Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jack in Wheeler, Indiana

Jack in Wheeler, Indiana
Originally uploaded by walk4healthcare

Jack has good insurance. But his story is not a happy one. It started a few years back with an unexplained pain in both his feet. “I saw everybody and anybody,” he said. “You name it, doctors, podiatrists, all sorts of specialists, I saw them!” Nothing seemed to help but painkillers and these were prescribed only sparingly. “Besides,” Jack told me, “I didn’t want to become an addict. But I could barely walk and, you know, could lose my job.” He told me how a neurologist finally gave him two back injections—“L4, L5,” he told me, “and that worked!” I nodded, realizing that such a run-around in our fragmented medical system was not uncommon. “But, here’s what’s fucked up—the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the one thing that worked, the injections. Now I owe $6,000!” I grimaced at the story. “Oh yes,” he added, “before—several years ago—I didn’t have insurance and I had to declare bankruptcy. But that’s another story. Now, I’m worrying about this six grand.”

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