When I was laid off in 2008, I lost medical insurance. During graduate school, I was on the student plan (at $165 or so a year). Since being graduated, I applied and was turned down for private medical insurance, because I "had had cancer." Since I am 63, I cannot yet use Medicaire. Since I am 63 and had breast cancer 12 years ago, I am apparently uninsurable...though I have not actually used insurance and have had good checkups since then.
Today talked for three hours to an insurance company which offered to give me insurance at twice the normal premium. They decided that I am hypertensive, use tobacco, and that I require medication for high cholesterol...all incorrect. My blood pressure averages about 120/75, I do not use any tobacco, and, while my LDL is and has been about 215, the HDL/LDL ratio is terrific. They, however, diagnose me over the phone, overruling my doctor, whom I saw last week. Anything for a bigger premium. am angry and frustrated, underneath the sense of health and well-being, eroding me somewhat.
I did not ask to be laid off (the month that I turned 60). I did not really love working in corporations but was willing and able, and expected to continue for 10 more years. Now, it seems that insurance companies have decided that, since I did not die from breast cancer 12 years ago, they will helpfully create the situation where that could still happen. Good times! (The medical system declared me free and clear of cancer after 10 years of good health, but what do they know?).
I was laid off, in part, because the work I was doing (high performance microprocessor design) went to India. Remember voting about that? Neither do I. If you think that politicians are protecting “good jobs” (remember that slogan?), think again.
Hey, I never asked for a health system run by insurance companies with Wall Street values. I bet you didn’t either. I left medical school (years ago) because I could see that doctors were becoming irrelevant... That is the case now, as my case demonstrates. Feel warm and fuzzy now?
None of us has had a choice about either how the medical system works or who has access. Same with the food industry. We spend twice what other rich countries do on health care and yet are unique in leaving millions of citizens without access to it. The nutrient density of our food had dropped significantly over the last 50 years, as processing and agribusiness has taken over the food supply. None of us has had a direct say in any of this. If you are not upset about these things, WHY NOT?
Enough kvetching. Life is grand. Too bad that our country isn’t, so much.
I am the 99%.
I am the 99%.