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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:32 PM

So I called a new doctor for an appointment today and within the first few words

was "Who is your insurance company?" Not what is your name, how can I help you, what symptoms, which doctor in the group, but "Who is your insurance company?"

It really torqued me the wrong way! Usually they get at least 10 words out ... but no ... "Who is your insurance company?" ... like I had to pass a clearance test during the first 10 seconds of the conversation.

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Reply So I called a new doctor for an appointment today and within the first few words (Original post)
RKP5637 Nov 2012 OP
MichiganVote Nov 2012 #1
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #2
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #3
99Forever Nov 2012 #13
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #16
99Forever Nov 2012 #20
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #21
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #44
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #47
elias7 Nov 2012 #54
LastDemocratInSC Nov 2012 #4
KT2000 Nov 2012 #5
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #10
Lugnut Nov 2012 #6
SoCalDem Nov 2012 #7
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #11
HeiressofBickworth Nov 2012 #8
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #9
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #14
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #15
newspeak Nov 2012 #22
OneGrassRoot Nov 2012 #23
eridani Nov 2012 #33
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #17
HeiressofBickworth Nov 2012 #24
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #25
HeiressofBickworth Nov 2012 #41
Cooley Hurd Nov 2012 #49
uppityperson Nov 2012 #27
customerserviceguy Nov 2012 #29
LuvLoogie Nov 2012 #30
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #43
milestogo Nov 2012 #18
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #19
dkf Nov 2012 #26
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #36
dkf Nov 2012 #37
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #39
patrice Nov 2012 #28
Hekate Nov 2012 #31
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2012 #32
Nye Bevan Nov 2012 #35
dogknob Nov 2012 #34
Berserker Nov 2012 #38
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #40
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #42
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #45
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #46
sendero Nov 2012 #48
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #57
Yo_Mama Nov 2012 #50
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #51
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #52
orpupilofnature57 Nov 2012 #53
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #60
wellstone dem Nov 2012 #55
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #56
Rosa Luxemburg Nov 2012 #58
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #59
arely staircase Nov 2012 #61
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #62
cynatnite Nov 2012 #63

Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:38 PM

1. Its all about what anyone can get for themselves in the USA

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:43 PM

2. Yep, run away Capitalism, almost everyone's a huckster. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:46 PM

3. It does seem impersonal, but there's a reason for it...

Your insurance company might not approve of them (for whatever reason), so by getting that info 1st, they won't waste your time with asking you questions. Believe me, if they asked you the normal barrage of questions and then found out that your insurance company doesn't approve of them, they've wasted your time.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:06 AM

13. Why are you making excuses for a fucked up, ripoff system?

Well?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:09 AM

16. Hee!

Hi 99!

I know how Dr's offices are run (I work in EMR). How would YOU like to answer questions regarding your personal info, your family history of illness, contact information, advance directives and THEN insurance, only to find out your crappy insurance company doesn't par with this doctor? You would have wasted, at a minimum, a half hour of your time, only to find out your crappy insurance company won't pay for anything this office does for you?

You'd be pissed.

Hi again!

On edit: Well?

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:43 AM

20. Golly...

... you are so very funny!


"Laugh clown, laugh."

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:45 AM

21. i know...

Besides being an EMR/EHR specialist, I'm also a stand up comedian.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #21)


Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #44)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:44 AM

47. you clearly have no clue about software and its purpose...

When you do, then you can comment.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:31 AM

54. I, for one, think you handled snark very gracefully

As a medical professional, it was clear to me that your first post was right on the money. Explaining a process makes you the messenger, and you had to dodge a few bullets (why?)....

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:07 PM

4. Many health care providers are only in the Reimbursement business ...

... and provide health care only as a means to an end.

And it's interesting that we, as the ones who receive the services, are not in the pricing discussions. The reimbursement rates are determined by negotiation between the physician and the insurance companies. You, as the "consumer", are not involved in those discussions. So much for a free market.

The physician and insurance company decide the reimbursement rates. Is $300 too much for a simple x-ray and interpretation of the x-ray? What if the marketplace - we who are insured - decided that a simple x-ray and interpretation (for talking purposes) should cost no more than $100? How would that be factored into the reimbursement decisions? It wouldn't be considered because the consumer's opinions are frozen out of the discussion.

So, the physician and insurance company decide how much things will cost, and if those discussions cause your premiums to go up, well, too bad. The physician gets more and the insurance company gets more.

We wouldn't tolerate this at the grocery store or home improvement store, but we tolerate it at the doctor's office because of that $30 co-pay. That's the cost we see.

So, not everything is perfect here in Paradise.




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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:56 PM

5. you bet you had to pass clearance

around here if you said none, you would have been told to call a doctor who accepts patients who do not have insurance. Until the Native American tribe here opened a medical clinic, that would have been NO doctors accepting those without insurance.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:57 AM

10. Around here even if you have Medicare and Blue Cross / Blue Shield some of them don't want

you as a patient. There's a pause when they hear your age, like they're thinking do we take these old F'ers or just toss them in the garbage.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:22 AM

6. I usually ask the question first.

If a new doctor is not a provider for my insurance plan I'll need to find a doctor who is. I don't like having to do it but that's the way it is these days.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:23 AM

7. A timesaver.. Some insurance companies are not acceptable, so they don't want to waste

time collecting data & then having to tell you they don't want you as a patient

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:59 AM

11. It's probably more how they say it, how it's blurted out. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:38 AM

8. This is just as offensive as

the first question I get when calling my Dr. for an appointment. "What's your birthdate?" Not what's your name -- just birthdate. I answer in my most freezing tone of voice, "I have a NAME and I would appreciate that you use it." I know I'm an old lady, but really, this lack of civility is beyond the bounds.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:52 AM

9. That is really what irks me about today's world, there is no time to be civil, just time for

curt questions and impersonal attitudes ... and it grows and grows.

And in the US it all evolves around $$$$$. To me, it's a disgusting and tiresome way to have a society, and at least to me it's going to just get worse and worse.

Another example, we used to have a small, but very progressive and advanced ISP here, now, they've been bought out by a large company. Now, it's like talking to a brick wall when you contact them for service, questions, etc. And the latest is forcing on-line billing and payment onto subscribers.

A new talk-radio station started here on FM. I flipped it on this morning for a bit, I thought it might be interesting. I listed to it for about 10 minutes, all they did was trash Obama and anything to do with the administration. It was pure garbage. Just lies and garbage. And later I learned it was a Fox AM station now broadcasting on FM too.

I think I'll just go back to bed and screw it all.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:02 AM

12. I hear you...

Our priorities as a nation, as a society, are -- for the most part -- bordering on the obscene.



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:06 AM

14. Bordering? Look behind you, way off in the distance.

 

I like that you're one of the few trying to do something about it.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:24 AM

15. Yeah, I was trying to be at least slightly optimistic...

since there are more and more pockets of good in the midst of the obscene.



Thanks for the kind words, Egalitarian Thug (love that name...lol).



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Response to OneGrassRoot (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:57 AM

22. which reminds me of the woman who came into our shop to buy her daughters gifts

it was after little boots was selected. she told me she was on her way to pick up her daughters at her parents' home, and then, they were flying to new zealand. i asked her if she was going on vacation and she said no, she was moving there because there would be no chance now getting any type of healthcare reform for people. she was tired of the "business as usual" and greed, while people were suffering.

she had already accepted a position in NZ because of their socialized medical care stance.

we may have some doctors in this country who are in it for the money and as business; but there are doctors who actually get in the field to help people. my friend is a doctor and he spent his internship working with the poor, those who could not afford medical care. he was very much into the care, and not so much into the money.

my hubby hates going to the doctor. when hubby had a problem, doc fixed it and cut the fee, because he said he'd rather see hubby come in again if he had a problem instead of balking at the bill.

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Response to newspeak (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:03 PM

23. I post a link to this group every chance I get, which speaks to your point...

http://www.pnhp.org/

About PNHP

Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 18,000 members and chapters across the United States.

Since 1987, we've advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. We educate physicians and other health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system--including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 50 million Americans who have none.


The greed...the capitalism run amok...the vulture capitalism -- whatever we want to call it -- is destroying us. It will destroy the 1%'ers as well, eventually, but they're too short-sighted to see it, or too blinded by greed.

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Response to newspeak (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:23 AM

33. Sounds a lot like one of the former chairs of Health Care for All-WA

For a long time, she was the only MD psychiatrist in the state that would take Medicaid patients. Reimbursments kept dropping, so she gave up her car and moved to an apartment closer to her office. Eventually, she earned so little that she could not afford health insurance for herself--not a good place for a middle-aged person to be in. So she moved to New Zealand, where they were delighted to pay for her health care in return for her professional qualifications.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:11 AM

17. Many EMR's are more easily (read: quicker) searchable by DOB, vs the spelling of your last name.

If your age is a hangup for you, it's not their fault.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:05 AM

24. Oh, dear

you have apparently missed the point. The point was about civility and good manners. Your assertion that EMR's are the superior determining factor just proves that civility and good manners aren't present even in the programmers.

PS. My last name is extremely common and has only 4 letters.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:47 AM

25. Well...

You have apparently missed MY point - which is that civility is irrelevant in software design. Efficiency is the goal of software designer. And, perhaps you only have four letters in your last name, but I have 9. My 6-digit birthdate - which requires no pronunciation or spelling - means 3-less keystrokes for the person on the other end of the phone. Believe me, that person works very hard as it is and those keystrokes ultimately add up over the course of the day.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:47 AM

41. "civility is irrelevant in software design"

Do we serve up our humanity to the expediency of software designs? Is the total number of key-strokes in a day worth more than human inter-action. What a world we have come to.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #41)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:50 AM

49. it is when you're the poor soul whose job it is to answer the phone...

...and you have to make appointments all day long. The software is about making their job easier and more efficient, not about someone on the other end on the phone who is offended by the order of the questions being asked.

Don't you care about that person who answered the phone?

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:56 AM

27. I asked my clinic why they did this. They said they are so pushed for time, are so overworked by

the system (bought out by a "Healthcare" corporation thing recently) that taking time to be polite and personable is no longer something they are able to do. And they hate it. Please do not blame those that answer the phone and make appointments as it isn't their fault and they don't get paid enough to take abuse. The system is getting more and more broken.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #27)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:11 AM

29. Thanks

Yes, there is a lot of pressure to perform quickly, which most firms equate with efficiently. I'm protected by a union if I want to be a bit more personal with the customer, but a lot of white collar workers don't have that going for them.

It must be hell to work for a medical care provider these days, with pressure from patients, insurance companies, and lawyers constantly looking to trip you up.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:12 AM

30. Name? "Anyeshka Pryznkstvvyk"...

Database queries can be challenging...

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:55 AM

43. their patient computer files are organized by birthdate.

 

my drugstore does the same thing.
get used to it.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:14 AM

18. A few years ago I had a visit with a new specialist and within the first few words

she made a joke about George Bush. She was a British doctor and I knew we were going to get along very well.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:42 AM

19. +++ 1,000 +++ n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:54 AM

26. They didn't ask my sister what insurance she had.

 

They just sent her a $3000 bill after the fact whereupon we learned they aren't participating with her insurer.

Do you prefer that?

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Response to dkf (Reply #26)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:02 AM

36. That, is not what I was objecting too. It's asking for insurance coverage within the first

few seconds in a curt manner, blurting out, "What is your insurance company." Underling IMO how fucked up USA, Inc. is ... and each day it's accepted more and more, across many areas. If I were having a procedure done, I would always check out coverage ahead of time.



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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:19 AM

37. My parents wish that was the first thing they asked my sister.

 

Months of haggling with the insurance company and the doctor still resulted in a $1000 bill for a few stitches. I think it even had to go to the state appeals board.

Seriously, you should be happy they asked.

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Response to dkf (Reply #37)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:23 AM

39. Yep, I really do agree with you! And especially during a time of need when

thinking about insurance might be last thought to occur to the patient.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:07 AM

28. Priorities: 1. Least amoung of effort in the shortest period of time

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:29 AM

31. It's the first question *I* ask when phoning a new doctor!

My husband has drummed that into my head, because if the billing doesn't go through right, he's the one who has to spend hours sorting it out.

And before we were married, when I was supporting two small kids on a small salary, you bet it was important for me to know if new medical/dental providers were on my plan.

Sorry about your experience, but you might just turn it around and ask the question first.

Unless you are uninsured. A good friend of mine had no insurance for 17 years, and got very good at negotiating fees upfront. "How much does Blue Cross reimburse you for?" (i.e. how much do they knock off your fee first?) "What if I pay you that amount?" etc.

Better luck next time,

Hekate

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:07 AM

32. I attempted to make an appointment with a doctor that WILL NOT TAKE CASH.

I got some line of BS from the woman at the desk. I decided the dr is probably a right-wing shitbag that I don't want to deal with. My money wasn't any good, so I went elsewhere.

Turdbucket shitstain with an M.D.



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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:01 AM

35. No cash on premises = fewer robberies.

Quite a few businesses have this policy. And they are all not necessarily owned by "right-wing shitbags".

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:59 AM

34. They call that "qualifying the buyer." n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:22 AM

38. Health care in America

 

Do you have insurance?........no
Do you have cash?................no
Do you know you are fucked?

Health care is BIG business in America why do you think they give a fuck about you or your feelings?

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Response to Berserker (Reply #38)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:29 AM

40. It underlies my feelings about how fucked up health care is in America ... in fact,

many things are fucked up IMO. The only industrialized nation that can't figure out how to do it because of the proliferation of shysters and con-artists in America and particularly in politics. The criminal element IMO figured 3 ways to get rich under the system ... politics, wall street / banking and lawyers. Then, enter the CEO and exec. elites, getting their fair share of the spills.



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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:52 AM

42. if they don't accept your insurance- they don't need your name, most likely.

 

so it's no surprise that it would be the first question that they would ask.

most receptionists at dr.s offices don't have a lot of time to socialize over the phone.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:04 AM

45. "Socialize"?? It used to be called common courtesy...now they don't even pretend to care. nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:26 AM

46. efficiency trumps 'courtesy' when it comes to overworked professional services.

 

It's been my experience that once you're an actual patient- they'll give you all the courtesy you could ever want. (as long as you're not a 'problem' patient- and you seem to maybe have the possible makings of one. )

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:46 AM

48. Pretty typical...

... in my experience. You certainly will not finish making an apointment by phone without telling them who you insurance is and which plan you are under.

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Response to sendero (Reply #48)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:24 AM

57. That makes sense, of course. What I object to is it being blurted out immediately. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:48 AM

50. You do have to pass a clearance test within the first 10 seconds

Or at least, in any properly run office you should be. First, if you have insurance but that doctor's office isn't signed up for it, your visit to that doctor might wind up being a nightmare for you, financially.

Most doctors do some charity care and provide services for which they lose a lot of money, and in order to maximize that ability, they need to minimize other wasted time.

And if this doctor won't be paid by your insurance, then it is a waste of your time and a gross imposition to be taking all of your personal info (plus entering it into a computer database).

That's reality. The insurance companies control the care you get, not the doctor.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:05 AM

51. Thank Trickie Dick & Kaiser Permanante

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Response to orpupilofnature57 (Reply #51)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:15 AM

52. Really, schools should be teaching how bullshitted Americans are, not the F'en motherhood and

apple pie crap we got when I was in school.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #52)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:20 AM

53. Me too.

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Response to orpupilofnature57 (Reply #53)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:43 AM

60. Americans settle for less all of the time and say thank you so well. To me, the spirit that built

this country has been suppressed and buried.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:42 AM

55. When I call to ask for an appointment, I usually start out with

"Hi my name is Wellstone Dem, I need an appointment because of ....."

I always give them my name first.

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Response to wellstone dem (Reply #55)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:21 AM

56. You were lucky to have had a chance to say that - I was cut off and asked my insurance company! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:29 AM

58. In the UK you are asked which doctor (only)

Very relieving when you are sick. You go to the desk and say that you have an appointment with your doctor.

You have to pay a copay for prescriptions for adults. If you are unemployed you don't.

If you go to the emergency room no 'snake' sidles up to you and asks you what insurance company.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #58)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:37 AM

59. Our system in the US is deplorable, yet many defend it ... the mindset in the US is incredible. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:50 AM

61. this reminds me of people who complain about

having to press 1 for english.

may this be the worst thing that ever happens to you.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #61)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:19 PM

62. I know, I would prefer to push 2 for English. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:21 PM

63. That's usually the second question I'm asked. It's the norm. n/t

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