We went to get our flu shots today. My 3-year-old has Pulmonary Hypertension, which makes him high risk for influenza, so all of us in the house need to be vaccinated. Shouldn't be that big of a deal, right? We are all insured though a MAJOR insurance company. We'll call it MyCare. And my son is actually double insured, because he also has Social Security benefits.
(That is not any of us, I just think the look on her face is hilarious.)
We first went to our LARGE medical facility on a LARGE government-run installation for the flu shots. Only 50 shots were available at the clinic that treats the medical needs of my two boys. And those 50 vaccinations were ONLY for high-risk children under the age of three. At first, I was told flu shots were not available, period. Then I was told they were ONLY available for high risk patients, and NO ONE else. No siblings. No asthmatics. ONLY high risk kids. So, I requested that the admissions clerk directly contact my sons' care provider to get approval for the flu shot to be administered. The boys' provider did, indeed, grant approval. BUT, only the 2-year old received the vaccination. The 50 vaccines were only for high risk kids under three years of age. My 2-year-old was given a vaccination and we were directed to any off-installation pharmacy.
We drove to the closest pharmacy, presented the written prescription for the influenza vaccination, along with proof of insurance, and requested the vaccine. I was informed that I could pay full-price for my flu shot, but that MyCare would not cover the cost and that they did not have vaccinations for my 3-year-old. I had an interesting conversation with the pharmacist there. It went like this...
Me: "Ya know, it seems like MyCare would WANT to pay for flu shots for everyone in their system. It would save them a lot of money."
Pharmacist: "Yep. And they would rather you get it at their facilities, but they never get any where near enough vaccines. Most people have to go somewhere else to get the shots. It's a waste of a lot of money and time."
Interesting, huh? Why can we see this, but those we vote into office can't? Oh wait! That's right. I didn't vote for these particular people...
Anyway... So I paid the fee for my vaccine and drove to the recommended pharmacy that would have the vaccine for children between the ages of three and nine.
At that pharmacy, I again presented the written prescription and proof of insurance and requested the vaccine. After my son got the shot, I went back and asked if we are all square on the fee, because I wanted to make sure I don't owe the pharmacy any money. The cashier at the clinic IN the pharmacy told me that they would keep billing BOTH of those insurance companies until one of them agreed to pay for the vaccine. That between the two government agencies, one of them would be bound to pick up the tab eventually!
Maybe this doesn't seem like that big of a deal to you, but this is just another example of why I DO NOT want the government to run all our our health care! Private businesses, ya know--FREE MARKETING--makes for healthy competition. Which leads to better service. Which makes for faster service. Which makes for HEALTHIER people. Bureaucracy WILL NOT make health care better, more affordable, nor more accessible. It will make it slower and ineffective and terminally ill.