Friday, June 29, 2012

And Health Insurance For All

The country is torn.  The Supreme Court is about to rule on a decision that will completely change life in America as we know it.  On one side of the narrow steps stand those who stand with the President.  On the other, those who stand with the legislative types who believe that they work they do will make a difference.

Me, I am a stay at home mom in the DC area who tries to avoid all the nonsense downtown if only to keep my sanity.  The thing is that for years I was involved in the nonsense downtown.  I too thought I could make a difference, but years of layoffs and being told I was not quite what anyone was looking for only made my ego so thin that when the opportunity to be retired came along, I would have been one of the first to go gliding off the capital building if allowed.

With exception of the CNN glitch this morning, the rest of the day seems to have been a party at the Supreme Court and I wish I could have been part of it.  It is camp season after all, unfortunately.  For me, however, this one picture will become the iconic view of this decision.  

This is a photo from the stairs of the Supreme Court right when the correct decision came down and is in the article "How We Found Out" by David Weigel from Slate Magazine.  When Mr. Weigel asked this young later why she was so excited, she said "It passed.  It passed as a tax."  When asked if she was one of the women in washington if she worked on the proposal.  She laughed in reply.  She was still laughing a few minutes later when she gained enough breath to say "No.  I just have lupus."

Well, Hilary Mastfess, you are in good company. I never went to graduate school.  In part it was because I was concerned about health insurance,  In part there was nothing I as willing to be poor to learn and most of all - I was so concerned about not having health insurance that I jumped at the first gig I could that had health insurance and stayed there while it ran.  I floated from job with insurance to job with insurance.  Trust me - I was lucky - my floating involved the realms of the entertainment which is a job sphere not many would venture into.  Bur with fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, chronic fibrosis of the breast and uterus, Factor V leiden, asthma and a few more scary conditions we didn't need to discuss - the thing is that I cannot get kicked off health insurance.

I might be REALLY expensive, but they can't kick me off.

This is an amazing start and a good place to begin.  It is legal.  The courts have said so.  So, what can we come up with between now and November to make it better.  I vote Universal Health Care.  We are the ONLY Developed country in the world where someone has to think "Can I afford to go to the ER to take care of my brokem arm or do I have to pay rent this week even with insurance?  Or how about setting up a payment plan for delivering your baby as soon as you find out you're pregnant?  What country would you think that was?  If you guess the USof A you would have been correct.  If you didn't you might want to research a bit.  This is what I found on the Hospital around the corner from me"

"The portions of your hospital bill that you most likely will be required to pay include:
--Any charges in excess of insurance coverage maximums
--Insurance coverage deductibles or co-payments
--Post-delivery stay in the Six North Suites

A financial counselor from the Patient Accounts Department
may contact you regarding pre-payment of deductibles or copayents after reviewing the insurance information listed on your pre-admission form or pre-registration. Because the hospital stay following a delivery is brief, we also suggest that you check with your insurance carrier regarding certified length of stay and post-delivery benefits, such as home visits or homemaker assistance for you and your baby. If you have any questions about payment or insurance issues, please do not
hesitate to call a financial counselor at xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you
have any questions about your bill after discharge, you may call
the Business Department at xxx-xxx-xxxx."
Health care is one of the biggest, and most deceive issues of our time.  We as a country need to stop saying "Anyone can get health care if they just want to." then start walking to where there are clinics in horse barns with over 300-400 seen in a day.  This takes place not far away.  It isn't in a world you may think of first - Rwanda or Mali or even Mexico.  No, these days Mexico, Dubai and other countries in the world seem to be sending us aid without our asking and Remote Area Medical Clinics - volunteer clinics that bring doctors from all over the world to places that are so remote they don't receive medica care - have started sending doctors to the US.  

We, one of the richest countries in the world, do not take care of our own.  Not that we cannot.  We. Don't.

Do not get me wrong - there are many men and women here who  behave in a moral and spiritual maner.  To me they are true menches - good men and women.  But then there are those who say that to be a strong country we must do for ourselves, pull up from our own bootstraps as it were.  Yet, where would Mr. Carnegie be without all the men and women in his life who helped him?  Or were would we be without all the endowments, all the gifts of art  and literature that he left for future generations?  

Jon Donne would have wanted us to remind us of his poem at this time:

No man is an island

No man is an island
Entire of itself.
Each piece of the continent, 
A part of the main
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of those own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
for I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John Donne
Why this poem?  Because we are on this island together.  Everyone getting some form of health coverage will help us all in long run - but there is still work to do  Now we know we get to do it.

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