Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Today I am a bit disheartened.

Yesterday I took Deal to the doctor for a nagging cough. That led us to the hospital lab for some testing. Nasal swabs on a 2-year old is not pleasant, yet Deal was an utter super champ. He even thanked the nurses as they gave him a firetruck sticker and a Dum Dum lollipop. It was of course no big deal for us to go the doctor, pay the $15 copay, head to the hospital lab, get a $7 prescription filled. We are thankfully well-insured. Mac Daddy's company takes good care of its people. Plus, though we are not wildly wealthy, we are among the top echelon of Americans who live more than comfortably.

Mac Daddy and I spend wisely and are not frivolous people (as long as you don't count the occasional shopping spree -sales racks only). We believe in donating money and time because there are plenty of lives that are worse off than whatever self pity we feel. We are the world's best tippers. We treat our nanny as part of the family, not as hired help. Think about your creature comforts. A cleaning lady? DVR? 100 pairs of shoes? Sure, we splurge and waste money. We treat ourselves to luxuries. That's because what are necessities to us are luxuries to a whole host of others. And I'm not just talking about the Sally Struthers kids in ads in faraway countries. I mean right here. Under our noses. Among us.

I have never in my life worried about where my next meal would come from. My family answered my growling belly with plates of chicken curry and rice, spinach lasagna, and the occasional Doritos or Oreos. I have always had a roof, a very nice one at that, over my head. I took college for granted. Of course I was going, and of course my parents would pay for it. Same for boarding school, trips abroad, and vacations to Hilton Head and Palm Beach. I never was denied medical care, no matter how big or small the ailment.

Now what about all those people who don't live like I do? What about the kids who wouldn't have the benefit of going to the doctor, much less the hospital? Deal just had a nagging cough, nothing life threatening. That's because we can afford to get him the care he needs to prevent minor ailments from exacerbating into something nasty. Deal and Bird also have a bedroom to themselves, with full size beds no less. A loving, secure, comfortable, clean home. Emotional and financial security go a long way.

The state of our healthcare is shameful. A disgrace. Shambles. We have hit rock bottom. Are you listening in your ivory towers on the Hill? A basic level of healthcare is a right, one that our forefathers promised us. Now imagine if your son died because you couldn't afford to take him to the dentist. The dentist! One thing leads to another so the seemingly simple toothache could point to bigger issues. I once volunteered with a boy whose cancer was spotted by his dentist. Think about how many parents must weigh the expense of basic medical care with dinner on the table. This is a reality, not some media hyperbole. We, as a nation, are in denial.

Don't get me started on the insurance business. What a deplorable bunch of louts.

For now, I will be angry until I find a way to transfer this rage into something more productive. Luckily Deal is doing well. There's nothing that a humidifier, some meds, his teddy bear, and a giant dose of TLC won't cure. And let's not forget the follow up doctor's visit next week.
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Anonymous said...

Awesome post. I could not agree more. I can't decide which issue is more important to me: the war, economy or healthcare. My husbands insurance went from a crappy 80 - 20 plan to a sh*tty 70 - 30 plan b/c his work couldn't afford the former. WHAT?! And so where does that leave us? I guess I could wrap my kids in bubble wrap, bury anything sharp in tha backyard and never drive again. Oh and never ever get sick, how dare we. And more to the point, I have to decide if we want to shell out the $30 for a co-pay, (can we shell out a co-pay before pay day?) if one child gets a fever. Being a SAHM comes with awesome bennies, dontcha think?

The Cube Monkey said...

It's corporate america and it drives me crazy.
Everything is about the bottom line, the stock holders and the executives getting their millions/billions in various pay packages.
This year none of us got our lousy bonus. It's not much of a bonus, but is "something". Mine would have amounted to about $2000 after uncle sam took his 35% taxes. But ya know what? Our execs still got theirs! I'm sure that is the case everywhere.
What I'm trying to say is that corporate america is corrupt to a degree that is just downright evil and it needs to be stopped.