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The Doctor Might See You Now

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2010-04-04


So theyíve passed the health care reform bill. And depending which side of the fence you are on, youíre either enraged or elated. As someone who has spent more time uninsured than insured, and as someone who has had to deal with the insurance company bureaucracy, Iím here to tell you it will probably be both a blessing and a curse.

Those of you who have had health insurance ever since you snagged your ďjust out of college jobĒ at age 22 and have risen to a slightly higher level since, may feel that people just need to go out and get a job in order to have insurance. As someone who has worked three jobs and was uninsured (and still works three jobs, but is now insured) it only happens if the place that offers you a job also offers insurance. Well, then, you ask, why not just buy your insurance? Thatís hard to do too, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. And if you are lucky enough to find someone willing to take your money, it comes at a steep price. The state of Indiana was the only place that would insure meÖfor $333 a month. Not surprisingly, I didnít have the money at the time. I still donít have the money, but my employer offers insurance. Which I gladly pay for.

So since I have insurance, Iím on a marathon quest to take care of the crap I should have taken care of years ago when I didnít have insurance. See, thatís what happens. You donít have insurance, things go wrong, you wait until you HAVE insurance, then you go hog wild. You take care of that uterine fibroid tumor the size of a cantaloupe thatís been growing for years. Yeah, itís not life-threatening (yet) but having people ask when your baby is due and youíre still a virgin gets to be tiring after a while.

No, the bill isnít going to be perfect. But what is? I find it odd that others think some people should be insured (the poor, the elderly, little kids, people on disability) but the folks who are working full time, or more than full time, are slaves to the daily grind and have to push on without coverage. I know someone who is just about killing herself providing social services to others while she has no coverage. A particularly grating insult was having to help a client on disability wearing a button saying, ďObama is a Socialist.Ē Listen, if you are on disability and getting some sort of health insurance, you are in NO position to criticize the government. With the workplace being what it is, consider yourself lucky that the government gives you a monthly check so you can basically do nothing. Thatís right, I said nothing. Iíve known people on disability, and a fair number of them actually are capable of working. If you are truly disabled due to an on-the-job accident, or combat, or a condition you were born with, okay. If youíve grown too fat to work, or donít have enough mental ability to know you shouldnít goof off at work, well, I kinda have a problem with that. Mental illness is real, and it can really do a number on you, but Iíve seen at least one person on disability surprise me with an ability to organize, make out a plan and do physical labor I thought wasnít possible. Is this person mentally unstable? Or just doesnít want to show up to work on a regular basis?

Despite my occasional depression and wanting a job where I get paid fabulous sums to state my opinion, I manage to show up to work (occasionally on time) and put up with crap that I honestly believe 99 percent of my friends could not (and would not) handle.
Thatís what I think about; the millions of Americans with a crappy job (or a couple of them; low-wage work is a way of life for a lot of people these days) toiling away under security cameras, staying busy every single second so as not to commit ďtime fraud.Ē These people donít have insurance, yet to me they are the most deserving of insurance. They are working and paying taxes so the lucky few can have their entitlements. Hereís a reminder: if you donít take care of the machine, it breaks down. So what happens if the working people, the people who are busting their butts so you can enlarge yours while watching Jerry Springer and Tyra, get sick and canít work? The cash stops flowing.

Or, we could take the Libertarian approach and cut benefits across the board. No one gets insured. No one. No disability, no Medicaid, no Medicare. It actually might save us some money. The sick end up dying. Survival of the fittest.

It wonít happen though. For all our supposed hatred of socialism, we enjoy too much of it to really get rid of it. Public schools, libraries, fire and police departments, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, disability, TANF, unemployment, food stamps, WIC, AFDC and whatever else I forgot to mention or didnít know about.

So if you do end up with cancer, and you are against health care reform, do your duty as a true American citizen and just die. If you are for health care reform, please donít get sick. Youíll drain the system!

Next column: Be your own doctor!

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