We still can't get the children on our health insurance plan until the adoptions are finalized and they are currently covered on our State's health care plan. We can sign them up with a pediatrician in a private practice who agrees to bill the State Health Insurance plan. However, both times we took the twins to a private practice that takes the state plan, I was paranoid because the nurses and pediatrician did not wash their hands before or after examining the children. And the pediatrician loves putting his fingers in the children's mouthes when he is playing with them! So, I was not taking the infant to him! Instead, I took Baby Girl (2) to a pediatrician at a public health clinic and boy! All, I could think of was this is what our health care will look like in a few years! Now, don't for a minute think I don't have empathy for the millions of unisured Americans. I have a pretty decent understanding of the shortcomings of our current health care system having mastered in healthcare administration. I am the first one who will argue for the need for reform to stem the unsustainable cost increases, the waste, inequities in acces to care, inefficiencies, etc. However, if reform looks like the kind of care I received - I don't know. I went to the pediatric clinic and went to the reception and patiently waited my turn. A clerk realized I must not have known the ropes since I was supposed to take a piece of paper and stamp my arrival time. He kindly asked me if I needed something! Okay, lady carrying a child into a pediatrician building and waiting at the reception desk, and do I need something? No hellos here, just a very brusque clerk signing you in. All this from a person wearing a badge stating they had won an award for customer service excellence! Hate to imagine what the "non-reciepients" of such awards do! When he realized I was not on public assistance (since I had to show legal paperwork authorising me to get medical attention for my child), suddenly his demeanor changed and he explained all the intricacies of the clinic! I find this totally shameful since everyone should be treated with dignity and respect whether or not you are receiving public assistance! Anyways, I was sent on my way to the pediatrician's office which happened to be upstairs and you had to carry an infant in a carseat up an uncovered stairwell in 100 degree weather (not sure why they don't use the numerous empty offices on the same floor as the reception). Once upstairs, you again have to figure where to put the mountains of paperwork you are given downstairs before waiting in a closed off waiting room (almost feel as though you have made a visit to a jail). The nurse then unlocks the doors and calls you in, and that is the last time she acknowledges your child is a person. No smile, just business. I did not earn alot of marks for using disinfectant wipes to clean the exam table and tape measure which were coated with dirt. The nurse rolled her eyes and said she did not know why I was cleaning it since she always cleaned it after every patient. However, the amount of filth on the wipes after the cleaning clearly told both of us, they had not seen any cleaning in years! Nice for the next patient because the nurse huffily wiped off everything after examing my daughter :)! The pediatrician was really nice and took his time to answer questions. That was the main redeeming factor of the visit. Of course I had to ask about such things as weight and height apparently since they do not share such info with parents! The wisdom of the powers that be at the public health clinic then make you go back to the waitingroom to wait for the nurse who will give your child their shots. Off again to the waitingroom, before being shephered into another room by a different nurse who would not even crack a smile to my supper smiley girl. Instead she jabbed her twice, turned around and started surfing the web! Everyone seemed apathetic (except the pediatrician) and really why should they care? They work for the public health dept and it would take an act of congress to get them fired for poor customer service. Is this where we are headed? The whole time I was thinking that this is what we can anticipate in a few years if Obama's healthcare "reform" passes.
To say I am scared of what our health care will be is understatement. In between raising a supper active 5 year old, 17 month old twins who recently begun walking and are currently exploring everything and oh yeah, raising an infant, I will make time to read the 1,000 page bill that most of our lawmakers will not read and which the supporters argue must be passed now! Hopefully, I will find things in there that will allay my fears. But in the meanwhile, I will remember to be grateful for my current private health insurance coverage and remember to thank my providers for the excellent care they provide my oldest, husband and myself - they really practice patient centered care.