Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Of pedicures and the government

Medicare pays podiatrists to cut the toenails of seniors.  The last time I looked, the government paid Dr X $65 to cut Mr Charm's toenails.  To reach Dr X, we needed an appointment, and upon arrival, we had to walk down a long hall, Mr Charm had to climb up in a chair, and wait.  And wait.

So I am bypassing the government.  I now take Mr Charm (and myself) to the Vietnamese nail salon.  No appointment.  We park in the handicapped parking spot, Mr Tran comes out with a chair and helps Mr Charm into it.  He helps him climb into the pedicure chair.  Then he washes his feet up to the knees, scrubs the bottoms of his feet and removes any rough skin, and gives his legs a nice, soothing massage.  He also cuts Mr Charm's fingernails.  For this we pay $35, plus tip.

Why doesn't the government pay Mr Tran or his staff to cut toenails?  Dr X could sub-contract the task. Mr Tran could be a paraprofessional, a parapodiatrist, if you like.


Anonymous said...

You don't want the government to pay Mr. Tran.
If they do, Mr. Tran will have to go for professional healthcare training, licensing and yearly fee - to the government. Then he will have to get an assistant, to keep up with all the paperwork; he'll be mandated to accept people with Medicare and such insurance, forced to charge $65 (to get his $35 from the government) and be too busy to wash someone's legs.

airforcewife said...

We had the same issue with childbirth.

My eldest cost my insurance over $12,000 to deliver at a hospital (induced, no c-section, no complications), not including pre-delivery doctor's appointments and tests. My second child was $2700 all-inclusive as a home birth.

Granted, people are willing to pay for painkillers. But THAT much more?

I love your example, btw. It's perfect.

miriam sawyer said...

Mr Tran beats Dr X all the way. No licensing for Mr Tran! Let him remain a capitalist entrepreneur.

I agree with Tat. Everything the government touches, it louses up. I blame it on Augustus, the Roman Emperor, who invented the bureaucracy.