Let's have a little talk about Health Insurance.
I don't have any.
I once signed up for a guinea pig study, just to get the tests that women are supposed to have every year. You know the ones...mammogram, pap smear, cholesterol check, and yada, yada, yada.
I know health care professionals who, whenever anyone mentions the Canadian or English plans, expound upon the myriad ways in which our health care is better. I'm sure it is, for those who can afford it. For me, a national health plan is much better than what I have, which is nothing.
I used to be covered by my husband's insurance, but when he killed himself, that went down the tubes. I was politely informed by our insurance company, within days of his death, that my insurance would be cancelled in thirty days. Never mind that he had paid into it for years, and not used it.
For the first time in my under-employed life, I have a job that I love. It's unfortunate that it pays very little and does not provide health coverage. Tell me, what should I do, at sixty? Quit my job and try and find something in the corporate world? How much luck would I have with that? I'm thinking zip, zero, nada--what do you think? And, even if I could find a corporate position, it would mean leaving the job that I still enjoy going to every day, even with no AC, and even after having been there for three years.
When recently discussing the situation with a friend, she asked me what would happen if I (God forbid) were to develop an illness that requires prolonged testing and treatment. There is only one answer: I would die. Not that we all don't die, and I am sixty. I'm still hoping to live to a ripe old age and just keel over, but I would feel much more confidant in the future if I had some sort of insurance. You know...to help me out if I were to land on my ass in the driveway and break a leg or dislocate an elbow.
Never mind the grief counselling that people are telling me I "should" get. That ain't happening, either! As SSS used to say, "I can't even afford to pay attention!"
There are millions like me. I guess my health industry friends must think that we don't matter. That, for the sin of not being corporate employees, we deserve this total lack of coverage.
I don't agree. I've worked all my life, frequently in jobs that have helped others keep the positions from which they got health insurance--like child care and housekeeping. And yet, I'm several years short of Medicare, and probably won't be able to afford the extras that I will have to pay for with that.
Something needs to be done. And soon.