I’m voting for Jill Stein as if my life depends on it.
Because it does.
A year ago, I started a new job. It was a lot less money. A lot. Because I was only making $9.50/hr, I wasn’t able to afford the same level of health care insurance as I previously had. Going the Obamacare route was also not affordable to me (note the irony). And this isn’t the time to discuss getting fined for not having health care, though I’m still stunned by the audacity of this.
So here I am, with my bottom of the barrel health insurance. My deductible is so high that I can’t afford a doctor’s visit, tests, etc. It’s here that I need to mention that I’ve had high blood pressure since they’ve started taking my blood pressure. I almost wasn’t cleared to play baseball in college because of it. I’ve been on medication for over 20 years – and it’s been 120/80 since. When I moved to Hawaii for a job, my health care didn’t kick in for 30 days and I was off my medication and the result was terrible headaches and uncontrolled bleeding for any cut or scratch I would get.
I’ve also come to find out over the past few years that Type II diabetes runs in my family. Not a surprise given our industrial food system, but that’s for another time as well. So I have/had also been on Metformin – they should probably just start adding it to our water.
So, when I realized that I could only afford this bottom tier insurance, I informed my doctor’s office of this. I told them that I’ll be able to continue my medication, but won’t be able to come in for all the tests they’ve had me taking over the past few years; at least until I get a better job, which I have been trying to do continuously, even after getting this low-paying gig.
Well, that wasn’t acceptable to my doctor and/or his office manager. I proceeded to get a barrage of emails, phone calls, and form letters. They tried to use intimidation and shame in the guise of “helping” me. I was told that I didn’t care about my own health and eventually they gave me 30 days to start doing whatever they said (i.e. come in for costly tests) or else I would no longer be a patient of the illustrious, on-local-PBS, Dr. Louis Papa. 30 days went by and I received a notice from the Post Office that there was a certified letter waiting for me. Yeah, I never went to get it.
My Doctor of 20+ years kicked me to the curb.
As of writing this, I’ve been off my diabetes meds for a month. My blood pressure medication is due to run out in about 6 more weeks. I’ve been looking for a doctor for a couple of months now. My insurance company gives me outdated lists of doctors who are accepting new patients. When I find one who actually is, my name is put on a list and their scheduler is supposed to call me back for some kind of interview. They’re going to interview me.
I haven’t received a single call-back yet.
I have an amazing wife and a daughter I adore. This disruption in my medical routine is costing me, I don’t know how many years of my life. I’m trying to eat right. I exercise a little when I’m not working 2 jobs and taking classes for a second teaching certification. Of the candidates for President on the ballot in my state, there is only one calling for a true, single-payer, socialized-type system.
So I’m voting for Jill Stein as if my life depends on it. Because it does.