On the bioethics.net blog, Caplan and McGee discuss the TV "reality" show Miracle Workers:
In reality, a quarter of us have either no health insurance or lousy coverage. No one has a doctor who isn't using much of the time once spent on patients talking to bureaucrats on the telephone to try and get approval for a prescription or a diagnostic test. A large number of us spend forever in emergency rooms to get basic care. There are many children who get no medical or dental care. The waiting times to see the doctor grow and grow.
I haven't seen the show and don't plan to. But there has been serious talk (and I mean serious to the point of looking up how make referrals to the show) in our office among my fellow care coordinators about getting some of our clients on the show.
I mean, perhaps it's not apparent to many other people, but by God if you're a working parent whose child is covered by your employer's insurance, this is no guarantee at all that you can find the care you need in twenty-first century America. Or afford the copays, either.
One pitiful example: your child needs a wheelchair. Your insurer has a $1000.00 cap on durable medical equipment, no exceptions.
OK, one more: your child needs hearing aids. Your insurer does not cover hearing aids.
We won't discuss the Americans who are working, paying taxes that support the American infrastructure (including Medicaid and TANF, etc), and have no insurance.
We are seriously thinking of asking them to swallow their pride, kiss their privacy goodbye, and call the show.
The state of modern American medicine.