I don't know if Timo wants to know this but here are a few examples from my expenses this month. I do not have insurance.

I had a chest xray that was $41 and I will be billed for the radiologist seperate. The insurance would have been billed much more but the hospital gave me a discount for paying cash.

I had to have blood work done to see about starting a biologic- $750. I could not afford this so I went to a clinic here that is run through the catholic church for the working poor and uninsured. It took 2 days of paperwork and 2 office visits and funding from the tobacco tax here but they did my bloodwork for $71. The clinic is a wonderful place and they did not make me feel like a beggar.

My meds cost $50 a month.

4 months ago the rhuemy I was seeing wanted to have me pay for a CAt scan out of pocket and wanted to put me on Enbrel- out of pocket. He claimed that mtx and ssz did not work for AS and took the word of a radiologist that I had no damage. When I said hey I don't have insurance he refered me to a pain clinic because he couldn't do anything else for me. Do you actually think that would have happened if I had insurance? I don't.

As I have written before my new rhuemy looked at the same xrays and saw that I had fusion, erosion and tons of inflamation AND offered to get me on one of the biologics through the medical assistance from pharm co. and to continue me on the ssz.

So I think that a large part of the problem with healthcare is that many doctors are in the pocket of the big pharm co. and that doctors and hospitals try to get as much money as possible from the insurance companies. It's all about the insurance company money- we are no longer the consumers- they are. They only want healthy people to insure and doctors and hositals want insured people to be able to diagnose with mild but life long disease that requires brand name meds and frequent but easy office visits and lots of expensive tests ie. high cholesterol, gerd, and diabetes. (I know these are real and serious problem but they also are very profitable and require little on the doctors part.) Doctors are either part of a hospital group or an insurance group so they are more worried about what those people think not their patients. Heck our insurance companies even tell us which doctors we can see- talk about conflict of interest. Built in customers no need to perform.

I'm sorry I don't mean to be preachy but the system is messed up and it is definitely not about keeping or getting people healthy.