Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Not-My-Problem Mentality

I'm watching a documentary called "Thin" produced by HBO. It is, as the title suggests, about women dealing with anorexia. I had to start writing right here, right in the middle of the show, because guess what one of the girls is dealing with in the midst of her treatment? INSURANCE!!!!

This country has to change what it's doing. I'm watching this very, very sick young lady -- so sick with anorexia that she has been hospitalized and force-fed over the last 10 years on almost every birthday, plus other holidays! -- and she's being forced to go home by her insurance company, which decides based upon its arbitrary policy that it's time for her to be "treated," time for her to be "well."

When I tell my own story of insurance bullshit to others, everyone thinks it's horrible and can't believe the b.s. that I am expected to pay out-of-pocket for, AND that I got this nice "benefit" as reward for over a year's full-time work at a major American company. And of course am working on my situation now that I am well enough to do so. But I do believe that this, THIS woman's situation, takes the damn cake. I mean, thanks be to God I don't have a condition that causes me to be an inpatient in a treatment facility and incur all of those costs (well, not most of the time anyway)! To some extent, I am able to control when I make my doctor appointments; and when I communicate with most of my docs about my situation, they are pretty understanding. For example, they will try to work with me over the phone and do as much as they can at one appointment so that we can have as few face-to-face meetings as possible. They understand (and have vehemently voiced their agreement) that my situation with insurance is ridiculous, and I'm paying for everything.

But these women! What are they supposed to do? I'll just tell you that the young lady in this example was fortunate enough that her father volunteered to pay for her care after insurance ran out. And I think that's how most people get residential care, whether it is for mental illness, eating disorders, drug addictions, or whatever. Just look at the fancy "rehab" facilities available to the celebrities and their family, the ones we read about like Britney and Lindsay and Mel Gibson have recently gone to. And think about where the "other" people had to go, if you know anyone in your life who has dealt with these problems, anyone who isn't rich like the aforementioned folks.

I've heard it said over and over again by Republicans and those of the conservative mind-set that this type of problem is one that people "bring on themselves." The opponents to change, the opponents to healthcare reform, etc., constantly rail against our society's offering to help those in this type of need. Well, I have a lot to say to those people: Just like nearly ALL of you have taken that first (and second and third...) sip of alcohol in your life, just like nearly ALL of you have done that restrictive diet when you wanted to lose weight, and just like many of you have even tried marijuana and other illicit drugs while out for a "fun" night ... These people who are suffering did that same thing with the same intentions. You should say nothing except to count your fucking blessings that you do not have this pathology, that you do not have this genetic predisposition, that you are not sick from something that crept up on you during normal activities that a billion other people do in their lives.

Just think about it before you take measures to deny your fellow Americans assistance or carry on about how it isn't your problem.


Big Al said...

It is pretty sick when the health industry profits from us being sick. Think about, who are the hospitals, drug companies and insurance companies pulling for when we get ill? They don't want us cutting into their profits and investments. Seems to me we were way better off when hospitals and insurance companies were not for profit.

TerminallyUniq said...

When was THAT???? I thought it only existed in some strange Utopia!

TOM said...

I just paid a $50 Co-Pay for a flu med...someone is making a lot of money on those 10 pills!