As of this past Friday, Cate is officially between jobs. That means, due to the arbitrary whims of her now former employer, which is part of the effort to “privatize” the VA, we have now joined the ranks of the millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans. We ask that you please not ask us for more details about the circumstances of her wrongful termination. Suffice it to say, as an employee of a “private” corporation, she is not subject to the same employee protections as her fellow VA workers. Cate, after a 28 year optical career, has to push the reset botton.
As a veteran, Cate receives very limited VA benefits. If her next job offers “employee health benefits,” a system where she must “contribute” most of her own earnings to receive coverage, we may be covered again after a 90 day wait period. We are now one ER visit or serious illness away from losing our home and facing bankruptcy and financial ruin.
Meanwhile, COBRA is not available. I made too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford my own “private” insurance. Even if I did qualify, there’s a good chance, due to the efforts of the current “powers that be,” Medicaid will no longer be a viable option for a lot of people. Because the deadline to participate in the now decimated “Affordable Care” plan, I will be forced to seek coverage to treat ongoing medical issues through any number of predatory insurers who exclude coverage for “pre-existing conditions.”
With any luck, and because we are determined and mildly resourceful, we will likely navigate “the system,” which has become a monstrous landscape of closed doors, wild goose chases and red tape. After great personal cost, and monumental effort (not to be confused with hard work), we may land on our feet. But then again, we may not.
Aside from thoughts and prayers, which are always welcome and kindly appreciated, I ask what my Republican friends might offer as a solution to this crisis, with their “dog eat dog,” “survival of the fittest” vision for America, where basically only the rich can afford decent healthcare?
As I mentioned earlier, we are far from alone in our plight. How is it my Republican friends can stand by, while the wealthiest nation on Earth refuses to take care of its own people, those not quite as adept at survival, when (not if) they, God forbid, ever find themselves in need?
You may tell me it’s the fault of the working poor or the “welfare queens” who you believe are scamming the system, but who in reality can’t earn money while trying to navigate a system “rigged” to shut them out,.
You may tell me to wait patiently for all that disproportionate wealth to “trickle down,” in the form of charity and the “kindness of strangers.” Perhaps I could start a GoFundMe campaign to pay my mortgage or medical bills.
It’s an absurd waste of our collective wealth that we are bankrupting our people to make healthcare “accessible,” when Medicaid for all would cover everyone, no matter what, at far less the cost we all are currently paying.