CRANKY ABOUT HEALTHCARE….T.J. Simers is an LA Times writer whose schtick is cranky sports columnist, but today he plays cranky healthcare critic:

TRUE STORY. I can barely walk, suffering a serious knee injury while on assignment in Las Vegas….I called my doctor (he was in Hawaii), got sent to urgent care, where they took their time, went for an X-ray because an MRI exam on our HMO plan is obviously too expensive, and was told to wait for the guy to get back from Hawaii.

He returned, telling me how much it rained while he was there, and referred me to a shoulder specialist…. I switched to a knee guy…and who knows if he’s any good?….I’ve been given no choice, and now I’ve been told I have to wait 20 days to see [him].

….”I’m just supposed to limp around in pain for the next 20 days?” I asked the appointment clerk, and she said, “Yes.”

….The guys in the office said they had similar problems with HMOs, and weren’t surprised with my Cigna plan, which is apparently designed to prolong pain in the hopes it might go away before someone forces Cigna to pay for a MRI or treatment.

See, that’s why we can’t have single-payer healthcare in the United States. It might lead to something like this:

The health system in France is regarded as delivering high quality services, with freedom of choice and generally no waiting lists for treatments. Access to medical services is equal among the population and, unlike in some other countries, people can get the treatments they need irrespective of their social status or work situation.

It costs less too. Can’t have that, can we?