Will This Be The Future of ObamaCare?
ObamaCare is changing the way Americans receive medical care, but in a way no one expected.
By: Lois Christensen
I sat in the emergency room silently watching as patients and EMS workers frantically came in through the automatic doors. My son, Michael who was sitting next to me, would look up each time the doors ‘whooshed’ open as another injured or sick person was rushed in for care.
Michael was holding his arm and trying his best to deal with the pain. I looked over at him and smiled, trying to give him reassurance that everything was going to be okay. He tried to smile back but only managed to give me a grimace and held his arm more securely. I looked at his arm and could tell the swelling was getting worse. The icepack from the nurse wasn’t doing much to help the swelling and I could see now that his arm was beginning to turn purple.
I knew from many years of being a mom and taking care of numerous bumps, bruises and mishaps that Michael’s elbow was probably broken and maybe his wrist as well. I just didn’t really know how bad his injuries were.
The call came in this morning from the school nurse who calmly told me that my son was injured in gym class. “Nothing too serious,” she said, but suggested I pick him from school and take him to the emergency room for some x-rays.
Michael was playing Football Frisbee in gym and as he puts it “went airborne to make an awesome diving catch.” Misjudging his landing, he fell directly on his right arm on the hard wooden floor. The arm snapped and Michael knew immediately that his Football Frisbee career could very well be over.
We waited patiently in the emergency room for a doctor to take a look at Michael’s arm. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we got a doctor to examine Michael’s injuries and take some x-rays.
Michael was diagnosed with a broken elbow and a slight concussion. The doctor wrapped the elbow in a sling and told us to go home and make an appointment tomorrow morning with an orthopedic specialist to have the set and arm put in a cast.
The next morning we went to the orthopedic doctor who looked at the x-rays. After a very long silence, he told us that he wasn’t sure that Michael’s elbow was broken but his wrist definitely was. The doctor suggested an MRI on the elbow to make sure it wasn’t broken.
He closed the file and told us to go down the hall and see the nurse who will help us file for the MRI approval. A little confused, I looked at the doctor and said, “Approval? What approval? We’re here now. Let’s just schedule the MRI.”
The doctor looked up from the notes he was scribbling and said, “I wish it were that easy. Because of the new Obama Care reform Law, most procedures and diagnosis now require prior approval.” He went on to say, “The insurance companies are requiring the approvals to make sure they are compliant with the new law and that no unnecessary treatments are being performed.”
I was totally shocked at what the doctor just told us. We’ve been to this hospital before and we never needed prior approval for any tests or exams. Here my son was sitting with a broken wrist and possibly a broken elbow for more than 24 hours and we still had no treatment for his injuries.
As it turned out, we were forced to file for an approval with the insurance company to get the MRI done. It took 4 more days of waiting and during that time, my son was in excruciating pain. The only treatment he received for his injuries was his arm was put in a sling. It felt like we were watching an old western movie where the good ‘ole Doc treated the hurt cowboys by putting them in a sling and telling them to go home and get some rest!
Now granted, my son’s injuries were not life threatening and thank God they weren’t. But I can only wonder if, God forbid, something really serious might have happened, would we have to wait almost 4 days for treatment because of ObamaCare?
Will this be the future of Health Care Reform? I hope not. We, as Americans deserve better.