Thursday, October 15, 2009

Healthcare in America

It is not my style to post political arguments on my blog. Today's post does contain a rare expression of a political view with which anyone should feel free to disagree as long as there are no personal attacks. I enjoy an intelligent debate. I do not enjoy unnecessary drama.

I have asthma and have lost my insurance coverage along with my job. COBRA would cost more than 800 dollars per month, which I cannot afford. My current medications cost 200 dollars per month if I do not have an attack. If I get sick, it can cost a whole lot more. I'm hoping I can change to something less expensive with fewer possible side effects (like death) since it is now under control. Before I schedule an appointment with a specialist, I want to make sure I don't qualify for assistance of some sort.

Today, I had an appointment with the social worker at the Community Clinic. She put my information into the system to see if I would qualify for Medicaid or the Montgomery County Hospital District. I have zero income, but I was responsible and saved for a rainy day. I thought I would be rejected until all of my savings was gone. They didn't even ask how much money I have in the bank.

The reason I did not qualify is because my car is too expensive. I do not drive a Cadillac or a Mercedes; I drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla. My car is a practical, reliable car; not a luxury model. She told me most of the people who qualify drive autos that are worth only 500 to 1000 dollars. In my experience, those older cars pollute the air, cost more than my yearly car payments in needed maintenance and repairs, and are not reliable. I could stop making payments, let them repossess my car (which would not help the economy recover), and buy a gas-guzzling clunker and then I would qualify.

It seems this clinic is going to accept me, though. I have to apply for Montgomery County Hospital District services, be rejected, and then they can help me. They serve the people who are not poor enough for Medicaid but do not have insurance.

I agree with Obama that no one in this country should ever be denied medical care because they can't afford it, but why do we have to throw everything out and start all over? Why are we fixing the parts that aren't broken? We have the best medical care in the world. Why not just change the stupid rules that make no sense? There are already places like this clinic that help people like me and would help more if they received more funds. Why not give them more money?

5 comments:

Tallshag said...

20 years ago I would have slapped myself into the next room for saying this, but...the only lasting fix for healthcare in America is socialized medicine.

I guess that healthcare has a right to exist in a capitalistic world, but there is just something wrong about human well-being and suffering being the stock-in-trade of a multi-billion dollar industry.

We already pay for socialized healthcare but we don't get much for our money and there are working people who can't afford or can't get coverage. That is just wrong.

Poppy said...

I don't know. First of all I am not from America and I am not from a socialistic country. I think American people make too big of a deal about that word. it's only a word.

I don't know if Sicko by Michael Moore has shown any truth but if it has, I am worried. We have a "socialistic" system here in Slovenia and I have to tell you I have NEVER paid for anything at the doctor's /in hospital, I have never been denied medical help. And I have been in hospital for several stupid reasons. It is true that there is a waiting line for non-urgent procedures (like my wisdom tooth surgery, I had to wait for a month after I applied, but if it hurt (which it doesn't) I would probably be accepted earlier.)

So.. I don't know. I don't know much about politics and stuff but I think that the change Obama is planning is not that bad as many people try to prove it is.

Good luck with your insurance and health! :)

Poppy

Jen said...

Tallshag: Do you not think there is any truth to the argument that the United States leads the world in medical advances such as new drugs because there is profit to be made? Even 20 years ago I would not have been able to buy my asthma inhalers at all. Given the choice between paying out-of-pocket and not having the meds, I would choose to pay the money.

Poppy: The two sides are painting each other as monsters as they always do. It is hard to wade through all of the exagerations and understand what is really in his plan. Something definitely needs to be done. Even families that have insurance can end up bankrupt if they have a serious condition such as cancer.

I have still have my wisdom teeth, by the way. My parents could not afford to have them removed and neither could I until I was too old to have the procedure without high risk of nerve damage. About once every ten years they give me horrible pain. I'm glad you're able to get yours taken care of.

Minka said...

"The two sides are painting each other as monsters as they always do."

You are so right about this! But, on the other hand, it's the US that usually paints the picture f the US that we can see here... your TV, film industry... so we tend to think there must be something to it, right?

I've never ever heard about anyone here exhausting what the health insurance covers. Like going broke or something.

I think it's all about profit. And to protect the profit of big insurance companies, they will keep tossing words like "socialist" around, making them sound horrible and even more horrible, hiding the real reasons why they're against better health insurance system. I, too, wish you good luck with this.

Jen said...

There is no doubt in my mind that the tobacco, oil, and pharmaceutical industries have more power than they should. They pay big money to lobbyists in Washington to influence Congress. It is too often all about profit.

I do think there are a lot of people that entered the medical research field to help people, though. I don't believe they are all evil.

I heard about one of the companies that have donated a drug to prevent river blindness in Africa. The same drug we give our dogs to prevent heartworms also controls the parasite that steals the vision from it's hosts.

http://www.cartercenter.org/health/river_blindness/treatment.html

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