A Nation's Shame
The United States of America. The greatest nation on earth. The strongest nation and arguably the most freedom-loving nation. Our Declaration of Independence proclaims the right of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Yet we are the only developed nation in the world that does not guarantee the right to access to health care. Thirty years ago, when kidney dialysis was developed, there was a period of time when dialysis was made available through a simple formula: if you could afford it, you lived. If not, you died. As a society, and as a medical profession, we engaged in the discussion of whether or not this was right. We decided that it wasn't right. We passed laws stating that there would be government support so that no American would die because they couldn't afford dialysis. Today we have many expensive lifesaving medications and procedures that are beyond the financial reach of many Americans, especially the 47 million without insurance (including 9 million children). Some 18,000 of them die each year as a direct result of not being able to afford the needed care. (From the Institute of Medicine) That is the equivalent of six 9/11's every year. Where is our outrage? Many political conservatives think that lack of insurance is only due to "lack of personal responsibility". But with the increasing number of unemployed and the costs of insurance topping $15,000 per year for a family, it takes far more "personal responsibility" - and money - than a growing number of Americans have to be insured.
Understanding Insurance Profits:
Dr. Blythe's new book is now available! Order it today for yourself or someone you love. Guide to reducing your health care costs if uninsured.
Surviving Without Insurance
As an American, I am saddened to see so many of my fellow citizens denied care. As a physician, I am weary of trying to care for patients who could do better if they had access to a higher level of care. As someone who believes in Christian principles, I think that, as in the Gospel of Luke, there are many a Lazarus at our gates, and that we have some responsibility to care for our brothers and sisters in need. But to add insult to injury, our health care system is so messed up in this country that those without insurance are not only denied care, they are abused. Services and procedures may cost an uninsured patient ten times what insurance pays! This site is designed as a "survival guide" for the uninsured - and for the many of us who find ourselves underinsured! -dr. stephen blythe
Advice and suggestions offered in this site are not meant to be construed as guidelines for the treatment of any medical problem. All advice and suggestions within this site should be used in conjunction with advice from your own physician or health care provider.
Use of Current Procedural Terminology( CPT® ) codes in this website are used for the purpose of illustration and comment as per the "Fair Use" doctrine of U.S. Copyright Law. All CPT® codes are Copyright American Medical Association 2009