November 17, 2008 2

Healthcare risks = habit for uninsured

By in Main

Last week, I woke up one day with a bite on my right hand, and I shrugged it off. The next day, it was itchy, but I shrugged it off again, and the next day I woke up and my hand was on fire and swollen all around the bite, which was painful to touch.

I still brushed it off, and went to work, thinking it would pass. When I got to work, I made a couple of jokes about morphing into Spider Woman and one doctor I work with looked at it, called his wife (who is also a doctor) and called me in a prescription at the nearest pharmacy for me to pick up on my lunch break.

Apparently, you’re not supposed to just wait it out in situations like that, but after almost 10 years of not having health insurance or a solid, reliable income, I had grown accustomed to a life of “waiting it out” to avoid medical bills I couldn’t afford.

Makes me a little sad to know that, after almost ten years, I’m so conditioned to only seek medical attention in an absolute emergency that I would risk worsening cellulitis and complications of an infection out of habit. How many people in our country are handling their health in the same risky way?

I know there are a lot of disadvantages to a universal healthcare system, but a current system where so many are genuinely falling through gaps just doesn’t work. I hope our new President is for real.

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  • djsteen

    Whoa. I haven't investigated how much it would cost to get health cover for myself in the USA, but I have to guess it's a lot different than Australia. As I recall from the film SiCKO, America has a pretty ugly healthcare system.

    There's a lot to learn from England's publicly-funded National Health Service (NHS). I think Australia isn't too bad either; it's about $700 for full cover on a healthy person.

    I just read the Obama-Biden Health Care Agenda. I looks like they're on to something! America is about to get a whole lot of awesomeness!

    Stay giddy Brandice! And don't go staring in any action films until Obama says so. ;)

    Side note: I'd already started writing the majority of this comment when I clicked the link to the site. I didn't even realise that it didn't open a new window; just reloaded this one. Then when I was looking for the tab your blog was on I realised I was on it and just had to click back. I was worried I'd have to type my whole comment again ('ugh! thoughts'). Alas, the magic gods (most likely Disqus' comment box) were with me and the comment was still there. Phew!

  • Mario

    Didn't saw Sicko yet, but will watch it as soon as possible.

    In the Netherlands we know a new healthcare system since 2 or 3 years and that pretty sucks. They changed it slightly to the worse. First we had a system where you could choose to be insured private (most expensive) or via an National Health Insurance (most of all employed people had this cheaper one). The first change came with canceling both and replacing it through one system. People with an expensive insurance payed now half as much and the normal employed people pay ever since 3 times as what they used to pay. Wheter the group you are in you have an advantage or a disadvantage.
    In the first year you got payed back from the insurance when you didn't get sick during the year. They stopped this advantage in the second year. In place came an own-risk-fee. Now you have to pay the first € 150 yourself for medicine (yes unless the cost of the insurance that are now 3 times as much).

    I think our politics are weird persons.