I firmly believe “the personal is political, so I am going to share this story with you of how the personal and political are currently affecting my life.
We are looking to buy a house. But my credit is terrible.
Why? Was I irresponsible with credit cards?
Last year, at this time, my credit was good. In March of 2012, out of the blue, I had a seizure. I have no history of seizures, epilepsy,or any thing of the sort. But I had a seizure and was hospitalized for 2-3 days.
It was scary. My potassium levels were very low that day, but that–according to my doctors–is not enough to cause a seizure. What caused it?
The guess–and yes, all we can do after CT scans, MRIs, a spinal tap, ECG, EKG, and myriad other tests is that I can’t remember the initials for–is that my inherited low blood pressure (average is 90/50 for me) suddenly dropped, causing the seizure. I’m supposed to eat more salt to help keep my blood pressure up.
Now, how does my health affect my credit?
I was–and still am–uninsured. This is not by choice. I never thought I’d be uninsured, but circumstances out of my control (which I’ll explain in another post later) lead to me being uninsured.
The total bill for the hospital, ambulance, and physicians comes to around 18-20K.
I work full-time, and insurance is not offered by my employer (who employs 5 people.)
My pre-existing conditions–all of which are easily treatable and I pay out of pocket for–deem me “uninsurable.”
So I owe the hospital money I don’t have. I would love to pay them for their service and care for me. But after a month, the hospital turned me over to collections.
Suddenly, for me, the reality that health care in the US isn’t “care;” it’s a strict business matter.
How can we grow the economy, how can we invest in the citizens of this country when more than half of filed bankruptcies are due to healthcare costs?
The system is critically ill, and I am doubtful “Obamacare” will ease the burden.
True health care (not health business) is a right. It is not–and it should not be–a privilege.
Some argue that “Obamacare” is a start. They are more optimistic than me. WHY WHY WHY wasn’t single-payer health care on the table during the negotiations?
In the meantime, my partner was pre-approved for mortgage amount, which is how we can even look at finally owning our own house.
And for me, it’s hard. I’m angry at the system. I sometimes feel ashamed or far too dependent.
I realize, though, I should not be ashamed. We, the people, should be ashamed that we haven’t done better. My story is nothing compared to those others endured…