Friday, October 9, 2009

Anatomically Incorrect

Bizarro is brought to you today by The King's Colonoscopy.

Speaking of which, it is time for me, once again, to pay a stranger to shove things into my rectum. Yes, I am overdue for a colonoscopy, the medical equivalent of prison rape.

I had one about ten years ago, when I turned 40, and after complaining to my friends about how it was the worst, most painful day of my life, they all said, "But you're not supposed to remember it. They give you that amnesia drug."

Huh? They gave me no such drug. I guess they forgot. Perhaps they took it themselves.

Now I'm (over)due for another and I don't want to do it because:
A. The last one was a nightmare
B. I don't have health insurance and it's expensive
C. I don't know where/who to go to. Am I supposed to pick someone randomly from the Yellow Pages and pay them to shove things into my butt? Sounds like more like Craig's List than modern medicine.

A reasonable blog reader might ask, "Why don't you have health insurance, Dan?"

Because in NY it is phenomenally expensive when you are not affiliated with any group or employer. The cheapest I've found is through the Freelancers Union (which isn't really a "union" but a group of freelancers who buy insurance together so it is cheaper) and it's still over $1000 a month for minimum coverage for my wife and me, and of course, that doesn't include "pre-existing conditions" or anything else they decide they don't want to pay for. I'd literally rather die than pay $12,000 a year to an extortion corporation, only to be denied money back later when I really need it. It is the definition of organized crime.

I Twooted this last night, but how is it that even the dimmest Americans cannot see these two simple facts:
1. All politicians who oppose government-run health care actually HAVE government-run health care.
2. All politicians who oppose government-run health care are taking huge amounts of money from the insurance industry and big pharm.

Will this country ever wake up, or do I see residency in Europe in my future?


Varzil said...

>> "Will this country ever wake up, or do I see residency in Europe in my future? "

Hey, it seemed to work for R. Crumb!

ilibbus said...

To be accurate, nobody is proposing "government-run health care"; we're just talking about government-reimbursed health care.

Christopher Mackay said...

Europe? What's wrong with Canada (rhetorical question...)

JCD said...


See you in Europe.

Chriss Pagani said...

Totally agree with you on that, Dan. And we're not even mentioning that 45,000 people die every year in America for lack of healthcare - people who would have lived had they been born in some OTHER western "democracy." Anyone who doesn't care about THAT is too big of a jerk for me to talk to.

And you're right about insurance: They will take your money and then try everything possible to avoid paying when you really need it. And you can't even sue them - their influence in Washington has already bought them immunity from lawsuits.

I suggest taking that money and putting it into a savings account for possible future emergencies. Since insurance companies only pay out about 30 to 50 percent of the money they collect for ACTUAL medical stuff, you should be way ahead of the game.

Eben Brooks said...

The thing you twitted...goodness. I'm surprised that this isn't being spread more. Maybe it needs to be.

John Carroll said...

For a country that relies on entrepreneurship, the fact that entrepreneurs take a big medical risk when leaving the "safety" of big corporate life seems ridiculous.

Capitalism is a system that should be defined as whatever the hell works (absence of government leads to somalia, which is hardly a capitalist paradise). We have university education heavily subsidized by the state because smart people make better capitalists. Why the same rationale doesn't apply to medical care (dead people make bad capitalists) is anyone's guess.

Unknown said...

I know what you mean Dan. The interesting thing is that most medical offices detest insurance companies, yet they charge cash customers significantly more money for services. A dental office I do IT work for mentioned that many insurance companies deny all claims the first time to drag out the process.

I would have thought medical offices would give cash customers a better rate since they bypass the insurance game.


Love you! And yes, some foreign country is looking very attractive these days that we have had no insurance.


My last colonoscopy snagged two benign polyps, and so I should have another one this year. Ain't gonna happen.

Maybe I will just end up like millions before me, and just die.

Oh wait! That is the fate that awaits us all!!

LaLaOrange said...

Oh, don't go to Europe, Dan. We'd miss you.

Unknown said...

good points. it's enough to make me leave off insurance entirely and simply wait until i die. sadly, the company i work for will not allow me to do so.

ojeano said...

The healthcare plan may succeed! Then you can have the apparatus butt torture for only fifteen bucks! That's how much it'd cost me if I were willing to do it. Oh, I work for a governmental entity, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Single payer helth care system, baby. Everyone in, nobody out. It would make America more competitive in the global stage. Also it's more humane, but I know America is about money first, welbeing somewhere 10th or 11th place....?

Canada? They want to be American so badly it's laughable. They're jacking up post-secondary tuition, slashing infrastructure and nailing health care. At least in places like France, people set the government on fire if they dare do something like that.

Don't you think America is due for a bastille day or do things have to get a lot worse?

Come on baby light my fire.

Bogie Biker said...

I'm quite satisfied with our Canadian system, and it's getting better too. Have you ever encountered a system without glitches?

JHP2 said...

Health insurance would be much cheaper in NY if A) The state was not loading up the insurers with mandates and B) Insurers from other states were allowed to sell across state lines, opening up competition.

Secondly, have you not heard of HSA's with catastrophic insurance coverage? This might make the most sense in your situation.

Lastly, you are saying that you do not want to pay for your own healthcare/health insurance, rather you would like the rest of us to pay for it. Why am I obligated to pay for your insurance coverage? You seem successful enough to pay your own freight. If you were truly in need that is one thing. But asking others to support your responsibility is, pardon the joke, bizarro.

IDGMPIV said...

What flabbergasts me is the people that have no health insurance and are against health care reform because Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity tell them it's a liberal plot. WWJD? He was definitely a liberal as shown by the biblical record and gave away health care for free!! The Christian Right is neither. Next colonoscopy make sure they give you Versed (the amnesia thing) along with some IV dilaudid. (hint) ask for the dilaudid first so you can remember it....

The Obsessionist said...

Piraro, where to you find all these great pictures to link to? They are fittingly hilarious.

More importantly, I agree- the health care situation right now is beyond frustrating. Residency in Europe is becoming more and more alluring. Hell, I'd be happy to go to Europe just for a week to be envious of all the Europeans and their governments.

Unknown said...


I live in Germany (I'm a Canadian). I too suffer from depression. I paid about CAD$70 a month for my meds in Canada. In Germany (despite being a non-resident) I pay about Euro 7 every 3 months for the same meds.

Come on over!

The Mythboy

Gloub said...

When am I supposed to pick you up at Paris airport?

Martina said...

Come to France! Get cancer, then get rid of it and all free of charge!

Hemaworstje said...

It i not the system which is defunctional , it is the mentality of the humans that have changed over the years.
In Europe our health care system is cracking as well.
Be advised ,we pay huge quantities of taxes compared to the USA.
You folks are on a average much sicker that is all.

doug nicodemus said...

those people look like they are having something shoved up their rectums...

but i did not really get the cartoon...what would cause all of the suprise?

tcl said...

I am a public school teacher and I do not have insurance. It cost $1400 a month. I don't even make $1400 a month. It's crazy.

Jongudmund said...

Come to Europe, Dan! You can come stay with us in Wales.

In addition to free healthcare (including free meds for residents) we have other benefits, like history and castles. And cricket - you'll like cricket. It's like baseball (in that you swing a stick at a ball) but games go on for five days and can still end in a tie. And really good beer (to make the cricket fly by).

Anonymous said...

I think, and hope, that Obama will make your country better. So far he seems to be doing a good job at it.

I'm shocked though to see people be opposed to better healthcare.

Netherlands has a similar system as USA. You have to have insurance, or you pay insane fees to get help. You do get help though as the Dutch love money.

Other than that, most European countries has more humane healthcare systems.

Australia has a nice healthcare system too. Still, there's a few things that is a bit culturally different here; especially for someone from Europe.

I've had one colonoscopy and it went fine. I didn't get drugged at all. I can understand you hating it if it hurts due to your colon having many twists and turns, but compared to a gastroscopy I'll do a colonoscopy any day.

David said...

This post hits very close to home. Was dealing with this issue recently.

Jodie said...

I recommend having some sort of catastrophic health insurance for the big stuff. Ask your NY friends / readers for a suggestion of an internist (for the med test of your innards!). Look into a health care savings account to save on your taxes. Soon you'll be old enough for AARP (me too I'll be 50 in 2010) so you can look at their group health insurance. I used to work at a Fortune 500 with great insurance but got laid off. Now I'm in the real world with a gov't employer with sucky insurance that costs 3 times as much as the great insurance that I had with a 10x deductible. YES we need health insurance / industry reform. NOW.

luxx said...

come to Europe.
Yeah, taxes are high here, but I pay about 100 USD a year for health insurance (Belgium)

Unknown said...

Have you bothered to consider Dan that maybe the high cost for health insurance is a function of the state you live in as much as anything else?

The more restrictive state regulations, the higher the cost. I am not familiar with NY (though i have strong suspicions), but i do know that a policy in NJ costs almost twice what the same policy costs across the Delaware River in PA.

Maybe you don't need to move to Europe, but only to a state that permits you to contract with an insurer without a bunch of state-legislated add-ons.

screw you people said...

So, my health plan is not get sick; but if I do get over it; and if I can't just die.
And no, you can't have my organs.

Really, we are all going to die anyway; why do we all have to die old and sick and poor?

If they mandate this I am going to tell them it is against my religion (snicker).

Radwaste said...

Dan, the solution is not to pay government - the people who bring you such success stories as the TSA, DOE and IRS - in any way. It's to see that doctors get paid in ways that don't reward anyone not in the business of treating you. This will do that.

Bills now in Congress just add hands grasping your money.

Anonymous said...

when you realize that every country in the world with a developed economy and a freely-elected government provides a health-care plan for all of its legal citizens except the United states of America.

These countries like Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Brazil, and Japan have been able to do this without becoming totalitarian socialist societies or indenturing future generations. That makes the excuses we hear for the USA sound pretty thin, even manufactured.

Perhaps we should study how other places can do it instead of aligning the USA with Vietnam, North Korea, and most of Africa.

What is even more sad is that the American taxpayer is already funding universal health care for two other countries, Afghanistan and Iraq. Does that make good sense to you?

Instead of focusing on partisan politics, perhaps we should think about what's best and fair for all Americans; both now and in the future.

You can see a video of this and a map showing this at:

Anonymous said...

I live in Brazil and I have total coverage for two people for about $500 USD a month. No co-pays, no deductibles, no exemptions for "pre-existing" conditions.

The quality of medical care exceeds anything I ever had in the USA. If Brazil can do this, why can' America?