Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting a Rock Star on the Phone, or Getting a Doctor's Appointment: Which is Easier? (The State of Healthcare in America)

Hi Everyone,

I just spent about 20 minutes deciding whether or not to post this...

Usually I keep my professional life separate from my politics, so I try to keep this blog reflective of that. But as someone who lives with a chronic illness, the debate on healthcare in America is driving me crazy. I cannot stay quiet, and I will make use of my favorite swear word (in a way that filters will accept, but believe me, I'm thinking it):

It is f'ing ridiculous that in America, using equal time and effort, I can get a rock star on the phone easier than I can get an appointment with a physician with a good track record in treating my immune system disorder. (And that's with a close relative in the healthcare industry. I'm one of the lucky ones.)

In fact, I'll go one better: I can get a meeting with a rock star more easily than I can get the above-mentioned doctor to take my appointment.

For those who may mistake my meaning, that ain't bragging. With all love and respect to my colleagues and contacts, I think it's f'ing disgraceful.

And you know what? Although I can't speak for them, I'll bet Bono, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen would think so, too.

(I'll spare you the email: No, I don't know them, and no I can't get you tickets.)

I'm half tempted to call one of my media contacts to see if they'd take me up on the challenge. But I already know the outcome, so half of the experiment would be an exercise in exhaustive frustration. And I really need that energy for keeping the CFIDS disease monster in check.

So instead, I encourage you to send the link to this blog to everyone you know, and to every politician you know. And encourage them to really think: Is this the kind of country, and the kind of healthcare system you want?

I love my country dearly, but friends in Europe with comparable incomes who have similar immune system diseases are doing far better financially. Hell, they can even afford really nice vacations to relax, and they're given a paid month off in which to do it!

The above-mentioned physician, a rock star in his field with a proven track record, won't see anyone without verifiable proof of $1.5 million in expendable cash. (Insurance won't approve the tests he needs, and most of the treatment isn't covered.)

Makes you think, doesn't it?

(And because someone always asks--or makes assumptions based on my profession...Before I got sick, I didn't smoke, rarely drank, didn't do drugs, and worked out every day.)

Thanks for indulging me. Meanwhile, never give up on your dreams: you may need those millions to pay for your healthcare!

All the best,
Randi Reed
Founder/Editor in Chief,

(Edited to change to smaller font 3/13/2008)