Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Health and finances

I just got my first bill of the year since chemo ended, and lemme tellya, it's unkind. I know I am extremely lucky to have any insurance these days (No thanks, Republicans!), so I won't carp too much, but let's just say I won't have any problem reaching my annual $2K maximum outlay for the next 5 years. The cost of my ongoing scans and doctor visits will use up that amount easily. I mentioned this to a co-worker yesterday, and he said, in effect, "Welcome to the world of the disabled! Not only do we have physical impediments to overcome, but financial ones as well. It simply costs more to live hurt or sick." Being the self-centered cretin I am, I had never even given a thought to that aspect of things, and I want to apologize to any I may have offended over the years for my ignorance. Again, I'm lucky--under my current PPO's plan, the most I'll ever pay out in any given year is going to be about $2500--I can only dread what someone with a higher maximum or those without insurance at all go through.
This also has another effect on those of us with insurance, especially when faced with ongoing illnesses or "conditions" (I'm at a loss, clearly, at what language to use in these matters; I hope that I'm not offending!)--we are most likely highly unlikely to be able to change occupations or jobs as easily as others might be, for fear of having to change/lose our insurance. Again, I am not making light of my good fortune in even having insurance, but I am simply one budget cut away from losing not only my job, but my healthcare, and that is truly scary.
Sometimes I read in some of the blogs I monitor, and hear of those in others, people commenting on how unfettered capitalism--or even more severely, the destruction of our present oil-based economy in total-- is the solution to all our problems. Gee, if only everybody quit using cars, we'd be free. Those arguing against this hyper-green/libertarian viewpoint rationally state that not everybody lives close enough to their work, can afford to move, etc. The hardcore greens show no mercy, stating that anyone not living close enough to bike or walk to work should have thought of that before taking that job, or moving to that house. The insane viciousness of that point-of-view, as obviously cutthroat as any espoused by crazy right-wingers hell-bent on reconfiguring our society backwards a few centuries, hits me in two ways: 1) It keeps me from moving any further left politically than I already am--if the far left is as loony as the far right, what's the point of that?; and 2) I feel even more personally the need for sanity from our governing bodies. Some sort of national health care is a necessity; if the federal government's responsibilities do not include the health of our citizenry--and they most certainly do; "promote the general welfare" clause, anyone? It's in the first sentence of our Constitution, you Republican freaks!--then what the heck are they? Anyone arguing against some sort of guaranteed health care is simply ignoring what our nation stands for, end of discussion.


Blogger scout said...

Have you checked out Senator Sheila Kuehl's universal health care plan for California?

It basically applies the money we already pay in public programs, insurance premiums, and copays toward a single consolidated statewide insurance program, with membership based on residency rather than employment. It seems pretty sound, cutting out a lot of waste in administrative costs, insurance company profits, etc., which are currently estimated to account for about 50 cents of every dollar spent on health care.

As much noise as has been made about Governor Romney's proposal for Massachusetts, I've heard some excitement about Kuehl's plan becoming a reality here and perhaps serving as the blueprint for the rest of the country.

Political types think universal health care is going to happen state by state before it goes nationwide, and the way the feds handle things, I think that's a good idea (but maybe I feel that way because my state appears to be first or second in line; I might not feel so great if I lived in Mississippi).

I've had some of my own medical expenses and frustration this past year, and knowing that I can't always count on continued employment or perfect health, it would be a huge relief to be able to count on guaranteed coverage and efficient, effective care.

Now, about prison spending…

5:54 PM  

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