The ACA vs ACHA

Health insurers have taken advantage of the populace and raised their rates as soon as the ACA passed. That’s the biggest problem with healthcare in the US: insurance companies. Greedy insurance companies. Worried only about the bottom line and how much their investors will profit. Denying people medical care that would save them, things like heart and liver transplants, experimental treatments, and the elderly in understaffed, underfunded nursing homes. Sending home the 70 year old woman who just had a massive stroke. She gets 6 weeks of rehab same as everyone else. It’s unfortunate that she hasn’t improved. She’s had her six weeks. She’s out. Same for the mentally ill or addicts. The insurance company decides whether or not you are well enough to be discharged, regardless of your doctors’ recommendations. Who gave insurers this kind of power?

The GOP and insurers do not care a whit for the people they supposedly work for. Our millionaire senators don’t care if I receive life-saving treatment or not. If it costs too much for the insurance company, I won’t get it, unless I can pay for it myself. According to the GOP that is how America works; you have a choice to pay for your treatment without the benefit of insurance funds. If you decide you cannot afford the treatment, it is your right not to take the treatment. It is your right to decide if the premium too expensive. I’ve read that reps of the GOP have actually said it will be your choice to pay for health insurance or rent, car insurance, credit card bills, food. A choice. Yeah, a choice between the frying pan and the fire.

Our elected officials have the best care, with no cost to themselves. What do they care about the rest of the US. They have insurance and it’s paid for by our government! Yet they do not want the blind lady to get her Medicaid.

Let the people become millionaires and the problem will disappear. Oh, people need a hand up to become millionaires? You mean they are not smart enough? Because, you see, they live in a poor area, where the schools have no books, no wipe boards, no art, no sports, no music. When the student test scores were poor, government funds have been withheld. Does that make complete non-sense? Instead of supplying the most underperforming schools with more funds, they received less. A punishment for the students’ poor test scores. Those scores have nothing to do with the lack of educational material. Or so it would seem.

They should go to college, says the GOP. Like they did. On their daddy’s dime. People born into money (even middle class money) have no idea what it is like to live in the Projects. Because of no funding most students do not have enough of a basic education to even attempt college. If they somehow managed to graduate high school, college just costs too much. They then have a choice, go deep into debt, paying usury interest rates, for the education they know will help them move up in the world. With a business degree in hand they go looking for that job, that career that will line their pockets with gold. What’s that? There are no jobs in the area where they can use that degree. So they take a job at movie theaters, coffee houses, and fast food places.

Yet, our government representatives somehow deserve special treatment. Like they are better than the rest of us. They do only one thing, but they do it brilliantly: helping the poor stay poor and the sick get sicker. That is how it works. Pay someone a low wage, he lives in a bad neighborhood, crowded and dirty. People are prone to be sick. He has many doctor visits, lots of expensive medicine, he can’t afford, so he stays sick. The employee misses many days due to illness and gets fired. He collects unemployment, applies for food stamps and Welfare, while he searches for another job.  Now he is on the government’s dime. Completely. If he had only lived in a clean neighborhood he’d still be working, probably even get a raise. He might even make enough repairs to his old house. You see how it works?

As long as the senator is completely, 100% covered for the $7,000 worth of dental work he needs, getting the right amount of tail on the side, winning over a plump lobbyist. Meanwhile, poor students must learn to live in bad neighborhoods. Sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a 350 square foot studio that had been so dirty for so long there was no getting it clean again. A place destined for Repurposing and Beautification, as the entire neighborhood undergoes massive evictions, and trendy shops and restaurants replace your cheap, dingy, little apartment close to work. And don’t forget the bad teeth, caused by poor nutrition and lack of affordable dental care.

The way I see it, the only way to fix the ACA and get the GOP working on something else, is give every American the same insurance as the senators. Better yet, give the senators the same insurance they want every American to accept.

 

Health Care

cropped-cropped-we-stand1.jpgOK, we all know what’s at stake here with the new Trump NonCare.  They ‘guarantee’ everyone will ‘have access’ to health care.  “Access” to healthcare insurance is not the same as “having health care.”   The GOP cannot be ignorant of what they propose; these changes will hurt more people than it helps, especially with the MacArthur Amendment, which will let states obtain waivers that will allow health insurance companies in that state to:

  • Not cover mental health and substance use treatment (also known as letting insurers scrap “essential health benefits”)
  • Charge people with mental illness more

Many addicts are self-medicating because back when Oxycodone was being pushed by every doctor on the planet, some poor guy who has been taking this stuff for 8 years, suddenly he’s cut off because of new regulations.  These new regulations only made criminals out of people who are/were ill or hurting.  They can’t get a drug strong enough for the pain.  Of course not.  Oxycodone is strong and the guy’s got an immunity.  But the doc will only give him tylenol.

It’s hard enough for people with mental illness to get through life.  I’d guess more than 60% of all addicts have an underlying, undiagnosed mental health problem.  Mainly because GPs are not skilled in identifying mental illness.  They are also not trained in the best course of treatment for an addict.

So our poor addict is in  withdrawal and extreme pain.  He goes to the ER hoping for pain relief.  For 6 1/2 hours this poor addict lays on an uncomfortable, too small bed in a 60 degree room as he begins to withdraw.  When he finally sees a doctor, they view him as an addict and therefore will not provide him with anything stronger than tylenol for the pain.

What’s a guy to do?  He goes online where he can get anything from anywhere at any price at any time.  He finds a supply of his drug and finds relief at last.  But now he is using an illegal substance.  He doesn’t know how to figure out the proper dosage because the stuff comes in powder form and he has to fill his own capsules.  One day he takes too much and doesn’t know, he gets in his car and gets arrested.  Now he’s a criminal.  His boss finds out and he loses his job–no one wants a druggy working for them.  His wife leaves him, and he ends up homeless.  Now he’s “in the system.”  Now he needs a homeless shelter, Welfare, Food Stamps, job training.  Now he is trapped.

Why do we go to the ER for an addict?  Because we don’t have anywhere else to go, it’s not like there is an urgent care specific to addicts and the mentally ill.  Someone on Medi-Cal (and many other government programs) is extremely limited in their choice of doctors.  Finding a mental health provider is pretty hard when there are only two psychiatrists in your area and neither will take on a new patient.  Or worse, you find one and they turn out to be a quack.

You can’t get your adult child into a half-way house or outpatient therapy because he’s still using. You can’t get him detoxed because there is a wait list a year long.  I say that again for emphasis:  a waiting list a year long!  I guess you just let the addict in your life continue to use for another year in the hope that at the end of that year they will still be willing to enter detox.   ER staff do not understand addicts or recognize someone who is mentally ill.  They aren’t trained to.   That needs to change.  I know medical staff are always getting additional training and there is no reason that can’t include a crash course on the most likely cases they’d come in contact with.

 

Our healthcare system is very good at making us addicts, but really really bad at providing good complete healthcare.  I guess if the new health care bill passes with mental health provisions slashed it just makes our national insurance (DumpCare) as bad as our national insurance (Medicare).  Which begs the question: why are there three national programs: One for Congress, one for the poor or retired (which is often the same), and one for the rest of us.

I feel so defeated by this administration, but I’m not giving in.  I have to believe that the protests work.  They certainly get Dumpty’s attention.  He demanded there be a “probe” into the Tax March.  How do you probe a protest?  And the idea that protesters are being paid by Obama to undermine the new administration.  I don’t have to tell you how ridiculous and paranoid that sounds.  And as for protesters being paid. I’m thinking someone owes me money.  What is the going rate for a protester?  Is it by the hour, by the day, specific to the event.  Are travel expenses covered?  If so, I’m going to the next march in DC.

Don’t forget to call your rep and tell them to vote No on the new plan.

 

 

 

Worse Today

I can’t stop crying.  Son is having fits lately on a daily basis.  His anger is so disturbing to me, I can’t even be around him.  I am suddenly so miserable and sad.  I see no end to Son’s suffering, and therefore, my own.

InsuranceHe’s been uninsured for 5 years now and his depression and other health issues have only gotten worse.  His anger simmers just below the surface and it takes almost nothing to send him into a rage; though rage is a bit too strong a word.  I’m afraid to talk to him, because he only gets angry and defensive.  When I try to talk to him when he’s feeling good, it makes him angry and upset.  If I try to talk to him when he’s angry, well, it’s not a good idea.

This dance is wearing me down again.  I don’t know why but my depression is suddenly flared up.  Is it caused by the Tecfidera?  It seems I was dealing well with all this and not letting it affect me, until the past three months–since I started the Tecfidera.

Son has an appointment with a new doctor, but he just came home.  I cannot believe the way he has been jerked around.  Before ObamaCare, there was no way he could afford insurance.  Then when he applied for Obamacare he was denied coverage because he had no income and therefore determined he should be covered by Medi-Cal or Medicare.  Not that they helped him to follow up on that.  So we then applied for both.  That was two years ago.  He finally got coverage effective Sept. 1 this year!  He’s seen two doctors and been to the ER once already this month.  At least the ER doctor was convinced he wasn’t just seeking drugs but did indeed have a serious issue with his back, very likely he has some bulging disc or worse.  He actually examined Son.  The first time anyone has actually examined him physically.  That doctor recommended he see his GP and get scheduled for an MRI.  Unfortunately, Medi-Cal is unpredictable, and he was told when he went in for his appointment this morning (which he made yesterday) that they no longer accept Medi-Cal.  Apparently, that doctor he had an appointment with left that office.  (No one mentioned that when the appointment was made.)  He can see the doc, but not until December!ER

Just what the hell are we supposed to do here?  The ER people have him pegged as a drug seeker, and there doesn’t seem to be a doctor who cares.  I am beside myself in anger and disgust at the way he has been (mis)treated.  How can he get pain relief when no one will properly examine him to determine the problem.  He doesn’t want drugs, he wants pain relief.  He doesn’t want medication, but he needs something for anxiety and depression.  Again, though he can’t find a doctor to treat him like a human being.

God I so hate insurance companies.  It’s not the doctors, it’s the fucking insurance companies who bounce people around and jerk them about, and lie, and delay and create more problems for people who are already ill.  I fucking HATE insurance companies!  They don’t see people at all, only profits…at the expense of people’s health and well being.

DI buttonsI can no longer live this way, I can’t help him.  I can’t ease his pain, and I can’t live with the frustration and anger, yet I can’t abandon my son.  I’ve an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow afternoon.  He’s probably going to increase my meds, or maybe I should ask him for Xanax or something.  Today however, I plan to stay in bed and cry and hopefully sleep the day away.  I may try to do some journaling as well.  Later, after I nap.

Decided?

I think I decided to actually leave my family.  It sounds so heartless but I need different things than they are able to give.  I want peace, tranquility, simplicity, and social stimulation.  They want to stay at home and watch TV.   I can no longer allow myself to be manipulated now that I understand I have not been living my own life, only the life my husband imagined “for us.”

It’s been percolating back there for months.  I’m definitely dissatisfied with my life.  While I am excited and happy to be taking Tai Chi and Zumba, and now volunteering at the animal shelter, it’s not what I want to do.  I sound like a 1960s wife, don’t I?

 - , I’ve been looking at Seattle.  It’s cheaper than an artsy town in California.  I’ve been there once, and liked the look and feel of the place.  I could see myself living there in a sparsely furnished studio.  Husband didn’t really care for it.  One city’s pretty much like another to him, and he wants no part of any of them.  Rural is the way he wants it, and part of me wants that too.  But I think it’s the part that husband controls.  That’s the voice in my head telling me I can’t.

When I say I’ve been manipulated and under husband’s control, he hasn’t done it consciously or maliciously, it’s just sort of the way he’s made.  Still, it is not something I care to have in my life anymore.  Does that sound cruel?  Heartless?  It feels that way, but I really think above everything else, I want a simpler, more interactive life.  I don’t want all of my friendships to be online!

As long as I am able to keep getting unemployment until I find a job, I could make it on my own in Seattle.  I want to be somewhere where people are living their lives, not watching them go by on the television.  I need more out of life than what I’m getting.

I’ve thought many times about leaving husband in the past 10 years, and god, now I really think I will do it.  I deserve to be happy, right?  But do I deserve to be happy at the expense of someone else’s happiness? 

What do I do about health insurance?  Disability?  Wouldn’t I be abandoning them all?  They need me.  But that’s it, they need me, that’s different than loving me.  What about paying for a shrink and a therapist?  Hah, but if I’m living the life I want would I need the antidepressants and therapist? 

Of course, I can’t do anything without talking to my therapist first.  Spit it out to her, though maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’ve got to get my finances in order, by filing for bankruptcy.  (And, no, I do not feel bad about not paying my debt.  I’ve been paying them at percentages that would see me in debt until about 2045, they’ve made their money.)  I will let Tim do what he wants about the house, file BK and try to keep it that way, but I don’t want the responsibility for it any more.

I can’t believe I am seriously considering leaving?!