Rant of the Day
Last month I had to go to the doctor to get my biennial flight physical. Given my deep-seated and irrational hatred of the medical profession, this is a two-year ordeal that I seldom endure in a positive, upbeat manner.
My Army retiree health insurance is provided by Tri–Care. Since I live more than 50 miles from a military installation or a VA hospital, I get to pick my own doctor from a list provided by Tri-Care. Of course I picked a flight surgeon - the only one in Lewis County. A basic flight physical costs $100. Tri-Care covers the cost except for a ten dollar co-payment that comes out of my pocket.
This time, I also needed a physician’s statement for a state law-enforcement training course I’ll be attending in September. Basically, they wanted a doctor to give me a treadmill test and sign a standard form saying I probably won’t croak trying to do 20 push-ups. Attached to the form was another form saying my state health insurance, Group Health, would pay for the treadmill test which costs about 350 bucks. I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and get the flight surgeon to perform both procedures.
So I went to see the flight quack. He tested my vision, (including that silly test that verifies you have a blind spot in each eyeball - everybody has one unless you’re completely blind. I’ve always suspected that part of the physical is just so the doctor can demonstrate some gee-whiz-ain’t-that-hot-shit, but otherwise useless knowledge) tested my reflexes, poked and prodded my tender body, told me to quit smoking, extracted a cup of piss and stuck his finger up my ass. All the usual shit that puts me in a foul mood for at least a week.
He referred me to a different quack for the treadmill test, although I’m sure he’ll still get a cut of the action. Then he gave me some medical mumbo-jumbo about my urine, which I didn’t and still don’t understand, but the upshot was that he wanted another urine specimen and a stool sample so he could run some “tests.” Like an idiot, I agreed. (In fact I told him he could have my underpants, but he didn’t think that joke was very funny.)
Today, two piss cups, assorted blood vials and a shit sample later, I go to the doctor and discover that neither Tri-Care nor Group Health intends to pay for any of this shit. It turns out that this particular quack is listed with Tri-Care’s approved A-list of medical shakedown artists but not with Group Health’s approved robbery roster. The nice lady in the patient billing office (she was so nice I didn’t even swear at her) explained that the military Tri-Care plan considers themselves a sort of back-up insurer if a military retiree has any kind of civilian health insurance. But they won’t pay a fucking nickle if I was stupid enough to go to a quack who isn’t approved by the civilian health plan even if Tri-Care approved that same bastard as a health care provider.
So now I’m stuck with a bill for a couple thousand bucks worth of scientific shit and piss analysis, I still don’t know what - if anything - is wrong with me, and if I want to find out I’ll have to go to a different quack approved by Group Health to have the same tests repeated.
Christ, I’m pissed.
Oh, and just to put some frosting on that fucking cake, Tri-Care doesn’t plan to pay the other 90 bucks for the goddam flight physical so I’m gonna pay a hundred bucks to get a finger stuck up my ass.
86-43-04. Pass it on.