Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 16, 2013

Health care needs help

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— For so long, I have tried not to write this column.

First, I was waiting until I achieved some level of calm on this subject. At this point, I’m calm, but just so disgusted.

I’m talking about healthcare.

My grandson is under 3, and has spent quite a bit of time sick, it seems. Not only does this translate into missed work for his mom, but also money spent for doctors, prescriptions, over the counter fever reducers, etc. And I didn’t even address what watching the poor little fellow suffer does to his grandparents!!

Recently, he spiked a scarily high temperature, which prompted a trip to an emergency room — not the one here.  Sadly, the doctor on duty didn’t even examine him, but told his mother he had a virus and here’s a prescription for antibiotics.

Last I heard, antibiotics won’t do much for a virus.

He was sent home.

The next day, she took him to his regular doctor. This doctor examined him, looked him over pretty well, declared it to be “viral” and told her not to even get the antibiotics from the night before filled.

All this time, his main symptom was simply the crazy up-and-down fever. He hadn’t complained about anything hurting. But the next day, he was doubled over in pain telling his Gigi his stomach hurt.

That’s when we all loaded up and went to Children’s Hospital in Dallas.

I looked around while we were there, in this huge place that’s like a city unto itself. He was the only little boy I spotted with six adults in tow. When he was finally (and I don’t say that because it took too long) examined by a nurse practitioner, she told his mother his ear was severely infected — so severely it had gone from red and inflamed to white and deformed. She couldn’t understand why nobody had caught it sooner.

And neither could we.

Suffice to say he has since been seen by a specialist here and tubes installed. Sadly, he is still suffering from fever and illness, which breaks my heart.

It is not only my grandson’s scenario that upsets me with regard to health care. I recently had to have one single blood test that costs $2,500. I can assure you that I simply can’t afford that. But, it being something my doctor deemed necessary, I had to have it, and now will have to battle for months through various sources to try and get it paid.

I don’t understand how a health insurance company can “exclude” certain conditions for someone who is a) paying their premiums like clockwork, and b) is rarely ever sick, and c) is simply someone who couldn’t afford health insurance for some time, and took care of their health as best they could out of pocket. Yes, let’s penalize someone who is working hard, trying to take care of their health, and is finally fortunate enough to have health insurance!! But apparently by law, these companies are allowed to “exclude” someone for “up to a year,” which in this case translates to 364 days.

Yes, I’m disgusted. I’m upset. There needs to be some major, total reform in this industry — or just wipe it all out and start over from scratch.

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore Magazine. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached by email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com