Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sick Days

There is a lot of talk right now about "Health Care Reform" (You can find loads of information online - here's a good resource for everything that's not happening in Congress right now) and your MatchGirl has to be honest with you, my dear ones. I'm pretty sick of it. There is not a single person out there trying to reform health care. They're all just dealing with insurance companies and no one is telling what's true.

What's true is that a lot of people in this country don't have health insurance. What's true is that, even when we are not in the midst of a recession/depression/whatever you want to call it, a lot of people are unable to afford health insurance. What's true is that America does not have the best health care in the world. In fact, it's ranked 37th, according to the World Health Organization - I'm not interested in people's debates about whether this was a political organization or whether it was a "fixed" study or anything the right or left has to say about it. And I'm not interested in hearing people list all the countries where people are worse off. Of course there are. That's a given. But the US is the only "first-world" country where there are so many people who go without care. The only country of such status where people can go bankrupt - lose homes or cars or life-savings - through no fault of their own, just because they got sick. And, I'm not interested in hearing people talk about how Americans have poor diets and don't exercise. That's a given, too. Those aren't the people I am talking about.

I'm talking about people like me. I'm young (for the time being anyway!). I eat healthfully. I don't smoke. I drink moderately. I'm active. I'm unemployed and uninsured.

This week, I had the flu. I didn't go to to doctor, so I'm not sure what form of flu I had. I can say that I was sick. The sickest I have felt in years. I had a fever of 102.5° one night, I had a swollen gland and a sore throat and aches. And I was sick. If I had insurance, I would have thought nothing of going to the doctor, but I don't. And I didn't. I holed up on my couch and in my bed. I drank tea and Emergen-C and took supplements and I slept. A lot. Five days later, I feel better. Not wholly myself, but better. My throat is still a little scratchy, but the aches are gone and my temperature is back to normal.

And I keep hearing all these people on the radio and on the television talking about how America doesn't need health care reform and it makes me sick. Mainly because the key point that people seem to bring up is waiting. And that's so confusing to me. When you go to the emergency room, you wait - insured or not. I've waited over three hours in an emergency room before, while insured. You go to the doctor's office for your annual gyno visit and you wait - you have an appointment for 8:15 am so you can get to work on time and you're lucky if you're only 20 minutes late to work - when you're supposed to be there at 10 am. The people serving you in America's fucked up health care system don't give a shit about your time. They care about their dime. And the sooner the majority of Americans learn that their beloved health care system, with it's bloated insurance providers, is simply profit driven (like the rest of our faltering economy), the sooner everyone can get off their asses and realize that the only way to make America stronger is for of us to take care of everyone. No one should have to worry whether they can afford treatment. No one should have to choose between prescriptions and food or rent. And if you don't agree, I don't understand the type of person you are.

Do unto others. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

It's very simple.

Take care of each other.


  1. Absolutely, thanks for saying what many are afraid to say.

  2. If it's any consolation, there's not much a doctor can do for the flu anyway. Hope you're feeling better. I had the flu last year and I can sympathize - that's the absolute worst I'd felt in years!

  3. i agree that this world is coming to an end when the goverment can choose who lives or dies. very sad. my husband is sick and we dont have insurance..we are both 52 years old and he lost his job two days before christmas. i have a very bad feeling that by the time he get seen in the hospital he will have cancer. he is bleeding in the rectum and has about 6 moles in the same area. i am so scared.