Monday, October 27, 2008

lupus and money

Universal health care. Poor Hillary Clinton saw this issue as being of utmost importance in 1993. Everyone criticized her and shot down her proposals. She has taken a lot of flack for being a powerful smart woman, and the idea was a head of its time. *She* was ahead of her time- but then, someone had to open the door to ideas like this one.

We are, as Obama has stated, the only industrialized nation in the world who does not provide health care for its citizens.

I've had my finances destroyed 3 times because of lupus. Not just the not being able to work for a year at a time, but the medical (and life) expenses that pile up while you're not working. I spent my savings, I emptied out my mutual funds, and then I went into debt. 3 times. For a year, I lived in a friend's computer room, sleeping on an air mattress with my things in storage while I tried to get my life back together.

I have a friend who lives in England who has cancer. He's paying basically nothing for his treatment, and getting at least as good care as any of us over here would get.

He's walking around in a dream-like state trying to deal with the illness, working as much as his body will allow him. But *not* having that added stress (which makes your health worse, I might add) of wondering if you'll lose your home and or go bankrupt because of the illness. After 16 years of lupus repeatedly destroying my savings, I can't imagine what a relief it would be to "only" have to deal with the illness! Well, actually I can. I was added to my husband's corporate health insurance this year, and it is *so* much better than Medicaid or medicare. I am thanksful for both fo those insurance programs, as they covered me once I was no longer able to get insurance (pre-exiting condition), but unfortunately, the reimbursement from those programs is no so low that few doctors are accepting either of those anymore. And the prescription covereage on medicare is lousy. Last year I paid $6000 out of pocket for prescriptions- and I ahd insurnace!

Further, I am still concerned that if me hubby loses his job (they laid off 800 people last week), I could be left with "just" medicare again, and back to paying $6000 out of pocket a year again.

Did I mention that Americans pay more for the same drug than any other country, and that our government made it illegal for people to buy drugs in Canada and bring them back?

Let's hope our government finally makes health care affordable and accessible to all. I'm in good shape this year, but I haven't forgotten that many people are not in good shape, and I'm only one hubby's layoff away from not being good shape myself. Hoping and praying for big changes for the good of our country.