On what it means to be “covered” and closing the gap 

Below are two posts I put on Facebook today. 

Kudos to Fort Sanders Medical Center Emergency Room.   After a week of trying to find a doctor who would accept the amount of money I had to see me and feeling progressively worse and worse I went really out of desperation to the ER.   I was afraid I was getting close to pneumonia and just didn’t want to do that again.   The last time was one of the worst experiences of my life.   I was treated well,  listened to.   No complaints.   They told me it was not yet pneumonia but I was days away.   I explained about the mixup with the Medicare advantage plan and how I didn’t have cash to pay the deductible until it kicked in.   I told them it was set to start on the first.   The doctor kindly told me I probably didn’t have until the first of I wanted not to have pneumonia.   I  have prescriptions.   He says in about 3 days I will feel human again.   Got to go see if I can get a bus.   Only one bus an hour in knoxville on Sunday. 
Postscript.   Nobody who not been without coverage can understand this.   When I went in I handed the girl my Medicare card.   She looked at it and said don’t worry you’re covered for this.   After eight years waiting I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.   I  can’t describe the feeling. I  can’t. 
Finally a little piece of a good thing.

You know I have thought a lot about my day and one thing is real clear to me.   Without the Medicare card I would not have went to the ER today. They told me I was probably only days away from my bronchitis becoming pneumonia.   I  felt like shit.   I had went through more than one episode of bronchitis becoming pneumonia and the last one scared the crap out of me.   At one time I wasn’t sure I would make it.  


 Without insurance one major rule is that bad things get a lot worse before you do anything about them. 


I am 100% sure I  would not have gone.   I would have lied to myself.   I would have convinced myself if was different this time or it would go away.  I would have to been a lot more scared than I was today. I would not have gone. 


Little things get big.   Bad things get worse.   You live with what you can’t do anything about and pray this is not the time it can’t be talked away or ignored.   That is what it means to be without insurance.   This is what it means to be in the Gap. 


I wish health care reform was more of a topic in this election.  It is hard for anything to get much attention with all the mud and filth flying about. 


This is a crucial year in Tennessee.   280,000 still wait.   They know about little things getting big.   They know about bad things getting worse.   They know about prayers and doing without what you can’t do without.  Too many friends have ran out of wait. 


The problems with insurance companies backing out of exchanges is going to be used as a reason,  as a justification to “protect”  poor Tennesseans from the federal government.   About 900 people will be protected to death.   There is a proposal but we will see if it catches fire or merely burns down. 


I wish it had been more than a campaign about dirt.   I really do.   Trump maybe defined that campaign away.   I don’t know. 


What if I had not been 65?  


I would have waited.   Aren’t we tired of people having to wait?


I am positive I would have waited.   Who do you know who has to wait? 


No one should feel they have to.

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