Insurance Fun: TV Series “New Girl”

English: Zooey Deschanel performing as part of...
Zooey Deschanel performing in Nashville, TN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been watching New Girl with Zooey Deschanel for a few weeks now. Much to my surprise, there is a funny episode about health insurance!

Who’s That Girl?

In the episode, Nick (Jake Johnson), one of Jess’ three male roommates, gets injured during a casual football match with his roommates in a Los Angeles park. Nick is a part-time bartender and law school drop-out, so (like 45 million other Americans) he does not have health insurance.

Worried about the cost, he tells his roommates he does not want to see a doctor. However, he is clearly in too much pain to even stand up properly, so he is forced to admit he needs to see a doctor. Jess comes up with a brilliant idea. A friend of hers is a doctor, and she is sure Nick can see her friend for free. Nick begrudgingly agrees.

Jess takes Nick to her doctor friend, who turns out to be a gynecologist. The waiting room scene, where Nick realizes that everyone else in the room is female (and the women have some snide comments for him), is very funny. Even more funny is the ensuing argument between innocent and caring Jess and cynical, grouchy Nick as he sits in the special gynecological chair (you know, the one with the stirrups) surrounded by posters of the female anatomy…  Nick is mortified and wants to leave. Jess convinces him to stay.

The doctor turns out to be quite helpful, providing good advice and even discovering that Nick has a strange growth that might be cancerous…

You have to watch New Girl to find out what happens!

Unfortunately, Americans are Accustomed to These Stories

What is telling about this New Girl episode is that Americans are so accustomed and desensitized to stories like this that they have taken to making jokes about it. In actuality, this is no joking matter. If Nick and Jess were real people, Nick would either not get treatment for his injury (making it worse) or, he would get treatment and then need to work for a year at his part-time job just to pay off the cost of the visit and the x-rays, etc. His budget and his life would be under a great deal of extra stress.

I don’t even want to think about what would happen if Nick never visited a doctor who was able to discover his potentially cancerous growth. The harsh and unfunny reality is that every day, hard-working people like Nick get very sick and even die, due to the sorry state of the American health insurance system.

The State of Obamacare

I understand why many people are upset about the provisions of Obamacare, and only time will reveal how much it helps us (or, hurts us). However, I am very glad that someone has done something to address the terrible state of our current system. People across the United States are unnecessarily ill and dying, and in a country this wealthy and technologically advanced, that is not okay.

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