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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

On the further ramifications of repair of coots and geezers.

Unrelated to repair, but my loving wife came to me today to ask a question: "How in the world can you have 27 socks in the wash and only two of them have mates?" I referred her to my posts last year on the proliferation of bastard socks, but she just shook her head and tottered away. Oh Well!!

I mentioned last month that my supplementary insurance company came up with sixty six thousand dollars to pay Janet's hospital bill of roughly eighty nine thousand Euros. I sent the check in January, and have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Today I received a bill from the Finnish hospital for thirty eight thousand euros and change including eleven hundred in interest and penalties (and that the interest is 9.5 percent), and that the bill was due yesterday in order to prevent going to a collection agency (total $49653.38 until the exchange rate changes). I am back to meditating whether any of my body parts are still in good enough shape to peddle them for transplants. I am a political conservative, but used to make a semi exception in my mind for socialized medicine. Part of the reason was that when we lived in Finland in the sixties, one of my children was seriously burned and spent a couple of months in a terrific burn unit, and it didn't bankrupt me even though we were Americans. Obviously the Socialized Medicine system in Finland has changed, at least as far as us furriners are concerned.

I may go back to Network Marketing (which I did back in the eighties before my health got crummy) or trying to find a market for bastard socks. I used to use them up pretty well and make a few bucks with puppets, but life has been a little confusing lately. I guess I could set up some kind of spam operation. Everybody else seems to have one. (Well not everybody, , but I get a couple of thousand spam messages per day.) On the other hand I could actually go out and make a couple of one of a kind dolls and sell them for exhorbitant prices (I haven't been out to sculpt since August.) Or maybe I'll get a cheap mystery novel and go to bed and read it.. . . That sounds promising.

******I'd like to add an addendum. On re-reading this, it sounds like I am bitter about the Helsinki hospital. I am convinced that if we hadn't been in Helsinki when all this happened, Janet would not now be alive. Dr. Kaarne was superb and is one of the best of his kind. (He googles very impressively). Although I think Medicine costs too much everywhere, from what I can tell, the price was in line. What bothers me is that I didn't check to see if Medicare expired at the U.S. border (It does) nor did I check with the PPO (administered by Blue Cross) at my University to see what it would do outside the U.S. I was just going for a week vacation, and I didn't think to expect the worst.

I'll have to admit that the way insurance and Medicare handle bills (what they pay has nothing to do with what was charged, and, except for a co-payment, the medical people just accept what they are paid (and, I suspect, write the rest off their taxes) sort of prepared me for the possibility that the hospital would accept the insurance, bill me for a couple of thousand co-pay and forget it. I know now that they don't. I do wish the hospital wouldn't just make everything due yesterday, but I will do my best. Now go back to the first part and, I hope, chuckle a little.


At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that the other shoe made a big thud when it dropped. If my money tree were working, I'd go to my back yard and harvest some green for you. Unable to do that, I'll send happy thoughts your way.

At 3:06 AM, Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

03 22 07

Hey Richard:
Sending good thoughts your way too. I am so happy that Janet is alive and that you all received good medical care AND that it was in Finland. If this happened in the US and you guys were tourists, they would have leins on your home by now! I know that is ridiculous, but you own your property outright and full and they will hound you to no real consequence. It would be nice if Blue Cross provided you with an attorney to hammer out these details with foreign obligations, because all of that seems so complicated!

But God is good! You guys had angels watching over you! Damn those bastard socks though! My husband has twenty pairs of black socks, but only five mates without holes! We all battle the sock gremlins! hehehehehehe

Have a great rest of week!

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I am a political conservative, but used to make a semi exception in my mind for socialized medicine.

I am with you 100%. Although we disagree on some things, overall we agree on most. Even if I don't know much about Idaho ;o).

As for socks, this remains a mystery. Furthering this mystery is the fact that missing socks usually only belong to the male gender.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

You don't sound too worried about the hospital bill. I was stuck with a hospital bill for $126,000 and had no insurance at the time. They were going to place a lien on my house. I told them that I would pay one tenth because I know (having been in the business for 30 years) that that would cover their actual costs and that, if they did not accept my offer, I would declare bankruptcy and they wouldn't get a penny. They accepted.

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Patrick, I wish the comment that I weren't too worried about the hospital bill. I don't know of anything that has taken more of our thought and energy in the past week than trying to figure out our options.


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