Thursday, May 04, 2017


When I was a young graduate student, living on my stipend and what I had saved from my three years working at the library, I looked at the cost of the medical insurance which was available to us as students -- which cost nearly six hundred dollars a year, or a tenth of my stipend, for what was, after all, not very good insurance. Basically, unless you got cancer, it covered nothing at all. And what, after all, were the odds that I would get cancer?

So I didn't buy it.

And, of course, I got cancer. One of life's little jokes.

That mistake cost me my future. What savings I had went to hospitals and surgeons, and then I spent the next twenty years, until I finally gave up and declared bankruptcy, trying to deal with the bills and the ensuing debt I accumulated because I was never able to save any money (you can't save money when every penny you make has to go to paying back medical bills).

We never owned a new car, only crap cars, so we always had huge car repair bills. We always had to rent. Stress probably damaged our health and made us sicker than we might have been. There were no vacations. I frequently skipped things like dental visits and necessary medications. My clothes and my kid's clothing are all gifts from my parents, or hand-me-downs (sometimes from students, sadly enough).

And our medical bills were always, always a huge part of our expenses. I always needed follow-up care and medicines that were always depressingly expensive. At one point, my meds and Dr. Skull's meds were nearly as high as our food bill.

When Obamacare passed, almost at once, all that changed. Suddenly my pharmacy bill was literally negligible.  Two of my maintenance medications were free; the other dropped to less than five dollars a month (it had been forty-five dollars a month). Same for Dr. Skull. The kid's counseling is covered -- not capped at nine thousand for a lifetime, but covered. So are her meds.

This is what the GOP wants to destroy. This is what they want to "fix."

They want to send us back to the world where being sick will destroy anyone who works for a living.

That's what they called "freedom."

Call your representatives. Do it now.

1 comment:

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

It passed the house and I feel completely awful. I hope it can get stopped by the senate. These people are so fucking irresponsible and disgusting.

Your story is terrible, and also, it is not totally unique. There are tons of people who are going to be impacted negatively. It's so depressing.