Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why I am upset with healthcare in the USA

So for father’s day I surprised my father with a weekend visit. I bought the tickets months ago and have been working with my mom to keep it a secret. It worked! It was wonderful, and I’ve had a fantastic weekend. We found my wedding dress Saturday morning, walked around their neighborhood the rest of the day, and Sunday we went to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. I had a great time, their exhibit on dinosaurs was amazing and they had a dancing robot. On the way back from this, so we could stop for food and drop me off for my flight back home, we were t boned and the car was totaled.

I remember that we had just gotten on a 4 lane one-way road and I remember seeing a white car and thinking it was going to hit us. Next thing I remember is seconds later, my mom telling my dad to hit the breaks before he hit what at the time I thought was a building but was only a stone sign. Then the car was stopped and my mom told me to stay still, but the air bags had deployed and the smoke from them was making it hard to breath. I was no hero, I freaked out. I focused first on undoing my seat belt and then I told my mom I had to get out because I couldn’t breath. I struggled to find the door handle under the air bags, it was my mom who got it open and helped me out.

Once I got out of the car I moved my hand to my head and paced slightly. My mother told me to sit down, and some bossy man wearing a floral beach shirt yelled at me to sit down. Eventually I did so, and some onlookers and my parents asked me how I was. I obviously wasn’t good, I was sitting in the grass on the side of the road with a huge lump on my head and an aching body. Still, with all of this, once the police started questioning me I realized a fact worse than my still unknown injuries: I don’t have health insurance.

I get health insurance through work, like most working adults and I just changed jobs, moving up to a better job after they reached out to me. It was supposed to be this wonderful thing, but now I was on the side of the road waiting for my 90 days to come up for my benefits to kick in.

I had just been hit by a car and my biggest concern was how I would pay to heal myself.

In the end, we were all fine. I’m glad to say that my injuries appear to be the worst. My mother was jerked around, and my father and I were hit by the incoming car. My dad’s neck is all gross and bruised, it bled a little at the time, and his back and neck are stiff and painful. I immediately noticed my wrist pain and head pain, EMTs on the scene called it a hemotoma. I was the only one who went to the doctor after the wreck and they told me I had a bruised hip, a sprained wrist and shoulder and neck, and that not only had I been knocked out for a couple of seconds but I did have a concussion. Apparently, there is a 1/1000 chance that I have internal bleeding, but it is unlikely and I will go back on Thursday if the pain in my head persists.

When I was sitting in the grass, my hand on my head and my heart racing, I didn’t know that car insurance covered my medical bills. I had no idea that health insurance is not used for car crash injuries. I had no idea that I would be fine and that I could focus on getting myself better and rescheduling my flight home. No part of me imagined that it would be alright, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that this time I was fine because it brought to light a perfect problem. I’ve switched jobs and advanced my career, I’m working on my degree, I’m doing all of those correct adult things and I don’t have health insurance.

Insurance being tied to employment is just stupid. However, it is an unavoidable evil for many people. Health insurance is expensive, and getting it through work is cheaper (especially so for those with families). When people get sick, their first concern shouldn’t be how they are going to pay for it.

Originally posted on my Tumblr.