answers from my world

Reader comment on: Nicholas Kristof's Roommate With Cancer

Submitted by Chad (United States), Oct 15, 2012 00:54

I thought these were semi-interesting questions that I could answer myself, in regards to my own situation. 35. Single. Disabled. On disability and food stamps. Can't even afford Medicaid at $115 a month. I've been uninsured for 17 months.

1. When my job was sent to India in May of last year, continuing my insurance coverage in any way was too expensive. Hell, my Netflix subscription was too expensive.

2. When I had insurance, I went to my GP once a year, but couldn't even afford to go to the dentist or get my wisdom teeth out ($1,800, with insurance), which are breaking off in my mouth. If you don't know what kind of risk that poses, I'd suggest you look it up. Now, without insurance, my GP won't schedule an appointment because I owe for my yearly physical visit that took place earlier this year. They also will not refill my asthma medication prescriptions if I don't go in for a physical. I've had asthma for 33 years, and nothing has changed. Needless to say, I won't be able to get bloodwork done either. It's about the money, not my needs or health. By the way, the GP works for Northwestern Medical Group - one of the "best" hospitals in the nation.

3. Disposable income. This is a humorous term for those who can barely pay for shelter. Making under $1,100 a month via disability, It has been determined (automatically) that I somehow have $115 of supposed disposable income to go towards paying for my medical costs each month via a "Medi Card." This is the same amount my father pays for Medicare each month - he makes the maximum amount on disability because he was able to work all his life, and thus, he can afford his Medicare. I've been disabled since I was 18, and have had a difficult time working (paying into my disability). Needless to say, I have no disposable income. Every cent is spent just staying alive and fed and sheltered.

4. This is a question for a journalist, but I've seen at least one speech where Romney contradicts himself (your quote) on pre-existing conditions. Also, judging by the Republican stance on health care, or just by viewing an applauding audience at one of the GOP primary debates - cheering the idea that a person without insurance should be left to die - it's evident there is at least one party that does not have any of my health interests in mind.

5. I had a misdiagnosis of a ruptured appendix two years ago. I'm thankful I had insurance because without it I wouldn't have been able to get the eventual care that I did, and I might have died as a result. Anyway, upon contacting lawyers, there was nothing they could do. I still got bills from the hospital I went to - RUSH Medical in Chicago, who actually did a wonderful job replacing my hip in 2008 - without which, I wouldn't be able to stand or take any steps with the crutch I have to use forever. That surgery cost $70,000. Again, thankfully, at the time, I had insurance. If I didn't, I'd be in a wheelchair (if I could afford the wheelchair). That surgery was actually delayed a year while I looked for work, and another year, waiting until short-term disability (through my insurance company) kicked in. For almost two years, every crooked step I took felt like someone stabbing me with a knife in my hip, as my femur rubbed against bone in the hip socket.

I find it all quite ridiculous, but don't expect the average person, with a limited or ignorant understanding of my health issues to actually get it. It seems there is a political line that now determines who gets it and who doesn't. I think that's also obvious by who has attempted to bring the country universal health care, and who has battled against it. I don't understand why this is - why people on one side are so flip about other people's lives and health - why quality of life (or life, period) should depend on whether you have health insurance or not. It doesn't make any sense in a country that is supposed to be somewhat humane.

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Title By Date
Response to questions about Scott's insurance coverage [627 words]Matt BlumenfeldOct 20, 2012 23:55
Why did he quit job without money to buy insurance???? [44 words]MarcOct 16, 2012 00:11
Government intervention is responsible for his plight [44 words]Harry BinswangerOct 15, 2012 21:18
Brilliant column by Ira Stoll [171 words]Eliot AmesOct 15, 2012 18:08
Why MUST we bear his burden? [85 words]Tibor R. MachanOct 15, 2012 17:36
More Krug "Journalism"
[w/response] [110 words]
Dan CalabriaOct 15, 2012 17:23
[w/response] [9 words]
Dan CalabriaOct 15, 2012 19:10
If only people were forced to share their toys under a Kristoffian dictatorship [136 words]Dan RandOct 15, 2012 02:25
To answer point #4
[w/response] [83 words]
LyleOct 15, 2012 01:00
Is that a one time thing?
[w/response] [61 words]
LyleOct 15, 2012 12:04
⇒ answers from my world [715 words]ChadOct 15, 2012 00:54
Government is not your Daddy [72 words]Harry BinswangerOct 15, 2012 22:46
Your response to Kristof's article [594 words]Matthew ChamberlinOct 15, 2012 00:06
No Dr. Bills [18 words]BillOct 15, 2012 18:39

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