Thursday, February 21, 2008

It Sucks Balls

A few months ago Sunny was diagnosed with sleep apnea. If you don’t know what that is, it means you stop breathing while you sleep.

Just to keep score, let me put this forward as exhibit A : She goes to the doctor because she snores a lot. He sends her to a sleep specialist who ‘diagnoses’ a disease for which there is no cure, but needs life-long treatment.

So they give her something called a CPAP machine. It sounds all complicated and sophisticated, but I can tell you now that it’s nothing more than a glorified air-pump with a bit of pipe and a mask. The documentation says that ‘This device ensures that a positive pressure is maintained outside the body’. To perform a quick bullshit translation, it pumps air up your nose.

Seriously, I could build one of these things out of an aquarium air pump, two meters of plastic conduit, a dust mask and some duct-tape. I can’t stress this enough, that’s all it is, an air pump that blows air up your nose.

So, over the past few months there was a lot of back and forth with the insurance company, who did the usual insurance company thing of taking your money for years, then refusing to give any of it back. A few weeks ago, we got a notification from the doctor’s office.

This glorified air-pump was going to cost well over $700 a month. We’re talking almost ten grand a year.

Put simply, there’s no possible way we could afford that. Even if we could afford it, I don’t think we’d pay it. It’s just a ludicrous amount. We could rent an 82 inch plasma screen and a make payments on a decent new car for that.

So the doctor suggests applying for a ‘hardship discount’.

It was a winner in the ‘See It Coming A Mile Off’ awards when the supplier said that we were making too much money for a hardship discount. They said we could afford it and didn’t qualify.

All I can say to these people is this : Yes, we can afford it, as long as we don’t plan to eat or live in a house while we’re making payments.

As you can probably guess, we took the thing back this morning.

However, before we did, curiosity got the better of Sunny and she did a quick search on the internet, to see how much it would cost to actually buy this machine.

Ready for this? To buy this machine, brand new, from another company would be a little less than $500.

I was pissed off.

When the thing was available to buy for $500 (which is still way to expensive in my book), Carolina Oxygen, with a straight face, tried to charge us two hundred dollars more than the thing was worth every month for as long as we rent it.

Nice gig if you can pull it off. Buy a new machine, rent it out, make your money back plus 200 dollars the first month, and then pure profit after that…Oh, and if the person does stop paying, you take it back and unload it on some other sucker.

As an immigrant, I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about America, but I’ll say this with confidence:

The medical system in this country sucks balls.

1 comment:

Saffyre said...

Ahh the joys that await me eh?