a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Aw, y’all knew I leaned to the left.

Posted by wendy on 2012/06/26

I find it amazing and kind of sad that a great many people who are freaking out over the affordable health care act are people who will benefit from it.   As many of you know, I have had the dubious “privilege” of (“paying over 1/2 of my monthly income for”) COBRA.  I have had a catastrophic illness that devastated me financially–because when 1/2 your income goes to COBRA, and the other half is covering your mortgage and food–how do you cover a $1200 co-pay for a SHOT–a shot that you  have to have every other Friday for 6 weeks, no less?  (and I will be paying for it for a very long time to come)  And, here I sit now–COBRA has run out, and I’m a risky bet at best for other insurance companies, and my employer is a new company and cannot offer insurance yet (we don’t have enough employees), so what’s a cancerchick with no insurance to do when her tamoxifen prescription is about to run out and she’s due at her oncologist for her next PET scan?  I honestly do not know.  (Although, in my case, I’m moving to England.  Buh, bye.) (ETA: although, I’m not moving for the health care–I’m moving for M.  I should have made that clear.  hahaha!)

I was reading an excellent article this morning regarding the GOP’s lack of a contingency plan in the event that the SCOTUS should overturn the ACA this week and the author linked a couple of stories that hit home for me–Eric Richter, whose wife sewed him special pants to accommodate the large (cancerous) tumor growing in his leg, Wendy Parris, who walked around with a shattered ankle for a few years.   I realize there are many people out there who think Eric and Wendy probably deserve what happened to them (HI, HEARTLESS DOUCHEBAGS!!  May you NEVER know what it is to feel hopeless and alone.  It’s not fun.), but you know…I’m going to step out on a political limb and say does it matter?  My plant closed at the very same time I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had a good job, but I didn’t have thousands of dollars tucked away ‘just in case’.  I’m thinking not many of us actually do.  I’m thinking the majority of us are only a paycheck or two away from financial pain.  And a prolonged illness is financially devastating.  I know because I have been there.

At what point do we step in?  At what point do we realize that we are a village–we are a society and that we all have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters?  I’m not saying we should make sure every household has its own Xbox or that we should all get to wear designer clothes, but I am of the mind that access to affordable health care–the right to,  you know BE ALIVE, is something that we should all have.   But, pre-existing conditions are a very scary thing to our country’s poor, frightened insurance conglomerates.   I get Wendy and Eric’s situation–I understand it–because I’m in it, as well.  The ACA will help save lives.  And, the alternative could be devastating.

I have a facebook feed full of taunts and jeers with regards to our current administration.  They want to know how the ‘hope and change’ bit is working for me.  (oh hey, btw–it’s worked pretty well–when Republicans aren’t acting like a group of petulant schoolchildren, at least)  They call me names, they say I’m stupid.  These are the hypocrites who nearly always demanded that even if we didn’t agree with Bush, we should ‘respect the office of the Presidency”, but will not afford the current administration the same.  These are people who also like to post inane pictures professing their great love of Jesus–and the passive aggressive–‘hey, if you love him, you better post this picture as well, but you probably DON’T LOVE JESUS, so most of you won’t”.  (and we all know how I feel about passive aggressive facebook posts.)   Hey, guess what?   Jesus would NOT approve of you clapping at the thought of someone dying because they don’t have health insurance.  I don’t recall Jesus ever once pulling out a whip and tossing any good Samaritans out of the temple.  Jesus was not a capitalist.   I am rarely judgmental when it comes to religion, but–hey.  Take a close look at your life.  If you’re spewing “every man for himself” in the same breath as “I’m a proud Christian!”, THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

29 Responses to “Aw, y’all knew I leaned to the left.”

  1. Cindy said

    I *heart* you.

  2. Paul Smith said

    Agree with every word. Our NHS in the UK gets moaned about an awful lot at times, but I think it’s brilliant. I can’t imagine not having it.

  3. I know about high cobra payments… No fun at all. You made some very good points and it’s not about leaning right or left is it? It’s about doing the right thing.

  4. Craig B said

    I may have mentioned this before, but the US sounds like a pretty sucky place to live sometimes.

    • wendy said

      hahaha–it’s not, I swear. It’s actually pretty awesome. When we’re not all busy being so horrible to each other over politics. eek.

  5. It’s a sad, sad day when politics and religion usurp common sense and basic decency. I’m glad you pointed this out, and I agree with you a thousand percent.

  6. The Accidental Amazon said

    It never ceases to amaze me how many have-nots are siding with the haves and think the 1% is on their side. The 1% is only interested in preserving their wealth. The have-nots who drive on roads built and maintained by government-run public works departments, who drink water provided by same, who expect the police & firefighters to save them from harm, who lost jobs because of Wall Street greed, but still collected unemployment benefits because of our (admittedly inadequate) social safety nets, who would be the first to holler if their social security was taken away from them when they are ready to retire, these folks seriously need to rethink this accusation of ‘socialism’ they are fond of lobbing at government programs. I’d like to see them live without government programs. I’m with all the way, Wendy.

  7. Jen Soals said

    Amen! I will flail this from the mountain top. Oh wait, it that too much of a Jesus-freak? 🙂
    Seriously, how we (gov’t and insurance companies) can’t come up with an effective health insurance systems is beyond me. So many of us are w/out or lacking full coverage due to : work can’t afford proper options, don’t qualify and/or can’t afford. Blech.

    • wendy said

      Yeah. We fall into that middle ground, don’t we? I make too much to qualify for assistance now, but I’m high risk, so I can’t afford insurance on my own.

  8. Alli said

    It is criminal that not every man woman and child is not covered by a universal health plan.
    Ours may not be perfect, but I thank God it is available. I am so very sorry that women (everyone) going through serious illnesses have to endure these uncertainties.. Alli……

    • wendy said

      It feels weird to be this elated by the news–I’m moving to England soon. But, I know there are so many people who have it so much worse than I ever did. It’s good to know they’ll finally have access to affordable care.

  9. You’re a freaking rockstar who says what so many of us are thinking!

  10. golfwidow said

    Roman numeral One, less than Three, Letter after T.

    Also, you’ve just won another one of those blogging awards that the bank won’t accept as collateral against your new mansion. Sorry about that. You can steal the image from here: http://www.golfwidow.net/archives/012340.html

  11. Valerie said

    Your passion for the subject comes from your despair. My disgust with your passion comes from hard work; overtime, the second and third job to provide myself with what I need, what my family needs. It comes from not seeing my husband for weeks at a time because while it hurts to miss each other, the idea of not having set money aside “just in case” is painfully scary and not worth the risk to us. I’m sure you thought about setting aside a little something “just in case” while you poured another glass of wine and scrolled through your netflix queue. Saving is not easy, but you had a great job and you could have prepared for the unexpected. It breaks my heart that people get sick, that people get cancer, that YOU got breast cancer. But your painful situation is realistic and sadly expected to happen to some of us. To pretend that you would never be sick or need extra money for the unexpected is a sorry excuse. To act like the money for this program is going to fall from the sky is just rude.
    My husband and I are still in our twenties. We’re not lottery winners or trust fund babies, we don’t even have college degrees. We are hard workers and hard savers because we don’t want to find ourselves dependent of other hard workers. We have a plan with goals. Every new law/mandate/program robs a little more out of OUR retirement, out of OUR child’s college fund, out of OUR dream.
    I will not apologize for making enough. And I should not be responsible for anyone else’s life choices.

    I was directed to your blog because “she says what everyone is too afraid to say.”
    I’m embarrassed for “everyone.”

    You passed a lot of judgment in your blog, while explaining how judgmental people are. Particularly church goers, who statistically are the most charitable. You may be projecting the working class as holier than thou, which sounds like a personal problem to me.

    • wendy said

      I’m so glad you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars socked away in case you get cancer and then find out that while you were at the doctor getting that diagnosis, they were having a meeting at work about closing the plant you worked at. Because boy, that’ll make the COBRA payments and co-pays a breeze while you’re sick. Lucky you. I hope you never, ever have to find out if it’s enough. I mean that sincerely. I wouldn’t wish a catastrophic illness on anyone.

      I was going to just delete this and ignore you, but hey, dissent is allowed here–however, douchebaggery is not. And, while it probably IS making you sleep better at night to imagine me strolling through my life before cancer all blissfully ignorant with my wine and my netflix–it’s not accurate.

      I’m more of a wine/book person. Netflix never has anything good anymore.

      • Valerie said

        Wine an Netflix are examples of small “affordable luxuries” people think they need. These affordable luxuries have a tendency to trump ridiculous ideas like savings accounts.
        Sadly I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars socked away.
        But I intend to.
        You couldn’t find the inspiration to set aside even a couple of thousand dollars ‘just in case’. I must ask, did you ever have a plan? Before your world was turned upside down. Im sure you had some of the same plans that I have now. I’m sure you can understand that it’s difficult to hear that people are so selfish they want to spend your money instead of theirs and go on to say it’s their human right. My point is that most people in support of more government control and assistance think the money to fund the programs comes from a money tree. I don’t believe I’m being a douchbag, as I am not here to insult anyone, and believe I haven’t directly. I’m merely hoping to enlighten you to the fact that the money tree funding this affordable (to you) health care act are not the uber wealthy & heartless people you’ve conjured up, but the average working class citizen (already taxed beyond compression) and their unborn children, and their unborn children’s children. You don’t need to like me and I have no expectations of changing your point of view, I just offer mine; A different one.
        Thanks for not deleting my post (sincerely).
        “In order to have traction you must first have friction.” – Jeffery W. Pittman

      • wendy said

        Wait. A couple of thousand? Seriously? I had $2k in savings when this hit. So, yeah. I had a “couple of thousand” dollars “just in case”. I was also working 2 jobs at the time. Do you have any idea how insignificant that number is compared to the costs of 5 surgeries, 6 weeks of chemo and 28 sessions of radiation–in addition to a monthly COBRA payment that you weren’t making before?

        You HAVE insurance. Hurrah! I HAD insurance, too! And, then I had 18 months of COBRA. Now, I have no insurance and a pre-existing condition. Obamacare will help people like me get access to affordable insurance. You’re already paying for the uninsured, dude. Frankly, no one I know is looking for a handout, but something MUST be done. I mean, really–look around–and try to look around beyond Fox News. Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. Romneycare and Obamacare are so close they could be sisters, and that appears to be working pretty well.

        If it’s any consolation at all, I am actually moving away and there will be one less selfish cancer patient sitting around waiting for that free handout that you seem to think we’re all so concerned with. I feel pretty sure you’re never going to see it any other way and I’m not really interested in a crusade to change your mind.

        I’m through justifying my life to you and Lord knows you don’t have to justify yours to me.

  12. Wendy, it is criminal that people who are not insured and underinsured could not previously be covered and left to die, all because they couldn’t afford health insurance. You make great points, and I especially love the ones where you point out the hypocrisy of people who preach religion but are OK with having a group of have-nots.

  13. Lauren said

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that no one who works two or three jobs can have enough money set aside in their “just in case” account for cancer. The numbers are just astronomical.

    What about public schools? I say if parents don’t have enough money to pay for schools I say we send the kids to the factories where they can be of some use? That worked great in the 1850s. And why should my hard earned money pay for police and firemen so others can be safe? I can hire my own private security protection, buy my own firetruck. Army? Navy? Public pools? Libraries? I hear no government is working great in Somalia.

    • wendy said

      Exactly, Lauren. 🙂 I work 3 jobs currently–at the time I was diagnosed, I had 2 jobs and a little over $2k in savings (which lasted less than 2 months with all the surgeries and picking up COBRA, etc). Both jobs were gone within a few months. Even if I’d had a year’s salary set back, I’d have still gone through it in no time with all the extra medical stuff.

      People don’t stop to think they’re already paying for the uninsured–it’s part of the reason insurance is so expensive. And, I have the sneaking feeling that a great many don’t care about the fact that it works–that it’s been working in Massachusetts (thanks to Romney, no less–that tickles me) for some time now, that it works in 30+ countries all over the world–they just hate Obama.

  14. Ari Idan said

    Hello, my name is Ari, I am a survivor (so far…) of two cancers, a widower of a cancer victim (now re-married..) and is dedicated to fighting cancer, and helping others do so.
    I lived in Toronto, Canada (my family is in southern California), and last year, after marriage, I moved to the Philippines. I am majority owner of a Dialysis clinic, and built a unique cancer clinic, the one I dreamt of having when my first wife was struggling. I took her to Mexico clinics twice, for treatments (which were very successful!), talked to dozens of physicians, and always found lack of properly equipped clinics, which could do a lot better if they were.
    Along the way, I have gained insight of how proper Hyperthermia should be applied. This is a method which doubles the success rate of conventional therapies, and alternative ones as well, provided it is done properly. I have purchased the most powerful device for this, and added two other types of devices, which when applied in the right order, prevent a process of DE-sensitizing of cancer cells to the effects of specific frequency hyperthermia. We also do mild whole body hyperthermia in order to strengthen the immune system (with no side effects),and help reach the right thermo-therapeutic levels within the tumour.(the right temperature simply destroys the tumour…). There are also other aspects to this, biological ones, which for lack of commercial incentive (UN-patentable..) is not pursued by multinational pharmaceutical corporations which control all medical research in the field.
    I also introduced other forms of immunotherapy, and alternative cytotoxic elements, such as Helixor, a mistletoe extract, which has three times better success rate then most chemo agents, without the side effects.
    I can give information about many clinics I learned about, (mainly in Mexico ang Germany)
    If you are interested in getting free advice, please feel free to contact me, @ advancedcancertherapies@yahoo.com
    Ari Idan

  15. Kelli Register said

    My Husband was an owner/partner of a business. The majority of the partners decided, against my husbands, vote, to sell. We ended up on COBRA. A few short months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We pay through the nose for our COBRA coverage, but are so grateful to have it. We don’t abuse it. I had my bi-lateral mastectomy as an outpatient surgery. My insurance nearly denied it because it was done as an outpatient! WHT? Anyway. I have used up my COBRA and I’m now paying $$$ for California COBRA for another 18 months, and grateful for it as well! I’m not asking for a handout, just affordable medical coverage, which I’m willing to pay for! Without “Obamacare”, I don’t have any chance of getting insured at any price.

    As bad as cancer sucks, cancer without insurance would be so much worse.

    Thank you for your blog =)


    • wendy said

      Yeah, I think that’s where it all gets lost–no one I know is looking for freebies. We just want to not have to decide between our mortgage or our health coverage.

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