Today I talk healthcare…

Today is the day I talk about healthcare. Or rather, my lack of healthcare insurance. I’ve always had health insurance – that is until I retired. The option to continue my health insurance from my employer carried a $1200/month price tag. That’s more than our monthly rent, including utilities. Still, I’m too young to qualify for Medicare.

I contacted the Healthcare Marketplace to enroll in insurance. Oh, my! Our income places us two dollars above the breaking point. So, we don’t qualify for any help with the premium. When I asked how much the premium was, the lady said $2500/month. Talk about flabbergasted!

While I agree with Obamacare in principle, it does not meet my needs. I told the nice woman on the phone that I would have to go without insurance. She seemed nonplussed – as though she had heard that statement many times before.

So, what about Trump care? I’m willing to look.

Hmm. I find out that preexisting conditions are no longer covered. Great. The only things I need to see a doctor for are preexisting conditions. I’m bipolar. So, I can’t see a psychiatrist to get a prescription for my medications. Which means I go without my meds. Not a pretty scene. Suicidal thoughts and attempts dog bipolar folks who do not take medication. No thank you. I am now reduced to buying my medications from a foreign country.

Another issue altogether. I recently bought my Abilify from India. A young man called me monthly to take my order. The price was acceptable (better than the $40/pill I pay here in the United States). But the quality is poor. My American prescription is for 20 mg. 30 mg of Indian Abilify was insufficient. Controls are poor in some countries. India is one of them. At least, the “pharmacy” I did business with sells product with lesser potency.

I also have a second preexisting condition – a congenital heart defect – a deformed aortic valve. The valve is bicuspid instead of tricuspid. This allows blood to leak back into the chamber on every beat. It results in stenosis (hardening of the valve) over time. My heart is strong and healthy otherwise. Oh, except that I have an aortic aneurysm. Who knows when that appeared? All I know is that it is preexisting. My cardiologist said, “You will need open-heart surgery sometime in your seventies. To replace the valve and repair the aorta.” Guess what is not going to happen if I do not have health insurance?

Yes, I will qualify for Medicare in a year. But our current administration is trying to gut that program. I know that I am not alone in fearing the healthcare future of our poor and middle-class elderly population. If we don’t act now to protect our coverage, I fear that we will have no coverage. Of course, those who are in power in our country have no idea what it is like to be poor or middle-class. Their perception of life and their worldview are skewed by their possession of wealth. 99% of the world’s population falls in another category – poor or middle-class. The US is no exception.

It’s time to speak up about what is necessary for those who do not have wealth. We all pay taxes – even on our Social Security and Pensions. Our taxes are not paid to support 1% of the population, but 100% of the population. Universal Healthcare is the only sane answer.


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