DIY Medical Procedures

Being healthy is a terrible way to get sick.  
I'm fairly healthy 
(physically anyway) 
and we have great (adequate) insurance, 
a (relatively) low monthly premium of about $300 
with a $5,000 annual deductible. 
(Ouch, but we won't need it right?)  

Picture me, the peach of Obama's pit, 
the sweet-spot of Affordable Health Care.  
He needs me--
the gal who doesn’t go to the doctor
--who is young (again, relatively) 
and healthy (comparatively,) 
to make the program viable for others who need and use it. 

So like most healthy Americans, who don’t go to the doctor for everything, 
I neglect well-checks due to the animus of the expense (the annual deductible) 
(Baby needs a new designer purse... or five or ten,) 
which acts as a monetary incentive 
(don't use it, or there will be no fund for those who really need it) 
to remain well—

or use my other health care option... to self treat. 
So when you find you do require the urgent services of a medical professional, 
and you haven’t kept one on retainer with regular sickness visits, 
and your standard care giver (it's been six years... who are you?)
and three different physician receptionists (What do you need?  How do you know?)
have declined to treat you,
(We require a mammogram before we will even see you,)
and urgent care prefers that you take that particular problem to a specialist, 
(What is it you have?  Again, how do you know?)
then you are forced to either resort to the expense of the emergency room…
(Sit here, in this really expensive seat and we'll get to you... tomorrow,) 

or again, self-treat.

So you perform the procedure yourself to ameliorate some of the worst pain
while you wait for that fourth physician’s 
(the real specialist whose receptionist recognizes the word ultrasound and aspiration)
first available appointment.

Three weeks later,  (at the first available appointment,) 
somehow instead of awe and admiration at the inventive audacity, 
you have engendered the derision of the physician 
who can’t begin to understand  
why anyone 
(in America) 
would have to resort to 
visiting an animal feed co-op to obtain a needle 
to emergency aspirate one’s one cysts 
(I clip my own toenails too,)
—when one could just wait in agony 
for the first available appointment 
(no we don't maintain a cancellation list,)

three weeks later!

The fee for a half-hour in-office doctor visit, 
for the use of a simple medical procedure (I did the first one myself,)
with ultrasound equipment, a non-emergency cyst aspiration is 


If I were uninsured, the doctor would be willing to accept half that much, 
but the procedure amount is set high 
so that when the deal the billing department has made 
with the insurance carrier kicks in, somehow
it will actually sound affordable.

Used ultrasound machine, $11,000.00.  
Avoid eleven more affordable visits 
and just imagine all the other, more varied uses, 
because you’re aging…hmmm.

What’s really wrong with Affordable Health Care 
is that it isn't--
neither affordable nor accessible
and it’s not all Obama’s fault.

Many people who read this 
will agree with the doctor 
that somehow,  by being healthy for ten years... 
and by taking responsibility for my own health care, 
somehow I deserve to play this sick game.  

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