Saturday, March 4, 2017

When People Can't Afford Medical Bills

 US Health Care: Patients are Literally Begging for Money to Pay Bills.

I used to watch Breaking Bad.

I'm not the most pious person, I still watch Better Call Saul.  I told my husband that show teaches situational ethics once, but then I told him I understood how someone could fall to the dark side in desperation from terminal cancer and major medical bills. However Walter White makes a hideous descent into full blown evil.

One thing that scares me is I keep seeing people having benefits to pay medical bills, this kid got cancer and they are having a spaghetti dinner at a local church.  The dinners average around 10 dollars. Dozens of those posters are all over. I never can afford those dinners, if we are eating out, I want lunch and the aim is for around 5 bucks each, with coupons in tow.  This one upper middle class family I know, the father of the family got pancreatic cancer, and they are doing Dialing for Dollars and "Go Fund Me" pages and he had a good enough job that would have health insurance. These are nice people, will they be poor like me soon since the one working man of the house has fallen ill?It scares me that this man who made at least 90,000 a year, is now needing to do fund raising for cancer.

Why do Americans think this is okay? There's medical care I choose to put off or forgo, due to costs. I haven't seen my dermatologist in two years, I wanted to see a specialist for my mouth sores but have put it off. There's times with flu and various other problems I have wanted to go to the ER but unless I am acutely dying or once lost all my hearing and another time I had a softball growing out of my face, I stayed home. I don't want to know what people with cancer are being charged. If I get cancer, I think I will take my chances with apricot seeds and some sour sop leaves.

A spaghetti dinner wouldn't even cover one month of my medical bills and I haven't needed to go to the hospital in a while and haven't had any major scans since my annual kidney scan in July. How do we get all these Republicans in this country who act like everyone should just go die in the gutter? I went to go protest for Social Security and Medicare again, and wrote "SAY NO TO TOM PRICE" on the protest sign but they confirmed him anyway. They must have cooked the votes, because I don't see enough Scrooge McDucks around to put these people in.

My old IFB pastor from the nicer church in my old town, tried to tell me on Facebook that Canada had horrible medical care and all these people his Canadian wife knew had died, but I said, "Better some medical care then none"! I pointed out my own husband's ten year's lack of medical insurance and he didn't even try to argue those points. I told him I WISHED I lived in Canada now.  Are all those stories of Canadians dropping like flies because of waiting lists are over-exaggerated? He's got his boat and 4 kids and supports a non-working wife without a hiccup. The hospital hounded me so bad over 20 bucks it was insane. I paid them the beginning of this month.  I have so many medical bills and can barely keep track of them all. If they do nasty stuff to Medicare, I am not going to be able to stay alive.

I limited my visits to my lymph therapist to two visits to afford them. I have noticed you don't get as long to pay as you used to. What is scary while things are bad for me, some of the basics are covered well at least for now. I hear people with jobs that don't pay very much or poor insurance being told they have to come up with 5,000 dollars to pay for life saving surgeries. Some I am sure simply don't have the money. My husband was told to pay for a vein surgery once, some up front amount he never could afford, he simply went without.Today I shocked someone saying I got pills from the Internet before when I slid through the cracks, there was no choice, back then. The company was legal, but every medication was a generic from overseas. Today, that would not be doable, I'm on three "namebrand" medications without generics. Sometimes I have wanted to wean myself off various medication but with these three, staying alive comes first.

I tend to think a for profit medical system is a bit insane. Like lives themselves are on the chopping block if you can't come up with the cash. Insurance isn't the same way it used to be. When my husband had jobs in the early 2000s, I had supplemental insurance through his jobs, and we know today there is nowhere near that kind of insurance now and the deductibles far far far higher. Americans are used to doctors getting rich, which I don't think is happening as much as it used to, and to expect a certain quality care, but it freaks me out, that Americans now are having to beg for money every time there is a very severe illness. Something is wrong with that. 

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