Friday, May 15, 2009

Reality Check

I just wrote a check for over $500. What, you may ask, could I possibly be willing to pay so much for given my current circumstances? Tax penalties? School loans since the government hasn't granted my forebearance request? Nope. That large check would be for my reduced price COBRA health care coverage. Yes, that is the price WITH the 65% government subsidy. Total reality check. I've been watching my budget and counting how many months I would have before my savings ran out but not factoring in that I would be paying so much for heath care. I want to climb up on my health care reform soap box but I will resist. After all, this is not a political forum. That said, if I am still paying over $500 a month for health care AFTER the government subsidy, how does someone, especially someone with a medical condition like lupus, survive for very long after losing their job? Unemployment maxes out at $1620 a month in New York. That doesn't begin to cover my bills. With so many people in my position, I imagine that many people have to choose between mortgage and medication every day. What kind of life is that? I have always thought that health care was way too expensive in this country but I was never vested in the cause. I've seen lots of documentaries on the topic over the years but I was always working and I always had access to health care. Now that I don't have a job, all I can think about is the fact that I have lupus. Insurance is critical for me and without my doctors and my insurance, given how bad my health was a year ago, I might not be alive right now. Now, I too, may have to choose between shelter and medical attention. Suddenly, its not someone else's problem. When society's problems become your personal house guests, your outlook changes quite a bit. Medical care should be readily available for everyone. No matter your political posture, you have to agree that there is something wrong with the fact that it isn't.

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