Good Man, Health Care Doesn’t Work Like That in America

God of American Health Care, bless Good Man.

Friday he took his old latent TB/chest X-ray/waiver paperwork to Public Health to get his nine-month prescription.

They told him they couldn’t give him meds because his X-ray was more than three months old. Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had told him that earlier? Yeah, I know.

They told him he needed a new X-ray, that it would take two weeks to get his chest X-ray back, but that if he wanted to go to a private doctor, he could.

Good Man didn’t call me. (Not that it would’ve mattered; I was working and couldn’t’ve received the call anyhow.) He texted me, but I didn’t see it until lunch time.

Instead of getting the chest X-ray, he left.

I was so upset when I found out. He had this idea that we could just waltz into some doctor’s office and get a chest X-ray quickly. The only thing we’re waiting on to finish his application is this damn medical ridiculousness, so he wanted to get it done quickly. Which totally makes sense. Right now, he’s in a sort of visa-limbo. His student visa is valid, but he can’t leave. He can’t get an SSN. He can’t do a ton of things on it that he will (eventually) be able to do even when he’s in AOS limbo.

I explained to him that although we have great insurance, we can’t just waltz into an office or hospital and get a chest X-ray. I reminded him of how many doctors I had to call before finding one who could get him in on short notice when he really needed to go to the doctor last month.

I wasn’t upset at him. I was upset that how he thought American medicine should be isn’t how it is. I was, in short, frustrated with America. Again.

In the meanwhile, Good Man went and found something online that said that the waiver he already signed should be good enough to pass immigration’s requirements. But for whatever reason, his doctor isn’t signing off unless he agrees to go on the meds. (The doctor better sign off on the paper before the medicine is completed. If he doesn’t, we’re going to have to find a doctor who won’t make us wait nine months to turn in the paperwork.)

He also found a bunch of stuff about how hard the medicine is on the liver, how he can’t drink anything for nine months, how he can turn yellow, how he has to visit the doctor monthly, so on and so forth.

He was complaining about it all night.

Finally, I said, “It’s been three hours. How much longer are you going to complain about this? Because I can’t handle it. I’m sorry. I sure I complained like this in Korea, but I can’t handle it.” And kimchi bless the man for putting up with me, because by hour three I was going nuts. I said, “Let’s treat it now, in case something changes in the future, so it’s just done.”

Good Man went back to Public Health yesterday and got the damn chest X-ray. $46.

On the positive side, he got back all the blood tests and he’s free of every blood-borne disease they test for.

Operation Immigration: Cost
Total cost so far:
Fiancé & Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration: $27.56
Passport photos (got a few extras, because we know how red tape is): $38
Health Check: $150
TDAP and MMR: $48
Translation: ~30 minutes of fixing Kwanjangnim’s computer
Chest X-ray: $46
Total: $309.56