Since I’VE gone in the past year and a half from the kind of guy who went to the doc once a year for an annual check-up to someone who seems to spend half his life in and out of clinics and hospitals I’ve gotten a crash course on health care in the good ole US of A, or at least that part of health care that’s open to people who have good but not extravagant health care plans. The rich are the rich and get whatever they want, the poor get the dregs. We in the middle used to be able to get good coverage at a price we could afford but that’s been disappearing. I hope Obamacare changes that but with it’s lack of adequate price controls and give-aways to the insurance industry I’m skeptical.
Our coverage is expensive, this year the monthly premiums exceeded our mortgage payments but fortunately we had paid our mortgage off a year ago. The clinic copays are reasonable, as are the hospital visit and ER copays, but we’ll still reach our family out-of-pocket maximum by the middle of the year All of these are a manageable burden that require shifting priorities, but minor when compared to what others, who face life-threatening illness without good medical coverage face. I have thought often of what someone lacking decent medical insurance or uninsured altogether would do if faced with my cancer and I’m convinced that person would either be dead by now or faced with the grim end-stage effects of the disease like kidney failure and severe and painful bone loss.
I find the situation with health care in America finally improving but still morally unacceptable (read obscene) and far too market oriented, and probably fiscally unsustainable, though I bet if we tapped 10 or 20% of the military budget we could go a ways to solving that part of it. I have avoided writing political poems about my disease and treatment so far, not because the desire isn’t there, but because I’m too close to it all for the kind of objectivity I need to write a decent poem and not simply a rant that would sound too “oh, poor me”and, the worse sin of poetry, boring and predictable. However, if any of you have any thoughts in poetry or prose ( I know you’re out there, oh yea veterans of the bed pan, with some good poems), please feel free to share/let go/unleash.
Rave on, john Donne,
Rave on, my holy one.