Slowly I turn

“Good morning, this is Xyz at GimmeOurMoney, Inc.  We’re calling because you have an outstanding balance of $1200 for an EKG you had in November.”

“Yes, and as I explained in November, I could not and cannot now pay $1200.”

“Well, what do you make per month?”


“You don’t receive unemployment?”


“So you have no income coming in?”


“Do you qualify for Medicaid?”


“But you don’t make any money!”


“Have you tried to work something out with Los Arms Hospital?”

“Yes. I filled out paperwork to see if the bill could be decreased. It was $3000, now it’s $1200.  I stated that I couldn’t pay at the Billing Office in the hospital, and they stated that they’d send in paperwork to see if the amount could be forgiven. It wasn’t.”

“So you have no money coming in?”


“How long have you been out of work?”

“Total? Nine months.”

“And you have NO money coming in?”

(Am I THAT hard to understand?  Is this yet someone else that thinks I’m from Germany, of all places?) “No, I have no money coming in.”

“So, we will need the entire amount paid today…”

“Wait–I told you I don’t have any money coming in, and any check I send you WILL bounce, and no, I don’t have any credit cards.” (I just knew she was going to ask me to charge it.)

“Well, we will have to turn it over to a collection agency…”

Ah, yes, the “NIAGARA FALLS” of anyone who’s looking for work–just say “collections,” and you see any possible employment float away…


“So, you’re paying?”

“Yes, but I can’t pay the whole amount!”

“Well, we can split it up into payments of $224.14 a month…”

“Do I have any choice?!”

“I’m sorry–”

“Whatever.  Checks are fine.”

(Five minutes later…)

“Now, is there something else you need, or-:

(PHONE SLAMS–I was on a landline.)

Was that the best way to deal with the situation? Of course not, but after said hospital said that they’d “work with me,” it made me wish that I’d never listened to doctors’ advice.  Hell, it’s been seven years since the last EKG–all I’ve had is a few dizzy spells, moments of confusion, a couple of seizures, and an almost life-threatening reaction to a beta blocker!  Pfft! Until I find a job with insurance (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) I shall do what the rest of my non-Obamacare, states that refuse to expand Medicaid brethren and sisteren do…

Wait until it’s really bad, then clog up the emergency rooms.