Does Growing Up Mean Having to Grow Apart… From Health Insurance?

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Let's save our money for when I lose both eyes...

Let’s save our money for when I lose both eyes…

I sometimes find very interesting notes to myself when I decide to look through my phone, or my sketchbooks, or my blog outlines. More often than not, they’re very ambiguous and puzzling. For instance, I’ve found “the end of the world will be nothing more than the ending of a narration to a story” scrawled in one of my notepads. I have no idea what I could have meant by that. I’m sure it was all very profound at the time, but reading it over all I can think is “…What?” I’ve also found little notes like “become a teapot.” I feel like I might be trying to tell myself something, but I’m not quite sure what that something could be. Furthermore, I’m not sure that “becoming a teapot” has ever been an option for me.

Sometimes, however, I’ll find little notes that actually make sense:

“I have come to the conclusion recently that the scariest thing about growing up is losing Mom and Dad’s health insurance.”

I don’t remember writing that, but the fact that I still agree with it wholeheartedly was unfettered by this point. Growing up is scary. Losing health insurance is terrifying. If you don’t think so, you either have never been without it, or you have lots and lots of money. As for me? I’ve seen a kid with putty for a face get turned away from an urgent care because he didn’t have proof of insurance. I sat, eyes wide, as the young man begged for them to do something for him and the woman at the front desk shook her head repeatedly. My mother and another good Samaritan in the room took it upon themselves to get him transported to an emergency room where, presumably, they’d have to at least give the kid a band-aid and a sucker.

What happens to me now if I decide to ram my face in to some pavement? Whereas I could have done that to my heart’s content a year ago, I now have to keep my precious face at least 3 feet away from any pavement and pavement like substitutes at all times. What kind of life is that? It’s a half-life at best.

It’s got to tell you something that when my mother informed my primary care physician that I am recently engaged, the woman was so happy for me… because getting married means I can be on my husband’s health insurance plan. I told my mom to thank her for her well-meaning, but misplaced sentiment. I’m not marrying Dan for his wonderful insurance possibilities. If I married for anything other than love it would be for tea accessories, followed closely by “lulz” (an indication, similar to “likes” on Facebook, of how funny any given post is in an internet community I’m a part of). Marrying for health insurance, however, is just outrageous.

I’d like to get in to the politics of it all, and the obvious greed and corruption running rampant throughout the healthcare system, but I can’t. I can’t, because I just don’t know enough on the subject. Up until very recently it was never on my radar, given that I was very well taken care of and never had to worry about it. Ironically, that’s one of the biggest problems insurance reform faces; complacency. In fact, I think that’s one of the biggest problems any kind of reform or progress faces.

Not a novel thought, I’ll grant you, but at least I arrived at it on my own. Sort of. I mean, I arrived at it by having security viciously ripped from my hands, but that’s kind of like doing it on my own.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. That degree that I scoffed at a year ago sure is seeming like a better and better idea. But that’s just the fear of accidentally losing an eye talking. In any case, I’m sure the hospital would do something for me at that point.

… Right?

Well, whatever. I won’t be bullied or terrified in to doing something that isn’t going to make me happy. You can dangle wealth and insurance in front of me like a doughnut on a stick in front of someone on a treadmill, but it won’t work. You see, I’m too young and stupid to think anything bad is ever really going to happen to me, and so I win by default.

To all those models posing for healthcare stock photos, though… Stop smiling. No one believes you.

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2 responses »

  1. To ignore the actual point of your post completely—congratulations on your engagement!!

    And to address it, briefly: I’m still trying to figure out whether i think health care is a right or a privilege (and i feel a little nervous even admitting that). I think it really depends on the situation. But I think healthcare reform is generally a good thing and that it’s going to result in some positive changes, and soon.

    • Thank you very much! :)

      Yeah, I can’t really say whether I think healthcare is a right or a privilege either. It’s an interesting question. I just know that I reeeeally want it.

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