BUT. I refuse to allow my health insurance to dictate what and when I do to/for my body.
I chickened out. I fasted all day and did the horrible "bowel prep" starting at 4pm the night before the scheduled hysterectomy. I wrote a blog entry. I watched the surgery on the internet. I talked to my friends. My parents...
I called the doctor at 10:34pm and canceled the surgery. Then I called the surgery center at the hospital and canceled there. Then I wrote an apology note to my OB and put it in the mail - hoping that he would still want to be my doctor.
My haste? I was told on Dec 28 that the only way to get rid of the horrible pain that I experience during ovulation and menstruation was to cut out my uterus. Because I had already maxed out on my $5000 out of pocket deductible for the year, the $80,000 surgery would have been "free" if I had it on Dec 31st.
The hospital was kind enough and willing to accept $33,000 from my insurance for the procedure. For a 3 hour surgery?! I want to make that kind of hourly wage!
The surgery loomed. As I fasted. As I pondered a life without a uterus, it occurred to me that I was a victim of private health insurance.
Giving people access to health insurance IS NOT going to solve the problem of the exorbitant fees that the hospitals/doctors charge. I seethe inwardly when I learn that the person in the seat next to me on the airplane got her fare for $200 less. I explode with outrage when I learn that my friend paid $20 for the same blood draw for which I paid $175!
We shop for deals. We watch our budget. We buy the products and services that we desire. But when it comes to health care - our bodies - we are at the mercy of the health insurance companies. AND we operate (pun intended) without knowing the potential cost. Who shops that way?!
It isn't fair. I need a hysterectomy. I want a hysterectomy. But WHY was I forced to make such a huge decision in 2 days so that I could save money on my deductible?
Why can't we have a Fee-For-Service system and be forced to carry major-medical policies in case of disasters? Then I can shop my doctors. Shop the labs. Shop the services. Doctors can be doctors and not have to pay somebody FULL TIME to try to get a percentage of their fees from the health insurance companies.
Why can't we cap medical liability payouts? If doctors didn't have to practice medicine as if they might get sued, perhaps they wouldn't feel the need to order an expensive test or MRI to cover their bases. Perhaps the overall cost of medicine would go down.
The bottom line? I refuse to pay more money than the woman sitting next to me for the same procedure. So - I stand (in monthly pain) on principal and I will wait out this debate with a healthy dose of...The Pill.