Monday, May 18, 2009

I Need to Vent

So I hate the medical institution in this country. I'm not saying that national health care is necessarily the way to go, but AAARGH!!

With Brent's new job comes new insurance. This new insurance company will not pay for me to go to the birth center I've been planning on. I understand that they have their network and want their clients to receive service within the network, yadda yadda yadda. I'm good with all that.

However, I think that all alternatives should be considered when building a network. They tout one of the largest networks in America, so I will have my choice of the best physicians and hospitals in the nation. Well that's just fine and dandy if I need a physician or a hospital. However, I need neither. What I need is a midwife and a birth center.

So even though the birth I am planning on will only cost about $2000 total and the average unmedicated and complication-free hospital birth costs about $6000-$7000 (we're not even talking about the "what if" scenarios that are so much more likely to take place in a hospital anyway, which up the cost significantly), the insurance company isn't interested. Why save money when you have political relationships to maintain?

When is America going to learn that pregnancy and birth are natural and normal and healthy events, not illnesses that the woman needs rescuing from? If a pregnant woman is high-risk then OF COURSE she should go to a hospital to deliver her baby. But for the 80% of us who are perfectly fine and healthy, we should have more options.

I realize that most women think I'm crazy and wonder why on earth I would even consider birthing without an epidural. Well, I'm not here to convince you, though believe me, I have my reasons. I think that choosing a hospital birth and anesthesia is a perfectly valid option for many women. However, I also think women are nuts who don't bother to educate themselves about the potential risks of even the most common of obstetrical interventions. How can you claim to be giving informed consent if your doctor doesn't inform you of the risks as well as the benefits? Only when you know both sides of the story do you really have a choice.

In this country of wealth and education we should have better options. We should have true informed consent. We should have people who are empowered to take control of their own medical care. We should not have insurance companies and politicians deciding what is best for us or what care we should receive!

Of course we are all free to pursue our own care outside of the insurance world, but at a steep price. Ancient remedies that have been proven over centuries to be effective (acupuncture, herbal medicine, etc.) are not covered by most insurance policies. If traditional western medicine has failed a person, they are left alone to suffer or seek expensive alternative care that they usually cannot afford.

There is something wrong with this picture.

Rant over.


We are HamakerLove! said...

Maren I so feel for you. We pay $3200 for our midwife and some more for a doula. Our insurance will refund some of the midwife back, and somehow we get a tax credit for it, but it is still hard. I am sorry you have to go through this right now, with just a few weeks to go this is sooooo not what you need to be worried about! I am sure it will all work out for you in a way that is peaceful.

NV healthcare is really ridiculous too. The c-section rate is REALLY scary and they won't do a vbac no matter what. And like you were saying about epiderals, my friend has had two and now she has terrible spinal problems. It is good to read as much as you can, and pray about what you should do. I am so happy and proud of you that you take such great responsibility for your health!
It will all work out, don't forget the power of priesthood blessings.:) You are in my thoughts!

ps.If you do have to go to a hospital there is a great book called, HEY! WHO IS HAVING THIS BABY ANYWAY? You should get it from the library and read it.:) It is all about working with a hospital to have the birth you want. I thought it was really informative(even though I am having mine at home), and I am hopefully going to start teaching the class this January!

Jennifer and Nathan said...

Go, Maren, go! I love a good rant from you! I liked your OT post by the way; it was great!