Certain things in life should be kept separate. Cheese fries and cholesterol screenings. Fourth-graders and "Bachelor Pad" episodes. Coupons and medical procedures.
I started thinking about the latter recently when an offer for two one-hour acupuncture sessions graced my inbox. "Try a new tack for beating pain with today's deal:
I've been getting these "deal-of-the-day" offers since I began subscribing to Groupon, the crazy popular website whose motto apparently is, "You don't need this but hey, it's cheap!"
Since joining Groupon I've purchased a large pizza from a nearby restaurant (
The acupuncture offer did not come from Groupon, but rather from AmazonLocal, an offshoot of
Even my wife, the consummate queen of bargaining, seemed disturbed that a medical procedure would be marked down. Once on a cruise vacation, I watched her haggle with a 90-year-old Bahamian woman over the price of a straw hat. Out of sheer exhaustion the woman relented, parting with the hat for
But even she pays the asking price for prescriptions, doctor's visits and anything else that involves improved health. Sure, offering occasional blowout sales for surgeries, drugs and the like might curb this nation's health-care crisis but it would also lead to patients defiantly sitting in emergency rooms saying, "They told me it's going to cost
Lowering the price of anything medical also arouses suspicion that somebody is cutting corners. Fifteen years ago, I heard a radio spot featuring
Several months after the surgery I saw an ad (much more clearly, thank you) from a competing center touting Lasik for the LOW LOW PRICE OF
"Good question Mr. Schwem. We don't numb your eyes with medically-approved eye drops. Hot sauce works just as well!"
Get the point? That's why I just deleted the acupuncture deal. Even though my back is hurting as I hunch over my PC finishing this column, I'm not willing to cure it with somebody who is willing to knock 73 percent off his asking price. I'll find another way to control the pain.
Come to think of it, Sunday brunch always makes me feel better.
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