Sunday, September 13, 2009

Utterly Un-PC

Here's my 2 cents on being a socialist if it means proper health care for Ev.Ry.One.: if Canada and England can do it, then the US can sure as heck suck it up and do a good job taking care of its own.

During my first marriage, one of my aunts-in-law was sick with cancer. Her HMO covered several different treatments, but living in rural Montana didn't provide the greatest opportunity for cutting-edge medical facilities. After trying surgery and chemo and I'm assuming everything else they could where she was being treated, her doctor referred her to a program at the University of Washington that had a fantastic chance of success.

Guess what.

My aunt's insurance denied her the opportunity. And she died.


My husband's brother suffers from an organ failure that makes him completely uninsurable unless he takes part in a group plan like the ones some of us are lucky enough to have through corporate employers. He recently landed a good job that would provide such insurance. However, after years of taking medications to ensure he continues to live through having only one kidney, and one that didn't originate in his own body, his bones have grown brittle and he recently broke his hand. The insurance he's going to be taking part in doesn't kick in until next January. Four more months is a long time to wait to have your broken bones looked at for someone who can't take pain killers for fear that it will destroy his donated kidney.


My husband's family has a rather reliable history of kidney issues: kidney stones go back at least three generations. My sweet hubby really hit the jackpot on this particular issue. He's had four kidney stones in six years, on both sides, and the one he tried to pass last year was two inches in circumference. Yes, you read that correctly, 2 INCHES. Last year, the contract for Nike's IT changed hands, and my husband along with 70% of the rest of his department, was laid off by the new company so they could hire newbies for half-sized salaries. In the meantime, we chose not to go with Cobra because we would have had to given up eating to pay the bill. He got a new job, with seemingly fantastic insurance with one small kicker: a 30-day wait period. I'll leave you to guess when the kidney stone happened.


All of these stories are a matter of record with insurance companies, so I'm not outing anyone. However, none of these stories would have had the chance to end as badly if socialized health insurance were in place to regulate outrageous fees and make sure everyone is cared for regardless of employment status, geographical location, or pre-existing condition. At this point, two of the people mentioned in my post are still alive. However, that is not a guarantee. (And if you think you're going to tell me that someone with kidney stones can't die from them, try losing both your kidneys because of stone obstructions and being denied a transplant because you're uninsurable.)

I would ask, no plead, with everyone who thinks socialized health care is a bad idea to get out of the way and let it happen. Do you want to be part of the selfish crowd that denies those in need the right to proper health care? Everyone deserves to live.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry to hear this.. I've lived in Canada all my life and I didn't realize how much the health care system screwed people over in the States. I hope you guys can eventually get standardized health care so everybody is able to get taken care of. It's ridiculous that there is all these resources and knowledge and you can only take advantage of them if you have the money.