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This should not happen

I rarely post this sort of thing, because -- as you've probably figured out -- quite frankly I hate politics, and more specifically I hate discussing politics. But hardworking people in this country choose every day between necessary health care and financial solvency.

The almighty free market has not fixed that and never will.

Somebody has to. Maybe someday they'll even manage it without getting nibbled to death by partisan ducks.

Daily Kos: "Self-employed, uninsured and dead from a heart attack at 54"



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
That's so sad :( I'm incredibly amazingly lucky to have excellent insurance and also to be solvent enough that today's $100 visit to urgent care didn't break my budget.

Times like this, I find myself thinking about all the people who aren't so lucky.

(I got married for health insurance purposes, you know. Avi and I were engaged, but the wedding wasn't until May, and I had no insurance. So we "eloped" to Las Vegas in January.)
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
It makes... I'm not sure I can adequately describe how it makes me feel that we have to consider ourselves "lucky" to have insurance of any kind, let alone excellent.

On balance, though, I'll take that over the arrogance or ignorance to believe that these things don't happen, or worse, that the people they happen to don't matter.
Feb. 5th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
I got married for the health insurance too. (It's what pushed us to legalize it; I was paying $350+/mo just in premiums, and another $50+ in Rx & Dr. copays; she got a job that offered paid insuance.)

And I'm damned lucky enough to live in a state where a same-sex couple can get legally partnered, and where any health insurance company that operates in the state is legally required to treat us the same as any other married couple.

I don't appreciate how lucky I am sometimes.
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
Jane Yolen. The blogger quoted Jane Yolen as a personal friend of the deceased. I've been reading Jane Yolen since I was eight.

The ways things come home. Again.

I've been reading about medical history, lately, most specifically late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century medical history, when "medicine" as we know it now first really began to be possible, with the emergence of germ theory at last, at long, long last, learning to wash your hands before any other advance could come... not to mention creating theories to fit evidence rather than ignoring evidence that didn't fit theories... It strikes me that -- aside from the WWII origins of the employer-purchased insurance system in the US, and the first defeat of potential universal health care under Eisenhower -- the reason we have a system that fits nothing is because, historically, there was nothing to fit. What exists today to be parceled out simply did not exist in the days you paid the doctor with a chicken and some eggs, and he gave you some alcohol and sugar in a fancy bottle with every show of confidence, and just didn't tell you he had no idea whether or how it could help you... Other countries have created new systems to distribute the new services/products. We have maintained a distribution system that predates those products, just as if we were still moving goods on ships around the tip of South America, ignoring the invitation of the Panama Canal...
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
A very apt and insightful metaphor indeed. Though of course traversing the Panama Canal resulted in a greater profit margin, and thus quickly overcame any fear of the new and unknown.

There is, of course, no similarly concrete and short-term motivation for shedding the irrational terror of "socialized medicine." I wish I know what would.
Feb. 6th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
Count me as one of the uninsured who would dearly love affordable health care and who's afraid to go to the hospital for anything short of a severed limb.

I can't even follow all the arguments on BOTH sides about whether "Obamacare" is a good thing or a bad one. All I know is that I wish I lived in a place where I didn't have to choose between going to a hospital and eating. Or paying rent. I can absolutely see something like that happening to me and I wonder how many others have also died because they can't afford to see a doctor.

Welcome to America.
Feb. 7th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
Health insurance is why I went back to school -- I could have a job that was going downhill, with no prospect of full-time work, and pay enough for insurance for me and the children that I'd be bringing in about $50 a month after paying for it, or I could switch gears and train for something completely new.

At clinicals this past Wednesday, when two of the nurses on my floor told me that in my hometown, RNs get benefits at 20 hours a week and up, I almost burst into tears of relief.

My COBRA expires at the end of this July. The children and I will get by on either insurance from school or the National Student Nurses Association -- and I need to start researching these, because I'm willing to bet that the coverage will be lousy compared to what we've had. But I'm relieved that I even have the option. And by May 2012, I'll have graduated and be ready to start working again.

I don't think we should do it exactly like other countries do. But OMG, some days it just seems like the TPTB here in America are just telling so many people to just roll over and die. Because that would be best for the Glorious Bottom Line.
Feb. 7th, 2011 11:51 am (UTC)
I've never understood the belief that the "free market" necessarily produces the best outcomes.

Or why a government-sponsored health system is such a terrible idea to these people.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
Before she retired, my mom was the head nurse for a major regional hospital. They had a part-time janitor who died IN THE HOSPITAL. He was having chest pains but didn't want to see a doctor in case it was just heartburn because he didn't want to run up a big medical bill that he couldn't pay. He had no insurance and he died. IN THE HOSPITAL.

I went eight years with no health insurance and I'm lucky that I didn't have anything go wrong. Of course I also refused to have various problems checked out (which thankfully weren't serious, but I'm just lucky they weren't). Not only was I afraid of a big bill but also afraid of someone finding a chronic problem (asthma, diabetes, etc) that would be ridered once I did get insurance.

This is no way for people in the post-industrial age to live.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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