“Sicko” — Did Michael Moore Get It Right?
The Next Morning
Joyce joined us in the dining room at breakfast. It had taken a while for the various pills to kick in, but she got a good night’s sleep and was fine. Whereupon she told us the harrowing tale of the same problem on a trip to Omaha the previous spring.
Feeling the symptoms coming on while changing planes at Detroit’s Metro Airport, she used her cell phone to call her colleague who was already in Omaha to alert him that she would need to get to a hospital right away, as soon as she landed.
He was at the airport to meet her in a rental car and had programmed the GPS system to get them straight to the hospital. Joyce was in pain and discomfort. As in any big city, the emergency room was crowded. Joyce gave her insurance card to the receptionist and was seen by a triage nurse, who gave her a plastic cup. She went into the women’s rest room and, with difficulty, produced the urine sample.
Then in severe pain and discomfort, she sat with her colleague in the waiting room.
Four hours later she got in to see a doctor, who noted the test results, prescribed Cipro—a painkiller—and sulfonamides. She was with the doctor for less than three minutes.
Back at the reception desk, she got her health insurance card back, signed several forms and spent five minutes getting directions to the all-night Wal-Mart pharmacy where she could get her prescription filled.
Later, she was billed $80 by an emergency physicians group in Omaha and still later received a bill for about $150 from the hospital.
German vs. American Health Care
Okay, the hospital in Füssen on a Sunday night was deserted, so Joyce did not have to wait. The scene in Omaha was very different—an early weekday evening in the crowded waiting room of a big city hospital.