LooseCrew-JeffO: Sicko


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I'm a lousy judge of character. My history proves to me that I am completely incapable of accurately determining if someone is a good person or not.
The reptile in me can spot a murderer - I've met some. So at least in the most extreme situations I have a built-in watch-dog.
But as far as conscious or sub-conscious regular judging, I suck. I have an instinct, but I know it can't be trusted. So whether my instinct is positive or negative, I like to check things out. I'm a skeptic and agnostic - my religion is to believe that doubt is the best policy - not blind faith in anyone or anything - whether concept, object, or entity.

I'm not a fan of Micheal Moore.
My initial instinct was that Moore was an unbelievable liar. Upon inspection, I saw that his "journalism" was rife with flaws that my High School journalism class wouldn't even condone. Moore too often doesn't give sources. He spews without corroboration. Then he gives an emotional and nearly always inaccurate real-life interview. Between these interviews he spurts more uncorroborated "data".

Then there's the mountain of extremely detailed rebuttals tearing his stories apart with far more detail than Moore could ever hope to offer in the first place.
"The devil is in the details." Moore gives just enough detail to hook you, but fails to give details that either destroy his story or weaken his point.
I may not be Catholic anymore, but they taught one important lesson: The Devil gains your confidence by attracting you with truth, then gradually sifts-in the poison.

I rented Sicko, and I rented one of the rebuttal DVDs. (I'm like that - always wanting both sides of a story.)
When done, it seemed fairly powerful, except I had to ask the big question: I've been insured, and occasionally uninsured, for my whole life. I've personally been involved with probably 20 different health insurance companies in my life. I hate insurance companies and especially HMO's, and so do my doctors. So...
Q: How come I've never experienced anything like the stories in Sicko? Ever!
A: Because his stories aren't quite right.
However, there's some truth in there. And it seems from my own experience that even though Sicko isn't so accurate historically, it is becoming reality. In a way, Sicko isn't so much painting a story of what it has been like or particularly is now, but like some rare circumstances are and will become more regularly.

I received a letter from some "entity" I've never heard of. This "entity" was inquiring if the injury I went to the Leadville Clinic for was related to an automobile accident. Whether it was or not, they wanted an explanation of how the injuries were sustained, and if I was still receiving treatment.
I received this letter more than a month ago. Maybe it was two months ago. I wonder if "some entity" is going to sue me or send me a bill?
I'm fully insured by company insurance. This is highly irregular. I don't see that it's any 3rd-party's business to ask me about personal medical history.
HIPAA only covers privacy of electronic medical records.
The "entity" is apparently a 3rd-party agency that specializes in "reclamation" of "lost" monies.
Our healthcare "system" is such a mess that there are millions of people who offer no medical services getting paid by our insurance dollars. Too many administrators, too many lawyers, too many marketers, statisticians, financial assassins... The company that sent me this inquiry probably bought some alleged debt from the insurance company, or they have a deal where if they save the insurance company any money, they keep a percentage. They're bounty-hunters hired to do the insurance company's dirty work.
I'm sure this falls under the fine print that allows them to share certain info with 3rd-parties, but they didn't have enough legal right get this info from the physician or hospital. And it seems within my rights not to answer. But they might have the legal right to retract payments and collect from me. Too much fine-print in these matters.

So even though I haven't experienced any of the horrors of Sicko, this letter is the first hint that Sicko isn't quite as far-fetched as I had thought.
Then today I found this.

We'll see if it pans out into something uglier.


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