Business and Politics Don’t Mix

Idiotic doctor loses a patient.

In defense of the Walmart Vision Center

Before you start beating on me about using Walmart for eye care, let me explain why I trust them.

In February 2012, when the stress levels due to marital frustration reached an all-time high, I experienced some “flashers” in one of my eyes. It scared me — mostly because it could indicate a detached retina — and I immediately sought an appointment with an eye care professional.

Wickenburg didn’t have a full-time optometrist and the quickest, closest exam I could get was at the Deer Valley Phoenix Walmart. I went, got an exam, got some feedback about my eyes, and was told I was okay.

I was so worried and so mistrusting of Walmart-quality care that I sought a second opinion. A week later — the soonest appointment I could get — I went to an eye surgeon near our Phoenix condo. He gave me the exact same exam and even pointed out the exact same weird issues with my left eye. The difference: his exam cost twice as much.

Oh, and Walmart will give me a contact lens prescription so I can get it filled online, saving hundreds of dollars.

On Wednesday, I went to the Walmart vision Center in Wenatchee for an eye exam.

While the receptionist checked my insurance to see if I was covered, the doctor got started with his exam. He was an older guy who was very gruff. Although he might have just got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, I suspect he’s always that way. A cranky old man.

He got crankier when the receptionist came in with the insurance results. For some reason, they led me to believe at first that it wasn’t covered.

I said something like, “Well, I didn’t expect to be covered. I’ve never had eye exams covered.”

“You can thank your president for that,” the old doctor snapped.

I wasn’t going to let that go. I’m fed up with people bashing the president’s attempts to get all Americans affordable health care. Yeah, the rollout was a mess and the website sucked. (Although I had no problems with it here in Washington state; got insurance in less than an hour on my first try in November.) And I honestly don’t think the president purposely lied when he said we could keep existing coverage — I just think he spoke without knowing the facts. I’ll agree that was pretty dumb. But seriously: we needed something and no one else seemed interested in doing anything. This is better than nothing for the vast majority of people, whether they want to admit it or not.

“Actually, I’m very happy with my coverage,” I told him. “I just came from my FAA medical. For the first time ever, it was covered 100% as preventative care. I didn’t even have to pay toward the deducible.”

“Most people aren’t happy,” he said. His tone suggested that I was stupid for not following his herd. “Most people don’t like it at all.”

Most people?” I replied. “I don’t know about that. I know lots of people who are happy. I’m thrilled. My coverage is better than ever. And I know what it’s like to be uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.”

I was referring, of course, to the time my idiot wasband had made a late payment on the health insurance policy that covered both of us. It was COBRA because he was out of work (again) and he was paying with funds from our joint checking account. The payment was five days late and they cancelled us. Then they wouldn’t reinstate me because they said I had a heart condition — which I didn’t have — because a doctor had done heart tests the year before. I was without health insurance for about six months until I could get the issue resolved and it was the scariest six months of my life. A major illness could have bankrupted me at any time.

And that’s one of the thing that the Affordable Care Act will prevent: Bankruptcies caused by bad health. It’ll also keep Americans healthy by covering preventative care like routine physicals and tests.

He didn’t say anything more after that. Maybe he realized that I couldn’t be bullied. Maybe he thought that if he just shut up I’d forget what a jerk he is.

But I won’t forget. And I won’t be going back to him for my next eye exam.

And oh, by the way, I was covered. I don’t think he liked admitting that to me.

My advice: if you’re in business, keep your controversial political views to yourself.

8 thoughts on “Business and Politics Don’t Mix

  1. Most of the people that don’t like it get most of their information from either FOX NEWS which constantly slams the president or from a sourpuss that’s angry that their party isn’t in power and really has no idea about insurance coverage. To the rest of us that know exactly how abusive insurance companies can be and have seen cases where sick children have been dropped and denied coverage at a most vulnerable time in their little lives, we wonder how anyone can’t be grateful for the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. I can only hope that they open their eyes someday and see how valuable and life saving ObamaCare is to so many. I have unfriended some on facebook that should know better. When I look further into their timeline before giving them the boot, I often see traces of racism. I’m thankful for the ACA and for a president that was willing to risk so much of his reputation on helping others. A lesser person could not have pulled this off in the face of such opposition.

    • I have to agree with you 100% on this. It’s amazing that he was able to push this through. I do want to say, however, that we would have been far better off with the plan he originally proposed and a single-payer system. He “compromised” and we lost — and he’s still getting slammed by the people who forced the compromise.

      Some of the people in this country have really screwed up priorities.

    • I’m hoping that our experience makes him think twice before voicing his political opinions like that again. But I doubt it will. The people who hate Obama and the ACA are driven to sabotage the program any way they can. The tired old “no one likes Obamacare” argument is effective on enough weak-minded, uninformed people that they’ll continue to use it until they see for themselves how wrong it is. And with blinders on and minds closed, that’s extremely unlikely.

  2. I agree with you Maria. Thank you for your sharing your thoughts, always, so clearly and completely. My comment from day one has been, “It’s not fair that us old people have such great coverage under Medicare and our future generations have either no coverage or only catastrophic coverage”. Good for you!

    • I’m just so sick of conservatives trying to con people into thinking that affordable health care is a bad thing. It’s not. People can be more productive and happier if they’re in good health and don’t have to worry about the cost of wellcare. It’s better for our country if concerns about healthcare costs are minimized.

  3. Welcome to Central Washington Maria. Before moving here I saw “Blue State” on the map. I didn’t get the memo that it was the West side that made it “Blue”. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t overhear someone bashing the President and / or his programs. Thanks for pushing back.

    • The ones bashing the president unjustly, comparing him to people like Hitler, reek of bigotry. What else could explain unfounded and idiotic opinions like that? I just wish people would get the facts and THINK before spouting off nonsense — instead of echoing what they heard the night before on FoxNews. Don’t they see that they’re being played by the conservative media for ratings and profit? Don’t they understand that every time they parrot someone like Rush Limbaugh they’re just putting more money in his pocket? Whatever. I’m sick of the Us vs. Them mentality in this country. What’s wrong with everyone having affordable health care? Really?

What do you think?