are those of many socialized countries. If Canada is so great, why is private insurance and private med care such a big seller? Change is all fine and good, but which change? One ugly truth that goes unaddressed by most politicos: we cannot aford to give every American acess to the high-tech, expensive, cutting edge care. There comes a time when it doesn’t make sense to give stents to 90-year-old men, when it doesn’t make sense to pay for in vitro fert for people in their 40s, when it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dolalrs to extend someone’s life by two months, etc. Despite all our wealth in this country, we cannot afford to simply have everyone have access to all care no matter the expense. That is the rub that is unaddressed. And whatever caps get put on such a system, inevitably create a private market for care outside the system, with the potential to unravel the system itself. When you go and read the Obama platform pages on health care, don’t put your brain in park. Use your brain and ask the hard quesrtions about many of the assumptions and leaps made there. And uh McCain, well let’s just say Daniel, it’s pretty clear your brain has been in park. I say that as a big fan of this site, but your bias is blinding your brain. Even the most basic tenets of the Republican platform put forth more than you describe. If you want to foster debate, let’s keep it informed; I won’t say “fair,” because that may be too much to ask.

  • Be Seeing You

    Actually Tino, I see ads for health insurance all the time. Not as many as for car insurance and life insurance [that’s because there are very soft markets in those lines right now], but still plenty. Here in Kalifornia, there is plenty of non-employer private insurance for sale. And like many jusrisdictions, Kalifornia actually has an aggressive oversight of the health insurance industry. Hardly as strong as it needs to be, but there is no lack of capacity of private insurance. Watching and counting ads on TV doesn’t strike me as a scientific way to test that premise. Better would be to research how many billions of dolalrs carriers have available int heir premium lines commitments that are offered outside employer-sponsored plans. And if you think that carriers don’t care about quality because they sell through employers, you truly have no clue. The combination of third party quality ratings and service level agreements put substantial premium dolalrs at risk between my company the carriers we use every year. And if you don’t think it has an impact–ranging from time to answer calls to time to process claims–then you are simply wallowing in that same Michael Moore mindset….all bad, no good. And BTW, it is very rare that the HR folks buy the insurance, not in any company I’ve worked for.

    As for Kyle from Germany, you’ve got a lot a of chutzpah suggesting this country not make a fool of itself.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    The UK also couldn’t build LHR airport and their food can be awful. That doesn’t mean airports can’t be built and food can’t be good.

    Also, where’s the problem with the rich selecting their own premium healthcare options on top of guaranteed healthcare? I’m all in favor of options, but the US is neglecting the working/middle class, and turning into a feudal system with millionaires and dysfunctional, uneducated poor.

    It’s time to stop waging holy wars in the Middle East to ensure China has a cheap oil supply, and focus on the needs of the citizens of US. There’s nothing patriotic about deserting the principles of the constitution and destroying the country for a quick profit.

    Aging Republicans keep telling me I don’t know anything, but they never say anything of substance. How about some rational discussion about how the US will be better served by “death’s door” McCain and his hockey mom VP? Or does trying to outlining that without waving a flag and a cross and smoke and mirrors just leave you feeling ridiculous?

  • Mike in Helsinki

    Get well … and knock off the fucking politics. We are all sick of mixing it with every aspect of life.

  • Marc W

    Check up on Milton Friedman’s works and talks if you haven’t already. He explains pretty succinctly why socializing will likely never work even if we were to make the big assumption it is possible to setup the perfect system in theory.

  • Kyle

    Posted by Be Seing You: “As for Kyle from Germany, you’ve got a lot a of chutzpah suggesting this country not make a fool of itself.”

    You don’t seem to understand. Being from the country that caused one of the biggest humanitarian disasters in the history of mankind I tell you this:

    Flag-waving patriotism (“Patriotic”, the ingenious crossbreed of “patria” and “idiotic”…) that puts itself atop of everything else, media that ceases to fulfill its democratic duties, an ideology, a political party and a media group that defames everything and everyone who does not agree with them and longs to impose a way of life to all the citizens, the ruthless twisting of facts to support your claims and actions, unquestioned militarism and haughtiness in times of war, the fabrication of enemies, the erosion of the constitution and civil rights, fanatism (be it religious, racist or else), hatred and discrimination towards gay people, intellectuals, women, immigrants and more, indoctrination of children at school (or worse: at home), an exploding military budget, a failing economy and a growing underclass with deficient education and with obvious lack of maturity to cope with cheap propaganda, and a looot of bigotry all add up to quite a nasty cocktail.

    I’ve seen your country getting into a bad, bad condition in the past eight years and I (and most europeans) don’t like that at all. We want the US to thrive again.

    Obama might not be right about everything, he is no messiah and he will have to deal with certain realities and find compromises. He might be wrong about healthcare and he might even turn out to be an average president. But the republican party (and their clownish “leader”) has failed so ground-shakingly and miserably in the past eight years, ridiculed themselves and their country, strengthened enemies abroad and eroded the US’s reputation around the planet. They’ve had more sex scandals than Bill could ever dream of and scored an all-time high in corruption and unapologetic lying. All of the economical, military, ecological, social and whatnot facts of the past years argue against them, their policies and their beliefs. And still there are millions of people willing to vote for those guys???

    But what’s the point in trying to convince those people? After all, reality has a liberal bias, doesn’t it?

    As for the definition of chutzpah:
    “Selling the party in power, a man in his seventies, the campaign managers of his predecessor and their smutty modus operandi and the same hollow and flowery pseudopatriotic phrases out as “change”.”

    Daniel, I wish you and your country a quick recovery! Gute Besserung! And may your country overcome it’s unhealthy polarization.
    Thank you so much for your writing (about Apple, MS and the bunch), enjoying every piece of it.
    It’s quite spiny to involve politics and maybe those things should be kept apart on this website, but regarding the status quo and the things at stake I can very well understand the urge to bring this up.

    greetings from germany

    K

  • sebastianlewis

    Alright I understand that there’s no point in getting pissed off and angry after an accident and you’d be more focused on living, being stitched back together, etc. (even if anger is justified) but seriously, you’re too casual about the number of accidents you have, you may have 9 lives but it seems like you burned through 8.5 of them already, be careful mate or you’ll end up scraped off the pavement without a heartbeat next time.

    Sebastian

  • jdoc

    javsst70 wrote: Providers charge whatever the most generous insurance plan in the area will bear and the rest of you are screwed.

    This is an untrue statement. The providers charge whatever they want to, but their reimbursements are basically based on the Medicaid/Medicare rates, and the private insurance companies base their reimbursements on a percentage (mostly above) what Medicare/Medicaid offers. As a physician in the US, I deal with this on a daily basis. We can charge whatever we want to, but we get what the insurance companies give us. On average, we collect about 49% of what we charge. We recently increased our charges (first time in 15 years) on a variety of services- we considered, just for fun, charging $1 million for everything, just to see what the insurance companies would say. Obviously, it wouldn’t have mattered, and we definitely would NOT have gotten 49% of that charge!

    Physicians in the US are basically employees of the insurance companies.

  • Pingback: Boycott Novell » IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 11th, 2008()

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Gee, it looks bad…

    Get well soon !

  • harrywolf

    @ Mike in Helsinki – knock off the instructions, you expose yourself as a megalomaniac with a poor vocabulary.
    As you might say, “You CAN do better and you WILL.”

    The reason I like the ‘Danster’ is that he is ALWAYS ‘political’ which is as it should be.
    Everything not formed in nature is a human construct – and the constructs of greedy men rule our lives. Fight back, Citizens, wherever you live – you are a sovereign being and dont have to toe anyones line.

  • Pascal

    Hang on Dan, you are only weeks away from my yearly RoughlyDraftedMag Donation !
    Also, keep on the social awareness up to the far shores of Helsinky if needed !

  • http://all.net/ hylas

    Listen Up !
    I’ve discovered Daniel’s secret IDENTITY !!!!
    O-M-G ! I’d never put it together.

    http://www.hijinxcomics.com/images/tick1.jpg

    http://www.thetick.ws/videos/tickpromo2.avi

    http://www.thetick.ws/videos/tickpremierenext.avi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tick

    Really glad to have you on our team – the fight for justice and all that …
    Get well.

  • The Mad Hatter

    Heh. Codeine. What a joke. You should try the drugs I am on (of course they would probably knock you on your but…). But they do help defeat chronic pain.

    As to the melt down that is the American medical system, all I can say is I’m glad I live in Canada, where quick, affordable health care is available to everyone. If you ever decide to abandon California you’d probably love British Columbia, you can golf in January in the lower mainland, and not have to worry about a “Health Insurer” trying to make a profit off your misfortune.

  • Pingback: Maxillofacial Blues or Dead Chins Don’t Talk — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()

  • http://maelstromsky.wordpress.com alanjcfs

    Thank goodness we are guaranteed a legislator in Congress. We have no need of inexperienced governors who know so little about Washington. Then again… George W. Palin is all we can obsess about. Robert Kennedy once spoke of compromises being as virtuous as convictions and he was assassinated.

  • Chrispy

    @Daniel – Get better soon and keep up the good posts!

    @Be Ceeing You – Sounds like you’re pretty up on our health care issues so maybe you can help me understand a few things. I’m a small business owner and thus I have to buy my own health insurance, which luckily for me (at the time), I was able to switch from a group insurance coverage to a single coverage when my COBRA severance ran out from a layoff at a previous job. Unluckily for me that same insurance premium has now gone up 220% in the past three years (insurance companies gearing up for a change?). While I have no issue with my quality of care, my doctors, and my hospitals, I do have an issue with how it seems like insurance companies have free rein to do what they want especially when it comes to costs.

    My other issue is even though I exercise regularly, eat well balanced meals (rarely eat fast food), watch my diet & weight (I weigh the same weight now 26 years later when I was a senior in college) and take whatever meds my doctor prescribes, yet I’m not allowed to shop for better insurance. You see, those 26 years ago when I was a senior in college, I was lucky enough to become a Type 1 diabetic, a disease I had no choice in the matter in getting. So, even though I probably take care of my body better than 66% (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overweight) of our population I’m denied the right to better/cheaper health insurance because I have a predisposed disease, a disease I did not ask for.

    So ‘Be Ceeing You’, my question to you is why do my republican state legislators here in Kolorado (where I live) turn their backs on me when I try to ask them why my rates and co-pay costs keep going up? Why is it when I try to talk to them about health insurance issues they insist there are no problems?

    So instead of whining about how I get screwed by my insurance companies I would like to recommend a solution. I say add a $1 tax to, no matter how big or how small, any fast food order, tobacco product and liquor product sold. Ditto for any grocery product or restaurant meal sold whose caloric content was above a certain limit. Whatcha think? Or are you like all those fat politicians and the rest of the 66% in the US who would rather scream bloody murder about an idea like this and would rather put the burden on the rest of us to take care of you when all the “bad stuff ” catches up to you? Oh yeah, and I voted republican for 30 years but maybe now in my “older” age I’ve finally wizened up!

  • The Mad Hatter

    @Chrispy

    Rather than arguing with your Republican lawmakers, why don’t you move to Canada? Seriously.

    I have a lot of friends in the US, and one thing they all complain about is health care. Our system is a lot better, you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to pay for health costs.

  • droughtquake

    PBS Frontline suggested that Taiwan’s Health Care System was the best among the countries surveyed (US, Canada, UK, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Taiwan). Taiwan looked at many systems and came up with a hybrid of the best features.

  • Pingback: Google attempts to silence Daniel Eran Dilger — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()

  • Pingback: Caught between the pavement and a Suzuki SV1000s — RoughlyDrafted Magazine()