Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work (At Last)

The very first day of the month you turn 65 you're suddenly covered by America's version of socialized medicine, Medicare. If you join an HMO you discover that even the co-pays are minimal or non-existant. My "primary care" doc even suggested which HMO to join. Decisions such as this are likely based on such important medical considerations as which HMO lets him see me the most often for a minor chronic condition or which HMO has the largest roster of his golfing buddys on their roster of approved doctors.

Within days of the start of that Magic Month I was suddenly getting referals to get every possible medical test known to science as eager doctors and medical testing labs seemingly came out of the woodwork, buckets in hand to milk the Cash Cow. I think that the only thing that they overlooked was whether or not I might have a propensity towards ingrown toenails (I don't). For a couple of months the week didn't go by when I wasn't subject to a test or two, or off to see a specialist.

Going from seeing a doc once or twice a year, mostly because I really HAD to, to becoming such a fixture in their examination room that we're now on a first name basis sure is different, as is discussing whether or not the knockers on the new receptionist are really that high and firm sans bra. I've also discovered that doctors, male docs anyway, are constantly kvetching about sex, or lack there of. "My wife never puts out, but if I divorce her she'll take me to the cleaners!" is a common refrain. Another frequent complaint is hair, or lack there of. It seems that a lot of guys in the medical field start losing it early. They look longingly at my big mop of the stuff, and they never fail to inquire about my secret. I tell them "Hell, you're the doctor! What do I know! I dropped out of college in the first semester!" Then I try to make them feel REALLY bad. "The secret to having a full head thick curly hair at age sixty-five is to screw lots of young chicks on a regular basis" I tell them.

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