Emergency room con

Before I forget, Donald “Tiny Hands” der Drumpf is a self-serving blowhard maggoty half-man and every word that he vomits out of his little girly pie-hole is a lie: a deliberate, democracy-destroying horse-shitting puke-encrusted lie.

“It’s not easy being stupid…”

Today’s headline is a quote from page 89 of Michael Nesmith’s new book-long “autobiographical riff” about his life (so far) on Earth. I love the title, and as a life-long Mike/George fan in the Monkees/Beatles vortex I was vastly interested in finding out what one does in life after becoming very famous, for three years, in your twenties. In Mr. Nesmith’s case, fame and money allow you to unfetter your thinking from the usual day-to-day preoccupations of the un-famous and the un-rich (paying bills, keeping the boss happy, wondering if your life has any meaning), which leaves you frees to spend the rest of your life thinking up stuff to do that keeps you living about 7 years in advance of the culture. He’s a very clever guy.

You remember him then:

This is him now:

On page 89 Mr. Nesmith, in his characteristically elliptical way with words, takes himself to task for letting his fame and money give him a huge ego and overblown sense of entitlement (see: stupidity) by writing: “It’s not easy being stupid“, which is his way of explaining how the consequences of his pathological celebrity behavior made his and others’ life unnecessarily complicated, anxious, emotionally draining, spiritually unstable, and unhappy. That is to say, fame and money don’t make life easy: it makes life hard.

On the other hand, it seems to me that there are plenty of people who find it  easy to be stupid. Just take the plaintiffs and defendants on any average episode of Judge Judy. They are all un-famous and un-rich and they all seem to revel in their stupidity.

The uninsured driver who is indignant that she has to pay for the damage she caused when she T-boned an unsuspecting Honda because she didn’t hit that Honda on purpose. The unmarried mother-of-three with one-on-the-way who claims she shouldn’t have to pay back a personal loan from her best friend because she’s a single mom. The owner of an unleashed  German Shepherd who says her dog only bit the plaintiff because the plaintiff annoyed the dog by walking neat it. The plaintiff who is suing for harassment because the woman to whom she owes $1,200 keeps calling her to ask where’s the money she’s owed.

For these people, it’s really easy being stupid because they live their lives believing that I should not be held accountable when my actions have consequences that I don’t like.

(I thank the great Neil deGrasse Tyson for that pithy summation of human nature.)

Speaking of which, last February my own actions had a consequence I did not like, not one little bit, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to be held accountable.

Last February was when I tried to rescue a blind raccoon from my backyard, only to have the little bugger turn around and bite me on my right hand.

The actual raccoon. I thought he was stuck on that fence and I tried to lift him off of it. Stupid idea.

With shaking and bloodied fingers I ran to my computer and looked up “Rabies, vaccination for” on the internet and was directed to the emergency room at a Catholic hospital about a mile away. Off I went.

I also did research on the cost of rabies vaccines for humans.  Like all other aspects of health care in America there is a wide range of prices nationwide, from a low of $167 to a high of $957.

However, in the New York/New Jersey/ Connecticut neighborhood where I live, the prices range from $317 to $365 for the vaccine. To this base price one must add the administrative cost of having someone fill in my three-page emergency room patient paperwork, weigh me and take my blood pressure,  have a doctor come inspect the bite mark before prescribing the approx. $350 rabies vaccine administered by a nurse, and of course I must be charged for the band aid I got from another different nurse (my FOUR HOUR wait time, by the way, was FREE). I refused x-rays because I’d already been there for two hours and could tell that waiting for x-rays would take all damn day.

Now, I have private health insurance. I never had Obamacare and the current debate about Drumpfcare does not affect me personally. And I still get shitty health care, at least as far as the rest of this story goes.

OK, about this incident with the raccoon, I felt bad that my lifestyle choice (of trying to free wild raccoons from my backyard) had resulted in my becoming a burden to the policy holders of my insurance company, because I believe that unhealthy lifestyle choices are the kind of pre-existing condition that should be exempt from coverage: You smoke, you pay for your own emphysema. But I rationalized that this piddling rabies vaccine cost was a one-time expense in my lifetime. I am NEVER going to try to rescue any more raccoons, ever.

I recently received my co-pay bill for this treatment — my out of pocket fees are $200. So, try to guess what my insurance company was billed for the rest of this little emergency room adventure.

Go ahead. GUESS how much this hospital charged my insurance company for this dose of $350 medicine plus paperwork cost.  The correct guess is:

$21,629.00

When I heard that the hospital charged my insurance company $21,629.00, my heart literally skipped a beat. My next call was to my insurance company, to warn them that they were getting conned by St. Francis Hospital, who had obviously charged them for some kind of pricey hand replacement surgery plus diamond-studded manicure that I never received.

Thankfully, I was assured that the insurance company did NOT pay that outrageous bill in full. As is (apparently) common practice, my insurance company negotiated that figure down to a much more reasonable figure:

$7,062.97.

This is a raccoon-flavored example of what is the problem with health care in America.

I called St. Francis back and spoke to Dolores (probably to er real name) in their billing department (which is in Billings, Montana — approx. 2,000 miles from the emergency room here on Long Island) and asked for their itemized $21,629.00 invoice. I want to see how a simple $350 rabies vaccine ends up costing tens of thousands of dollars.

As they say, that bill is in the mail. I expect to be outraged. But somebody will be held accountable.

Still fuming, I donned my Michael Kors swimsuit and tore out of the house, for I have recently discovered the way to achieve inner peace. As a way to escape the stupidity of the world I just love swimming laps, averaging 70 laps per hour in a 25-meter pool. I can’t wait for Pool Day, twice a week; it’s the quietest and calmest hour of my life. Also, that swimsuit cost $100 for just the top (when did swimsuits get so expensive???) so I’m swimming until I amortize it to $1 per kilometer.

The other three days a week I traipse upon a treadmill; average 4.3 MPH at 3.5% incline for 65 minutes.  But if there’s anyone on the treadmill next to me, I have to outlast them because I am usually quite annoyed with the world (see: der Drumpf). In my mind, I am the righteous  Robin Wright, Amazon General Antiope in Wonder Woman (GO SEE THIS MOVIE), sleek and dangerous and fierce as all get-out.In reality (according to my new physical trainer) I have to tone up my puny 20.02% BMI so I need to incorporate upper body resistance work into my routine. I hate lifting stuff but I do want der Drumpf-face-punching arms like General Antiope.

Thank you, each and every Dear Reader who sent me your Comments re: that anonymous der Drumpf-er two weeks ago; and for last week, when I was too sick of myself to show up for duty. Your Comments mean that keeping this space is worth it, and that what we share here is real and meaningful.  Thank you.

And since several of you Wonderful Yous have asked about the new book I seemed to have written, all I can say for now is that it was a small book I did just for myself and sent to my agent never thinking that she would never find it worth putting out in the world. It’s  a pure indulgence on my part, something I thought was definitely not at all commercial . . . but my agent read it and was so enthusiastic that I was at first thinking she was kidding. She called it “magical”.  I have a contract with Bloomsbury which means that they get first look at it, so it is currently being sussed by my editor there and as soon as I have any news I will Tell All.

One of our most loyal Commenters, Kirra, is arriving upon these shores from yon Down Under this coming week and lo, there will be face time and meanderings and perhaps a cup of tea or two to report on when we next gather.

And don’t forget to wish Canada a Happy 150th birthday on July 1 — we love you Canada!! You’re the world’s best neighbor!

Have a great weekend. And, oh yeah, der Drumpf is a pig-eyed asshole.

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