The $300+ Mole

It’s no secret I’ve had a brush with the most common form of skin cancer. The sucker’s gone now, but I’ve got to be diligent about getting checked out every 6 months and keeping an eye on anything that looks unusual.

That said, when a new little mole brought itself to my attention last week, I made an appointment to go see my doctor. Now, even though he doesn’t accept my current health insurance plan, I know he’s one of DC’s best and I’m not about to go shopping around for someone new. I figure I will just pay up front, submit my bills, and see what comes back.

Today’s adventure ran me $300. To remove a mole and ship it off to the lab. Chances are it’s benign – no one’s worried – but I am fully aware that having the sucker analyzed is going to run me even more out-of-pocket cash.

How much? I even hesitate to guess.

But this all got me thinking. John McCain’s health care plan is based around the concept that people would be less inclined to spend so much money on health care if they knew how much health care cost. (stop laughing) McCain thinks I would actually look at the mole, think it could be cancer, go to the doctor, find out how much it would cost to take it off, and opt out? I would make the decision in that moment $300 was better spent elsewhere? Or better yet, that I would choose not to go get myself checked out in the first place because taking the risk is more fiscally responsible than protecting myself and my health?

This comes from Mister Melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer, btw) who just hops off to his dermatologist “frequently” and never sees a bill because the government takes care of his coverage.

My boss wrote a post today called “Ten Things You Should Know about John McCain’s Health Care Plan.” If you’re still confused about what McCain’s proposing, it’s worth reading. Here’s the executive summary:


  1. John McCain will tax your health care benefits at work
  2. And give you a tax credit for five months of health care. After 5 months,you are on your own.
  3. You may be one of 20 million people who will lose your health benefits
  4. And be forced to buy health insurance on your own
  5. You won’t be covered for pre-existing conditions and may not be able to get coverage at all.
  6. But you will pay higher premiums as you get older or sicker or if you’re a woman.
  7. You may have deductibles as high as $11,200 a year
  8. With barebones benefits and no consumer protections.
  9. McCain protects health insurance profits by passing the cost on to taxpayers and the sick
  10. Of course, John McCain won’t have to worry about any of this for his health care. He gets his health insurance through the federal government.

2 thoughts on “The $300+ Mole”

  1. A few months ago I was listening to some talk show in DC about health care/costs. One caller came on and described how he had opted out of typical insurance and taken his money in a HSA – he had to purchase all of his health care himself and pay from his spending account. He described spending nearly 60-75% of his day hours tracking down pricing (when he could get it) and comparing costs when he needed surgery. The stress caused additional health problems (heart palpitations, etc). It was nightmarish. Welcome to your future. Can you see yourself trying to talk to a Dr’s office and they are taking calls and pricing their services over the phone? Calling 20 labs and pricing a path report? (Oh yes, better brush up on your ICD9/ICD9CM codes). Carting a file cabinet of medical reports around, since no one will be communicating with anyone else except you.

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