America's Healthcare System
I got home from work yesterday to an email from my brother, Steve, that just said:
Sitting here, crying, and reading this.
Weird thing is, the woman who wrote it - I emailed her earlier that day. I started following her on twitter after my treatments were over and I felt like I was mentally able to go searching online for other cancer survivors, patients, etc. (I was NOT up to this at all DURING treatment. Not even a little...) Again with the serendipity thing. But that's not my point today.
My point today is that it was a struggle to read this entire article. In fact, if we're being honest here, I couldn't read it all. One, because it was just SO UPSETTING. And two, as I got into reading it, I realized that I had no idea what MY cancer cost has been so far.
So I logged onto my insurance company's website, and grabbed a calculator. It's hard to tell, the way it is set up on there, what each dollar amount was for, exactly, but I did my best to sort out the appointments, procedures, and medications listed that only related to my cancer. And what I came up with was UNBELIEVABLE!
In total, and only "so far" because there are still several items that have not been processed yet, my insurance company has paid $206,108.80 for my cancer. Well, minus the $10,000 in deductible that I have to pay. ($5,000 last year, $5,000 this year - feel free to keep using that donation button... hehehe!)
I cannot even express how lucky I feel to have insurance. Even with such a high deductible. Because I don't know if I have made $206K in my entire working LIFE... Well, no. If I think about it, I have. But it took about a decade to do and I do have OTHER expenses. You know. Home. Food. Car. Utilities. Etc. But really, how much is it helping? The insurance, that is. Ten grand is still a ridiculous amount of money for kids whose 2011 tax returns combined income column isn't even triple that. And no matter how broke you might be, financial assistance just doesn't seem to be available if you have insurance at all. Well, I don't officially know that - I DID submit the request for assistance to the financial counselor woman at Moll Pavilion Cancer Center. I'm just assuming we don't qualify because the unhelpful bitch never got back to me. (She never even got TO me in the first place until I complained about leaving her multiple messages with no response to one of my favorite nurses and said nurse got on her ass to call me. Useless. Unbelievable.)
Anyhow. I just do not understand how our government can be so ass-backwards as to believe that this works on any level. Reading the responses on that article from people all over the rest of the world, where medical expenses are not the type of horrific concern they are here in America... it's infuriating.
If I was my under-insured brother, I'd be crying, too.