Thinking about health care today. From my incessant whining, you all know that I have a broken ankle/leg. Fortunately, I have good insurance and great friends, family, and neighbors. And yet… this is still financially hard. We are exceptionally lucky.
Even with insurance, we’ve spent more money than many people have in ready savings. We’ve paid out of pocket for a walker, a wheelchair, a hotel for several days, and a ramp. We live in a house with steps to get in and out, and needed a wheelchair ramp to even get in the house. Until then, we holed up at a hotel. We got a hell of a deal on the ramp because we have fantastic neighbors. We got help from my family to assist with the hotel. Again… extremely lucky.
We will need a hospital bed (all bedrooms are on the second floor) and a means for getting around (knee scooter thingy). Without insurance, that’s another $1,000 at least. But, again, good insurance.
We haven’t even gotten to any of the medical costs. Ambulance, ER visit, surgery, cast, appointments. Covered by insurance.
A combination of vacation and short-term disability covers most of my income, but if I was hourly? Or in a job where I couldn’t go back to work so soon after the injury. Daryl is able to do all of the household stuff, but if he was working? How would that work?
All this to say: I am extremely lucky. But this is tough, even with all of the advantages. Without the advantages, it would be catastrophic. House-losing, bankruptcy-causing catastrophic. It shouldn’t be this way.
What we have now is a half-measure. Yes, government-supported insurance is a good first step and certainly better than nothing. But there is no good reason why we should be able to survive this financially, while someone else would not. We need universal health care. We need it as soon as possible. If (cross fingers) Biden and Harris win this, we cannot let up. Keep fighting for universal health care.