What Are You So Afraid Of?

As I await surgery, or further medication, or…whatever it is that will happen to me…I’m stuck on the couch and in bed.

That means all I can currently do is watch the news and shake my head. People are freaking out over health care reform and acting like idiots.

You heard me…acting like idiots.

Is it that hard for us to have a civilized debate about an issue around here? And can we at least TRY to keep that issue on track? (yes, crazy wing-nuts taking about death panels and killing grandparents and shit that just isn’t true…I’m looking at you) .

There are real issues that need discussion here. And like it or not, your “evil” representatives are holding these town halls so you can talk with them. Not scream at them, not grand stand for the cameras, but talk with them and help craft solutions.

Yes, solutions. Which means…there is a problem that needs a solution.

I have health insurance. I’m very lucky. But I just went through red-tape insanity to get diagnosed with my current ailments and am continuing to go through red-tape insanity to get my surgery scheduled. All while trying to get second opinions and fill prescriptions and TRY to make sense of what doctors are telling us.

After 5 days in the hospital I can say without a doubt our system can be improved. For those with insurance, for those without insurance, for EVERYONE.

If you can honestly sit there and say there is zero room for improvement, if our health care system just ROCKS YOUR SOCKS OFF, then you are living in a much different world than I. And maybe you need to borrow that unicorn of mine.

If you want to get into the semantics of this bill, of this particular reform…then sure- Let’s have at it. But I am talking the REAL particulars of the bill…not the fake shit you saw in some Fox News report or in some email your Aunt sent.

If you are just angry. Angry that your lost your job, angry that you can’t pay your bills, angry that a black man is President…then do us all a favor and shut up. You are embarrassing us. You have taken what was supposed to be open and honest and FRANK discussion about health care and turned it into a circus worthy of reality television. I get that you are totally worked up over life. And how shitty it is that Democrats are in control. I GET IT. But save your moaning and complaining for the proper forum. This is about HEALTH CARE. So let’s talk about HEALTH CARE.

I want to talk about health care. Do you?

Comments

  1. AMEN! I want this to be solved, not bitched about. I have insurance, and have been ROYALLY screwed more than once. And I am relatively healthy. Things got so bad after my c-section that I actually had to move in with the in-laws. WITH INSURANCE. God help those that don’t have it. Furthermore, I was in the hospital for 6 days this past spring with a MRSA infection. It was a relatively red-tape free stay (not like the birth of my children….which is a whole other story), but I will be paying for the stay for the next year, even with insurance. So, it is a debate we need to have. Using scare McCarthy scare tactics and “look at what it has done to healthcare quality of the Canadians (even though they speak of that WITHOUT knowledge) is condescending, stupid, reactionary, and precludes progress. Enough is enough. Let’s get it done.

  2. Having been a person without insurance, I can’t wait for the US to pass a healthcare bill for the under and uninsured.

    When I lived without health coverage, knowing that if I got sick I wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid, I was grateful for each day I was healthy and fearful on days I woke up ill, knowing my budget couldn’t handle the full cost of a doctors visit and the scripts that would needed to make me well.

  3. Already this year I’ve paid out $1,250 in deductibles and copays and another $1,500 in prescription copays and this year, up until July, was a GOOD medical year for us. We have insurance and it pays virtually everything and I don’t need referrals. I keep checking my insurer’s website to see what the hit will be for my daughter’s emergency admission for kidney stone surgery and the three day stay in the hospital.

    And I’m unemployed.

    But luckily my husband has good insurance and he transferred me and the kids to his insurance when I lost my job. We cannot manage without health insurance and my daughter would not qualify for health insurance if she had to apply privately. We’ve told her she MUST remain on our insurance until she graduates from college and hopefully has a corporate type job with insurance that takes everyone, and that it simply is not possible for her to go without insurance.

    It makes me very, very afraid.

    We must pass health care reform – for my daughter’s sake – and everyone else who suffers lack of coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

  4. All the best Erin.

  5. Thank you! Right now I’ve got no insurance for myself. None. My kids are covered, their dad is covered, and I make due. So seeing these people screaming “socialism” when they really mean “OMG there’s a black democrat in charge!” just pisses me off. Unless you’ve got a real solution STFU!

  6. Absolutely – I want to talk about health care too!
    As an 18 year cancer survivor, I’ve been through my share of the red-tape/no-pay/co-pay/denied/approved/over-medicated/under-treated health care “system” that’s currently in place. And, thankfully, I’ve been insured for this whole ride.

    You’re right – no one knows how to debate… or better yet, talk to each other anymore. It’s time we, “The People”, drop the pretense and get down to business. First and foremost, we need to learn to be civil again – and have compassion and respect for each other. We need to learn how to care for each other again and work through this difficult time.

    America needs one big fat group hug.

    p.s. feel better – hang in, hang on… whatever it takes to get through the next few weeks. take care.

  7. Thank you for posting this, though it sounds like it came from a place of frustration, it was cathartic just to read it. To know I’m not alone.

    I too am in the midst of dealing with a health issue that has meant missed work, multiple ER visits, doctors, neurologists, and even therapists (because the whole situation has my mind in a funk) and WITH insurance I’m going so far in the hole financially, I can’t see a way out for a long time. I spent many years as an uninsured American working for a small business that couldn’t afford to cover the 3 of us who worked there, and even a headache would bring on anxiety that something bigger was coming. Free clinics are nice if you live in a place that has them – but getting in to them is next to impossible for anything of an urgent nature.

    One of the arguments I find most frustrating is the people who whine that they don’t want to pay for health care for fat, lazy smokers. As if every health problem that comes up is because of overeating, lack of exercise, or smoking. And that’s likely the most sane of the arguments the wingnuts have come up with.

    As a nation, we have developed this idea that life should be every man/woman for himself/herself – what I see an extension of capitalism into all facets of life. I find this alternately sad and disgusting; when did caring about your fellow country members become a bad thing? (Mind you, this is coming from someone who doesn’t understand why everyone seems to think socialism is evil…)

    Here’s to hoping you find the solution to your own personal health issues soon – I’m on a recovery path finally, and it’s such a good feeling to be heading that way!

  8. The stuff Fox is making up is frightening (but not surprising). People are being scared into believing insane untrue things. The comment about Stephen Hawking not receiving proper medical care in England just about sums up the stupidity of it for me. I can’t fathom why anyone would claim the current system is working.

  9. I hear ‘ya sister!

    At the end of last week I saw the evening news (Charlie Gibson’s version not the loverly Brian Williams!) and for the first time saw the craziness of these town hall meetings that have since filled the airwaves.

    I knew then that reform ain’t happenin’ unless those of us who want it get active, involved and vocal. Go here and find an event near you, tell people about it and then go – get involved:

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple?source=sidenav

    We cannot let this opportunity for change pass us by.

    It is shocking to me that all of the sudden people think that health care in this country is perfect – huh?! It is shocking to me that a President has taken this issue to the people to hear their concerns and this is the response. It is shocking to me that when a President lied to the country and started a war there was a decided lack of response (I was in the streets protesting but it was a lonely fight) yet when a President wants to talk facts the response to shut him up is overwhelming. It is shocking, sad and scary.

    Excuse me while I put my soapbox away!

    Oh, and I hope you feel better soon and that the red tape disappears.

  10. My father can’t get the care he needs as he can’t afford insurance and yet makes too much money to get help.

    My own father could die because of this. I know many others deal with it too, but this is MY DAD.

  11. Dwight Dunlop says:

    In from north of the border, and I hear all this fuss and soooo much disinformation about the Canadian system, most of what is being said negatively is just plain wrong, our system may not be perfect, but its a hell of a lot better than a system that can and will turn away if you cant pay.
    I have spent my fair share of time in hospitals this past year for various reasons, every thing from being in the ER to watching family under go cancer treatment, all with out having to worry if we could pay for it .
    Your so right talk about health care talkt bout how lives can be made better, talks about how to make the money go further, (how much do HMOs make any way?) Talk about the lives that can be saved.
    PS I got to your blog thought a friend on Twitter, Looking forward to reading more of what you have to say! Nice Job

  12. I wish I had a better understanding of exactly what it is they ARE proposing. I mean, do we have access to this “over 1 thound page” bill? And if we did, would we understand it? Would we be told the truth? I just don’t know. What I DO know is I am so freaking tire of hearing people scream, yell, cuss, and threaten, and I wonder, do THOSE people evern know EXACTLY what’s going on? It seems to me, they less they understand, the madder they get.

  13. I wish I could put you in my pocket and bring you to work with me because I work with a bunch of democrat hating bittys and I need back-up. I don’t even talk politics in work now because they rant all day long and try to push their views on everyone. It’s horrible.

    You are rigth. Health care is NOT perfect. I have insurance that I pay a very reasonable rate for and work for the hospital where I receive most of my care and I AM greatful for this, but I too am still worry about my fellow man and what they need/deserve.

  14. Perfectly put. Posting a link to this.

  15. And I love how everyone on Fox is calling these crazy people “passionate”. Funny, we weren’t so “passionate” when we were all complaining about this war and our soldiers dying – we were crazy liberals who hated America.

  16. I have health insurance but it’s EXPENSIVE. Part of me wishes we qualified for Medicaid but my husband makes ‘too much.’ Too much for who? National health care scares me too.

  17. As a Canadian I find this whole ruckus baffling. Our medical system up here isn’t perfect, but it’s also not comprised of death panels and we’re not dying in the streets. I can’t understand the fear. I also can’t understand why you would want to promote a system that denies care to so many millions of people.

    I really hope that at the end of the day you’re able to introduce some real reforms. I’m pulling for you guys.

  18. I have been trying to avoid news showing those wackos taking over the town hall meetings, but NPR played some today from Pennsylvania. It is truly baffling how easily these people are brainwashed and then “passionate” about something they don’t bother to research. I agree. Idiots. My Grandfather is one that uses the soicalism he is entitled to but is against it for everyone else. GAH!

  19. Amen to that. When my gallbladder crapped out I was waiting for my COBRA to be processed – it took 3 weeks before I could even go in for a diagnosis and another 2 weeks to schedule surgery because of the ridiculous time period allowed for COBRA to be set up – time when I was paying for insurance, and “covered”, but totally unable to access medical services because my insurer couldn’t tell that I was covered. Our system blows. I’m following your saga, and hoping you get a good diagnosis & resolution really soon.

  20. Talking about health care sounds great.

  21. Healthcare is a basic human right. It absolutely needs to be calmly and rationally discussed how the USA is going to achieve realisation of this basic human right for all. There is so much misinformation out there, and so many ill-judged comments made about the (admittedly imperfect but nonetheless preferable to what the USA has) systems of other countries. Your post was wonderful.

  22. Amen. And once again as a Canadian just shaking my head at all the ridiculous assumptions that are made about our system. I see my doctor twice year as do my kids and my husband. When I need an ultra sound or mammogram done I get it – within days. My retired mother is a kidney transplant recipient who received and continues to receive what I consider to be world class care. Never once did she have to think about whether her insurance plan would “cover” her treatments and procedures.

    I just want to ask why folks would choose to argue against ensuring that all Americans have coverage? Is it okay that 48 million people are without coverage and clogging up the ER with routine issues or worse deadly issues that would have been routine had they been able to afford a primary care physician in the first place?

    Americans now have an opportunity to have the best system anywhere – taking existing health care practices that work and improving them with ideas from Canada, from Britain, etc….and coming up with something truly befitting the nation that positions itself as the gold standard for human rights, education, business etc.

  23. Frankly, I’m baffled by the whole thing.

    1) I live in Britain now, and haven’t been killed yet (although it can be frustrating waiting to get treated for chronic conditions that are painful and tiring but not life-threatening). I also grew up in an actual socialist system, and I have to say with a few exceptions they were very good to me. (And the exceptions came from being in a really resource-strapped country rather than meanness or incompetence).

    2) As I understand it, the nationalised health care would not be ompulsory. If you wanted to have private insurance, that would be OK.

    3) I am very curious where the high anxiety comes from.

  24. Hey Erin. I am so sorry for your health troubles and hopeful you get solutions and answers soon. I definitely think there is room for improvement, but I also want to share a success story of our health care working. I was a Speech Language Pathologist in a hospital working full time until last August when I began maternity leave. Working in a major, acute care facility in LA County I saw tremendous care given to every patient regardless of insurance status. Perhaps my facility was an exception, But we never rushed people out the door, we always put their needs first and I knew and heard doctors fight for their patients needs.

    Okay, so that is my background. When my son was 2 days old he was transferred to another hospital to their NICU for seven days where we received the most amazing care ever. I didn’t pay a dime. My insurance (thru my hospital) covered the entire bill.

    When he was 5 months old he had heart surgery at another major children’s hospital where we received phenomenal, literally life saving care. My insurance, thru COBRA ($1249 per month, which might seem expensive, until I consider that my son’s teeny tiny heart and vessels were operated on and saved. There is no cost too great for that type of repair.) paid for the entire thing.

    Up until July he had at least two specialist appointments per week. My insurance – covered it (COBRA after January) except for $40.00 co pays.

    Yes, we are fortunate that we had saved enough to pay for COBRA. Yes we are fortunate to have access to such indescribable care. Yes, we are fortunate in so many, many ways. But sometimes our system does work. We have never waited for appointments, meds, or even his emergency heart surgery.

    We just moved to NY and will move to a new insurance plan thru my husbands new employer next month, I don’t know if it will be as simple for us, but I know we can see who we need to (for the most part) and my son’s level of care won’t be compromised.

    I don’t think heading in a socialist health care direction is the right answer. We need to improve the system so everyone can have the same experiences we have had. But letting the government run our health care system does not seem like an effective way. Just my two cents from someone who uses her insurance weekly and speaks with the insurance company many, many times per month.

    Hope you guys are hanging in there!!! Tell Aaron we said, “Hello!”

  25. In reference to Kristi’s comment…the problem isn’t the level of care. American health care services are among the best in the WORLD…for those that can afford it. And you don’t have to be destitute or a wasteful spender to be unable to afford this high quality healthcare.. There are plenty of small business owners and working professionals who spend their money wisely but can not afford to put aside $1249 a month for “insurance premiums.”

    The problem is with equal access. In places like Canada where comparable health care services are offered – everyone has equal access to the best health care. It’s not socialism; it’s just a country that has made health care a national priority. Kristi should take a visit to Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal one day to determine how “socialist” it looks to her. I’ve lived and worked in the U.S. and Canada, so I’m not just making up scenarios.

  26. Also in reference to Kristi’s comment – you may not have seen people turned away from care because of lack of insurance, but you haven’t seen the aftermath. Insurance companies negotiate lower prices with health care providers, so those that do not have insurance but seek care (and let’s be clear – most who do not have insurance to not seek care until it’s an urgent or emergency situation) pay higher prices for that care. The difference in price would astound you; in some cases we’re talking about thousands of dollars in difference between what a non-insured person and an insurance company pays.

    Despite what the propaganda would have you believe, many of the uninsured in this country are not just the poor (though I fully believe the poor have the basic right to quality health care as well) but many are – as Sharon noted – small business owners or self employed people who cannot afford the monthly premiums for insurance, and then when they seek care they pay twice or three times as much for that care.

    I recently went through a bankruptcy due to medical bills from years ago that I just could never catch up with and just out the 10 or so people who were in the hearing room with me, 4 of the others in there were in that situation because of medical bills. It’s ridiculous that people face losing everything just to be able to get medical attention.

  27. Erin – I love ya & am wishing you the best to get these med issues solved and behind you so “Mom” doesn’t have to go to the hospital and doctors so much and you can stay home with those babies that are your world.

    In reference to this post, I have to say that you actually do not “get it” when it comes to those that have a differing opinion than your own about health care reform.

    You claim to want to have a civilized conversation on this issue, yet you personally use insults, name calling, stereotyping, and misinformation as you vent. And you are not alone. The name-calling from those that are supposed to represent Americans are also resorting to name calling and other hateful speech toward those very same Americans.

    First, I want to commend those that are holding town halls and not shying away

  28. (continuing… my previous comment went through before I was even close to being done, lol… Hub’s laptop and I don’t get along.)

    First, I want to commend those that are holding town halls and not shying away from the public.

    Second, those that oppose the proposed health care reform are infact REAL PEOPLE with REAL OPINIONS. These are not professionals skilled in the arts of community organizing. It seems that instead of dismissing them and/or calling them names, those that support the proposed health care reform and that say they just want civilized conversation would do well to LISTEN to the valid concerns, without contempt or deciding upfront that those with concerns are ignorant of “facts”.

    This isn’t about being “just angry”.

    It isn’t about losing a job (many with concerns still have their job and if they’ve lost it, their concerns about this plan isn’t wrapped in the fact that they lost their job).

    It isn’t about being unable to pay household bills.

    This is not about the other party being in power. Ironically, Independents and Democrats are also expressing concerns at the Town Hall meetings.

    This is most certainly NOT about what color the President may be. (Yes, some are racist. It is wrong. It is wrong to be racist toward blacks and it is wrong to be racist toward whites. This has nothing to do with the proposed health care reform. Socialism is NOT the new “n” word. That is more hateful communication from those that support the proposed reform toward those that do not. Disgusting.)

    So, if all those that fit those categories would “shut up” as you requested, not much would change as those with real concerns continue to voice those concerns.

    I respect that it is your opinion that the proposed health care reform is exactly the solution we need. I disagree with you but do not respect you any less nor dismiss your opinion, even if I do feel you have bought into misinformation (as those that oppose the proposed reform have been accused).

    There are a lot of Americans that feel we are throwing money into the wind and doing so at a very rapid pace. Whether or not programs or actions actually “worked” is debatable. Just because we are “told” it did, doesn’t mean that is actually correct.

    Most of the concerns about the proposed reform come down to just two things:

    (1) We cannot afford it. The USA simply does not have the funds to underwrite the proposed reform. History has shown that whatever the estimates are given for a government program, you have to start multiplying that number to get to real figures. It is said the reform would be defecit neutral the first ten years (although the first four of those years the plan wouldn’t even be in place and the next few years would see more and more people gradually moving to that “provider”, which then lands us toward the end of that 10 years – then what? Still defecit neutral the following 10 years?

    (2) People are concerned that government is seriously over-reaching, becoming too large, as well as allowing for undesired scenarios by using vague language in the proposed reform, some not so vague, refusing to allow clear language asserting some possibilities would not happen, etc. People are frustrated that our reps are spending unseemly amounts of money without even knowing the details of what it is being spent on (ie: stimulus – though I disagree with that term for it).

    Anger? Yes. Some are quite angry and had to actually, finally, get to that point before finding a voice. Once they find their voice and speak their concerns, they are dismissed and falsely labeled using endless hateful terms. This does not say, “let’s have a conversation”. With that response to honest concerns, the anger grows.

    These are not uncompassionate souls who don’t care about the uninsured, they just do not believe this proposed plan is the best way to get from A to B, that it may not even get us to the “B” we are told it would, and that it could create more issues than it solves. There are differing ideas suggested and routinely shot down.

    There are enough Democrats to pass the reform, so this isn’t about Republicans or concerned Americans attending town halls. It seems that not even enough Democrats are on board (and more may be – rightfully so – listening to those that actually put them into office).

    It makes me sick to my stomach to hear the verbage thrown from the left – especially the elected officials – toward the average, everyday American.

    It is also worth mentioning that every mention of Fox News is only beneficial to them. It is actually amusing to me that they are considered extreme right simply because they happen to be to the right of the extreme left.

    Questions shouldn’t be condemned and should be answered – in full. This is a simple part of conversation, but instead the questioners are attacked and questions left unanswered.

    Just my two cents – LOL! 🙂

  29. Clarifying a couple of points…

    By shot down, I meant that the ideas didn’t fit the “ideal” dreamed up for the reform plan.

    And about not all Dems being on board… many more may NOT be on board by rightfully listening to those that put them in office. (May being the operative word.)

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