I recently got over my fear and had surgery. It provided so much relief and improved function I recommend spinal surgery for everyone whether you need it or not.
Since I am a card carrying Nancy Boy you may suspect my fear was of the knife. You would be wrong.
My fear was of slipping from the poverty level to the desperate poverty level where you boil an old shoe or resort to pica for dinner.
Less than decade ago I had the experience of getting a raise at work. I busted right through that ten dollar an hour New Mexico cap for middle management running a department.
I ran to the personnel department and said, “SIGN ME UP” FOR HEALTH CARE because I can finally afford it.
They explained that they would… eventually, but private insurance companies in America only open the “window” for health insurance changes and enrollment in November. No one knows why.
NO, that is not a government regulation.
The Libertarian among us might want to reexamine the part of their catechism that predicts absence of regulation leads to delivery of things customers want. Like health insurance companies that let you enroll in May…
Deer hunting season is longer in most states than the health insurance enrollment window….
My appendix scoffed at “open enrollment” season and decided to rupture. It was as close a death tango as one can dance. They saved my life. I was grateful. My dog was grateful. The bills totaled $54,000.00. I had no insurance.
I have Medicare now.
America’s right wing hates Medicare. They would like to see it extinguished. Ronald Reagan had this to say on the subject in 1963.
“[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”
In 1964, George H.W. Bush was among the first to call it “socialized medicine.”
President Lyndon Johnson still signed it into law in 1965.
I would like to thank Progressives, Liberals and Democrats for Medicare.
I would be in a wheelchair today if I had not had my recent surgery. I would not have been able to afford that surgery without Medicare.
Having read so many fright wing blogs and internet comments, I was apologetic and nervous as I told receptionist after receptionist I “only” had Medicare (on my path to getting my spine repaired). One receptionist looked at me and said… “No problem. EVERYONE TAKES MEDICARE”.
AND THEY DID, and they do, and no… Doctors are not clogging the airports emigrating to Brazil and medical facilities are not boarding up their windows and having going out of business fire sales to dodge the ACA. Not in my state.
I did the books on my medical bills for the recent surgery. My TOTAL surgery bill is around $18,000.00. My copay is around $2,500.00. The surgeon stuck a deal with me. He said If I could get up and walk to the bathroom after the surgery without help I could go home. I did. Had I been hospitalized overnight my copay would be double what it is… for one night of red jello and help to the restroom…
Could we do better? Most wealthy countries do. Am I grateful? You bet I am. I can walk. I’ll pay off my share in around 3 years if I can keep dodging the dentist and optometrist. Yes, they charge interest on the unpaid portion of my medical debt.
Medicare and Social security are not driving our American debt problems. Medicare recipients pay a monthly insurance premium unless they are at the poverty level or below. Social Security has a dedicated trust fund people pay into during their working lives. Both programs are simply insurance.
Both programs are solvent and will continue to be with a few minor tweaks now and again which is nothing new.
No, these programs are not the rabble voting themselves “cookies”. These programs have helped many millions and lifted seniors and the disabled out of desperation.
“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” – H. L. Mencken