Well the week definitely didn’t go as I’d planned, I’ll just say that. I’m not sure what’s retrograde, but there has been some wonky psychic weather and life has been a little bit ruffled in places. I feel grumpy and out of sorts.
I melted down all over Captain Sexypants.
In one day.
Because I am dealing with some healthcare stuff that has me flat out feeling rather draggy, I’ve been in bed with my laptop, and I’ve spent a lot of time (more’n usual) arguing with people on the internet about healthcare. Especially in light of SCOTUS hearing arguments about the AHCA. Because what else can you do when you’re flat on your ass?
I’d always taken having health insurance for granted. I’ve written about this here before, about how a few years back when the Ex Mr. H&O got laid off, we lost our insurance. We still don’t have any. And no, Ron Paul, we are not blithely “choosing” not to buy health insurance. Maintaining adequate shelter is simply the wiser choice for our family.
It’s easy to insist that there is nothing wrong with healthcare and that we don’t need the Affordable Care Act, when you can conveniently go see a doctor and writing a check to that doctor is not a matter of “well, I guess I won’t buy milk for the children.” My own situation is certainly nowhere near as dire as that, but, going to the doctor does mean some reshuffling. We only use them for real emergencies right now. Well care? Heh. Thing of the past. I’d LOVE to go see my old regular doctors for a checkup. Sadly, without insurance, something as luxurious as a regular physical, tooth cleaning, or pap smear is a whole ‘nother ball game.
Urgent care is the only option for me and my family right now, when we’re sick. For other things, I rely on Planned Parenthood and their (fantastic, but endlessly revolving) nurse practitioners and clinicians, instead of my wonderful GYN. She knew my history and I trusted her to connect the dots when new problems came up. I’ve seen four different clinicians at PP in the last four months and their time is limited. We haven’t got time to discuss my whackadoodle medical history, frankly. If you think that that change hasn’t affected my health and quality of life, think again. There’s a reason I’m flat on my ass on multiple rounds of broad spectrum antibiotics right now, and part of that reason is, people need continuity of care. Without insurance, you don’t get that. Without insurance, you lie awake worrying that whatever it is that’s making you sick might be something awful. You wonder how you are going to afford to see someone who can help you really figure it out. And then, you worry about figuring it out and then not being able to pay for what you need to do to get better.
That’s my reality right now. It comes with some sleepless nights.
I’m actually not complaining here. Well, okay, yes I am complaining. But I’m also aware that we’re doing okay, relative to others, and I am not ungrateful for that. I do count our blessings and I have tried to check my privilege at the door but that’s an ongoing process so please forgive me if I pick it up inadvertently.
I just believe that healthcare should not be this big of a concern for anyone in this country. A lot of folks like me (folks who used to take seeing a doctor for granted) are experiencing what other people living below the poverty line have known for a long, long time.
Something is rotten in Denmark. Er, something is broken. It has been for a long time. There is a very nebulous safety net for folks in need but it is full of holes and people are slipping through, having trouble accessing even those very basic services. And every day, more and more folks are finding themselves in need. It shouldn’t be that way.
How do we fix this? Maybe we start by not overturning Affordable Health Care, because it’s the light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of folks. Including me.