Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitt Romney and The Healthcare Quandary

Excuse the urgent, tinkling, anxiety-inducing music, I mostly wanted this clip because of Romney's fun quip about emergency room care:

"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

Yup. It's as simple as that. 

Just, fucking fuck you, you sentient pile of veneers and stolen pension funds. You are so far removed from the people you would try to preside over, it's like a different fucking planet.

I don't think Mitt Romney is so stupid as to believe that emergency room care, for the uninsured, is free. I do believe, however, that he has no idea how the average emergency room bill affects people who aren't shitting greenbacks.

In 2006, for a few months, I was actually playing with the idea of dying. Just, up and quitting. One day, about a year after my dad committed suicide, walking home from class, I said to myself..."I think God is asking too much of me." That thought repeated itself over and over and over again in my brain, and would not stop. I paced around my room, and I actually remember my mind breaking. I started simultaneously laughing and sobbing, and tore apart my entire room, doing mostly nothing except making a hellish mess, but trying to tell myself that I was looking for a picture of my father.  I spent the next few hours hyperventilating. I called one of my best friends, who came over, utterly bewildered, and forced me into a car. She and another friend helped me into the campus medical center. I couldn't stop hyperventilating, so they gave me an Ativan. I remember my friends telling the nurse, "Yea, this has been a long time coming."

The day after, depressed as fuck (and probably feeling the after-effects of the Ativan), I sat at a diner with my friend, pushing food around my plate. Thought about dying. Still pushed the food. That's when I knew I was truly fucked up. I can eat, like, anywhere. Anytime, anyplace. If I can't eat, something is severely wrong with me.

I decided to check myself into a looney bin, despite my lack of insurance. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

It wasn't the same as an emergency room, but it was close. That was a pretty fucked up time for me, and I have no idea what I would've done if I hadn't put my safety and sanity into the hands of other people. 

Four days in that place cost me over $5,000.00.

That's a drop within a drop within a DROP in the bucket to someone with as much money as Mitt Romney. I didn't have insurance, but I was lucky in a lot of ways. I didn't (and don't) have kids, I didn't have a ton of bills to pay at the time, and I was still a student, so I could coast on loans for a while. Something tells me a desperate, single mother of two working a full-time job and wrangling her family doesn't have the time OR money to cart herself off to the looney bin. 

So, what? Fuck her? Emergency rooms aren't free. I've heard horror stories of people who ended up paying tens of thousands of dollars to fix broken legs, to have emergency appendectomies, to have surgery on a heart that just up and quit. Yes, they're alive, the hospitals have an obligation to stabilize them. They're alive, and they're eyeballs deep in fucking debt for the rest of their lives.

Mitt Romney has no idea what it's like to have the weight of a giant medical bill fucking you in the back of the skull every day until you're practically insane with anxiety. Never in his life will he ever feel that. That in itself isn't the problem, the problem is that he cannot get on the level with people who feel that every fucking day.

Hundreds of honest, hard-working people kill themselves every day because they're well-aware that a trip to a shrink, for an uninsured person, is the cost of a monthly car payment. So they snap, kill themselves, and restart the cycle of abandonment and depression in the children they leave behind. Thousands of people with debilitating abdomen pain pop some Advil and grimace through the day because they'd rather pretend that nothing's wrong than acknowledge that colon cancer runs in their family, and that cancer is fucking expensive to treat. Millions of people ignore their dental health (until a few months ago I hadn't been to the dentist in over a decade), their obesity, that funny way they have of wheezing when they sleep, the fact that their prescription glasses are 20 years old, and by the end of the day, they have blinding migraines.

I'll say it again, Mitty, fuck you. You have no concept of these problems, and what's worse, you do not care to have a concept of these problems. 

Leave behind every single cent you have, get an entry-level job at McDonald's, and care for three young children all by yourself for a couple of years, and THEN you might have the stones and compassion it takes to run a fucking country. 

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