Saturday, February 23, 2013

politics and money - please feel free to skip this post if those things trigger you :)

I went to some sort of political meeting, with State senators and representatives (i.e., to the State, not in the Federal Government). I made it through about an hour before I started feeling a really emotional response coming. Of course, they were talking about the health care legislation stuff. Each had their opinion, and each held it strongly. I made it so far before I got frustrated. What about the poor people? I wondered.

But my response was just as emotional as everybody else's and not founded on thorough understanding, either. More founded on frustration.

Once, at the Library, I found this book set out: Health care for some : rights and rationing in the United States since 1930, by Beatrix Rebecca Hoffman. It had this remarkable insight; health care is not equally accessible right now. We worry about what new legislature might do, what choices it might take from patients' rights. How some people wont get the care that they should get if we have a socialized system. But we forget about the current condition of limited care.

For example, people who can't afford health insurance and don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Oh, yeah, I am talking about people like myself.

Has it ever truly limited me? I'm not sure. I avoid going to the doctor. I for sure put off the dentist and eye doctor visits. But if I really needed health care, would I get it? I was hospitalized once, and they did take care of me, and I will pay back the county for a long time after they paid my bill for me as a loan without interest.

My choice of psychiatrists is probably limited. Before I had insurance, I went to the cheap community place (that still cost some money). When I was put on my family's insurance since they raised the age children could be on their parents' insurance, I got to pick a psychiatrist. I still couldn't exactly afford him, but that is what credit cards are for, right? (Wrong, but that is a side point.) Then, when I lost my insurance because I "aged out," my psychiatrist graciously agreed to see me for a really reduced rate, which I now pay for with my credit card or with money from my pay check that I can use towards doctors bills while I pay my rent with student loans. So I get the care that I want. My counselor uses a sliding scale, too. And I did order medication from Canada when I couldn't afford it stateside.

So I get the health care I need, thanks to loans, sliding scales/charity, and my good old credit card. Works for the moment, but is a little unnerving.

But the alternative? What if I quit my medications, therapy, doctors appointments? My credit card and bank account might thank me (actually, the credit card company probably wouldn't, seeing as they would loose interest). And I can't tell the what-if future. I'll never know. Maybe I would be fine. Maybe I would plunge back into deep, dark depression. Maybe my depression would take even more of my ability to work and attend college away. Maybe eventually I could qualify for disability, or even live on the streets.

Yeah, public: it is a sad truth. I very well might need either health care or disability assistance (with health care). I guess my existence is costly right now.

But let's not get into that train of thinking; depression can really take advantage of it.

Let's consider the alternatives (that seem a little far fetched right now). Maybe I'll become a millionaire or a billionaire and help lots of people later in my life. Maybe that will even out to my being a financial asset to my community. Or maybe the monetary aspect really isn't that important.

Who knows. I'm glad I left the political get-together. It wasn't too good for my mental health. Informative (for a while, at least), but necessary to limit, like my exposure to the news. Predictions of gloom, doom, and "onerous" disaster are not what I need.

P.S., what is it with using the word "onerous" so often in your speeches, Politicians? How about getting your thesaurus out?

Oh, and thank you, politicians, for dealing with that stuff. I guess somebody has to, and I'm glad it isn't me.


  1. Abigail, I feel the same frustrations that you do. I, too, went without insurance for a long time as an adult (8 years) but earned too much to qualify for Medicaid. It definitely affected what health care I got. And I pulled out the credit card, too, for medical expenses. People are left out of health care in our current system.

    On another note, I believe that we can be assets to our community regardless of our financial status.

    1. Good point, Tina; we can "be assets to our community regardless of our financial status."

  2. I also had to deal with some of these issues when I was too old for my parent's insurance and the place I was working didn't offer insurance because I was only part time. I too pulled out the credit card and did a lot of "paying out of pocket" with money I didn't have for medication I needed.

    I don't know how we got to this point in our country with regards to health care. I really don't. I remember wondering why I couldn't just give a nice doctor a homemade cake or cookies in exchange for health care like people did in the olden days.

    1. Yeah, health care is really complicated now. Only, I hate cooking, too. :) I'd have to... babysit a health care providers kids?