California Road Trip Day 14 San Clemente

Drs. Marc Sapir and Mike Huntington

Most of the Mad As Hell Doctors took the day off today to sleep in late (8 am), do laundry, and hit the beach.  I traveled back to UCSD, where I observed Molly Tavella, the California PNHP Fellow present the case for Single Payer to medical students in the same room as I digested medical school lectures.  I was reminded of the first lecture on the first day of medical school, when Dr Averill Liebow waited patiently for the nervous chatter to yield to dead quiet.  The first words out of his mouth?  “Compassion without competence is crap!”  Ouch.

A few posts ago, we learned that Insurance carriers are being granted “waivers” so their plans won’t have to comply with either the spirit or the language of  P-PACA. In particular McDonalds is seeking to sustain their feeble annual limits. After some research by our astute butterfly-herding road manager, Philip Kaufman, we have ascertained that 30,000 employees of McDonalds have chosen to enroll in McCrew Care.  For $56/mo, some of them enjoy a $150 deductible and 30% co-pay up to an annual limit of $2,000.   For families who desire the McCrew Cadallac Plan, the cost is $320/mo, for the same deductable and copay but with a whopping annual limit of $5,000.  Wow! Evidently they are quite proud of this perk.  I quote from the McMontana website, “This is truly a unique benefit that only McDonald’s can offer.  We will pay $10 per month towards your premium, which equates to 18% of the premium for Basic – Employee only cost.”

These 30,000 people are included in the ranks of the “insured” along with many others who technically have insurance but “enjoy” profoundly inadequate coverage.  Were he still alive, Dr. Liebow might say, “Health Insurance with inadequate coverage is crap.”

–paul hochfeld