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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It Does Not Pay To Get Sick

All this talk of eliminating Obama care, stripping Medicare, etc... arrgh! What they really need to do is just cancel ALL the insurance and have a do - over. Obama care, expanding medicaid, etc.. had good intentions, to cover the working poor and those that can't afford it - having been poor and uninsured I completely get it. Nothing more fun than having a suspicious lump and no insurance. Or a baby that might have hip problems and you make too much for Medicaid - and too little to buy insurance. And yes, that WAS us, so many years ago and I fully remember the sleepless nights and the absolute terror at times.  I remember working in the ER and a resident showing a woman a scan of her pneumonia racked lungs, she was crying and sobbing because being admitted most likely meant having no home to go back to. She had worked until she could not stand or breath hoping against hope that it would somehow, magically disappear (spoiler alert - it never does)           

So we did get insurance when I became a nurse's aide and it was novel that when you got sick you just ....went. you did not wait to see what happened, you saw the doctor and so did your kids. I always regret that I was not able to get my older son braces because we were too poor - we could barely afford the dentist back then.. So, we had quite a few good years with insurance but the past couple of years? Not so much. David carries his own insurance and it's a Blue Cross policy - when he first got it years ago it had a co-pay of about $30 bucks - not bad. He recently went for a cortisone shot with a co-pay of 40 0r $50 - but now they've added something else. They calculate your deductible in and you have to pay "your portion" - his portion was to the tune of $220, plus the co-pay so the insurance actually paid about 50 dollars - maybe. This on a policy that runs over $500 a month for a man that never gets sick. My dental insurance just paid - and I kid you not - FIVE DOLLARS on a filling after my "adjusted" amount (I paid the other half of $45) 

My previous glaucoma appointment I paid about $300 "towards" the elusive deductible , I'm not sure how much more preventative care I can afford. The problem is I have to keep going to prevent being blind, I can't see that there's much choice in it. But we get hit all over- a friend told me she had her "free" mammogram - most insurances include a yearly well visit. The tech thought she saw something so they did a follow up sonogram- which made the mammogram a diagnostic test (as per our insurance) and it was instantly not covered to the tune of over 600 dollars. So now do I get one? If they find something do I just tell them to stop to see if I can afford it or not? Our insurance just gets suckier every year and I know it's not just me - it's everyone. Obama made a mess, Trump has turned it into a free for all and here I am, wondering whether I really want to schedule a well physical or not.  I'm not in bad shape, I could stand to lose about 20 (5) pounds or so but my blood pressure is great, my glaucoma is well under control, I have no cardiac, respiratory or diabetic issues. I take 4 pills a day, a vitamin, calcium because the doctor thought it was good idea, a B12 because  a motivational speaker said we should (this is true!!) and an 81 mg aspirin for my genetic clotting disorder. B 12 is also supposed to have very magical powers.I exercise, don't eat meat, very little dairy and sugar, no bread - and I'm still afraid of seeing the doctor. I think after Trump is out of office (or someone gets lucky and wings him, just enough to retire him back to TV) we just need to cancel all the policies and look to the countries that have health care models that work- for EVERYONE.

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