“And, yes, I understand that the free Norwegian health care is bundled into the costs of daily life there. Higher prices for items like gas, alcohol, candy, and automobiles support a political culture where looking out for the weakest in society is considered natural, even among most conservatives. If we do end up spending more on our living expenses there, and I never see another health document with thousands of dollars billed, I’ll consider it very worth the move for my soul.”
Yep. A good read if you’re looking for a day in the life of a person with IBD, specifically ulcerative colitis. I also want to point out this bit:
“Because I was signing the checks for our band’s health coverage, I noticed that my health insurance premium increased at a much faster rate than my band mates’. I didn’t think much about it at the time, because I was only paying five dollars co-pay for a bottle of medicine that was keeping me healthy. When I learned that the “real cost” of that bottle was $120, I felt as though the system was telling me, “Not only are you fighting a chronic sickness, but you are this close to not having enough money to stay healthy.” “
This article does a great job of showing the complete layout of exhaustion that comes with UC. Sure, there’s the physical pain of a flare-up, which is incredibly debilitating until you get it under control – if you can – but there is a constant undercurrent of stress about seemingly small things, such as:
– appearing (mid-flare) in public
– bowel control
– people’s opinions of you (stupid, yeah, but sometimes a hard habit to shake)
– medical and pharmaceutical costs
– finding and keeping a job with insurance
– and hilariously, keeping your stress level low so you don’t trigger a fresh flare. That’s right. I sometimes stress about not being low-stressed. Gah.
I’m really sorry for all you folks who are sad about universal healthcare. If you are anti-universal healthcare (and I really doubt you are, if you’re reading my blog), the above article is a good place for you to start to see where I’m coming from, and if you want to go further, try a little imagination. Have you, Unnamed Angry Healthy Person, ever been without health insurance? Can you imagine how different that time in your life would’ve been if you’d been exhausted, in terrible crampy pain, and crapping blood? How would that have affected your job search, or your artistic endeavors, or, hey, maybe your ability to take care of/watch your kids? How far in the hole would you be with medical bills?
I’ll take a moment so that you can really stretch yourself and enjoy these delightful imaginings.
For me universal healthcare represents our move toward a better society, one where the default classification for screwy-gened people like me won’t be “leech.”