The Healthcare Debate, A Personal Journey

Posted on 04. Oct, 2009 by in Uncategorized

While our government is still haggling over the fine points of the health care bill, I’ve been struggling over going to the doctor.  At the moment, I probably fit the typical profile of someone who just wants this debate to be over with.  I don’t have medical insurance and I just to be able to see the doctor of my choosing and be covered in a way that won’t break the bank when I need medical care.  

This hit home for me recently when I was struck with a condition in my left leg that I tried to treat on my own, simply because I couldn’t afford to pay the out-of-pocket fee to see my regular doctor.  My first round of visits to a cut-rate clinic left me no better off than when I was trying to self-medicate; I was told take some ibuprofren and try and loose some weight – a somewhat impossible feat when I’m in too much pain to exercise.  Round two at least got me out of there with some prescription meds that seem to be working, and thank god, didn’t cost me an arm and my other leg.  

What scared me the most was recognizing that had I been able to see my regular physician, he wouldn’t have sent me out of his office with an over the counter remedy. To test this theory out, I called ‘Dr. Rick’ and explained my situation. Having been a patient of his for years, he was happy to tell me that the clinic was on right track but that I should have been given a prescription at my first visit.  Secondly, I was also dealing with a doctor at the clinic who honestly admitted to me that he didn’t know the english words for some of the things he was trying to explain to me (Part of the reason why I called ‘Dr. Rick’).

Thankfully my problem wasn’t all that serious and I had a physician whom I could call, that was kind enough to advise me, even though I couldn’t afford to pay him.  Yet I couldn’t help thinking, what if there was no one else I could turn to?  What if, this wasn’t a temporary situation (because I’m a poor graduate student who will probably get healthcare when I get my next job)?  What if  I was one of the millions of americans who had to deal with this poor excuse for health care on a regular basis?  American’s don’t need to listen to any more excuses.  We don’t need any more partisan bullshit.  Congress and the Senate need to pass a health care reform bill that covers all americans and gives them the kind of coverage they deserve and the options they need to sort it out on their own.

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