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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Too Poor to be "Sick and Poor" in America

There’s poor. And then there’s poor. The members of the second group know what I’m talking about. You are Too Poor to be “Sick and Poor” in America, when you qualify for government funded insurance, but you only have two dollars in your pocket and the co-payments for the three asthma drugs you need will cost you thirty dollars--- make that twelve, if you take your prescription to Wall-mart, which is still ten dollars more than you have right now. Monday through Friday, a social worker can get you a voucher so you don’t have to pay that thirty dollar fee, but today is Saturday. And there is a holiday weekend coming up. Too bad the poor are not allowed to take a holiday from being poor in celebration of Memorial Day. Did I mention that the woman with only two dollars and the bad lungs is a veteran?

You are Too Poor to be “Sick and Poor” in America, when you find out your co-payment to see your doctor will now be twenty-five dollars. That extra fifteen dollars was supposed to be your gas money---your city, which is one of the largest in the state, still does not have a bus, even though it has helped pay for two stadiums. So, now you have a choice. Drive to your doctor’s clinic, but do not get seen because you can not pay your part of the bill. Or, stay at home and use the twenty-five dollars to make a payment on your $20,000 “burial” insurance policy. Too bad you live in a community property state in which your spouse will be forced to hand over that $20,000 to your creditors when you die---creditors in this case, being the credit card company which you had to use to pay for all the extras that your health insurance did not cover. You, my friend, are too poor to get buried in America.

You are Too Poor to be “Sick and Poor” in America, when you can not get Social Security benefits for your many health conditions, because you are too poor to get the tests that would confirm that you have the problems which you know that you have, like sleep apnea, a pinched nerve in your back, emphysema and a bad heart. You’ll have to wait until two years after your first stroke to qualify for Medicare. Just be sure to go to a hospital when your right side goes numb and you lose the ability to talk. If you try to weather it at home, to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and if your symptoms eventually get better, then the stroke never happened, as far as Social Security is concerned.

You are Too Poor to be “Sick and Poor” in America, when you have to sign up for a Medicare managed care plan, because that’s the only way you can afford your prescriptions, but none of the doctors on your so called Medicare Advantage plan are taking new patients right now, so you can’t get a prescription for the drugs that you can now afford.

You are Too Poor to be “Sick and Poor” in America, when you do not have a photo ID to prove you are who you say you are when you go to the doctor’s office. The government is too broke to give away your indigent healthcare to some other poor person. It gave all our tax money to the banks, including the one that owns your medical debt that you can never write off, because real Americans do not get something for nothing and if they make bad economic decisions---like suffering a heart attack they could not afford---- they have to pay the consequences.

Real stories from the front line of the class war, May, 2011.

Posted by Democratic Underground,

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