Today was busy. At the La Loma clinic I saw twice as many patients as I usually do. This is a good thing. Our organization has been a little short on numbers for the last few months and there has been some whispers about being unable to keep the outlying clinic open if the trend continued. Rumors are worth the air they're spoken with but still... Its hard to believe that a clinic that makes its living from medicare/medicaid, state childrens health insurance programs (SCHIP), and sliding scale payments would find the number of visits slipping.
Several patients have told me that they can't get the medications I prescribed because their insurance will only cover a small portion or won't cover the cost at all. Even with the discounted medications at Walmart and Walgreens and our prescription assistance program we can't cover everything.
My freind and colleague A told me about his bout with malaria while he was in Kenya as a student. His stay in the hospital and medications came to a grand total of $90. He felt his care was a good as any he'd recieved in the United States. The same hospital stay here would cost thousands of dollars.
I'm not sure what is the best solution for health care in our country but we can't keep doing the same things and expect the situation to improve.