Friday, July 25, 2008

Insurance Company Rules!

I loved this video, brought to you by Health Care For America Now:

My experiences with health insurance have been typical, I suppose. Years ago when I had the benefit of corporate health insurance and was extremely depressed, on the recommendation of a friend, I went to an actual psychiatrist rather than just a psychologist or counselor. The psychiatrist told me that I was a "freight train running at top speed towards a huge brick wall." (Man, she has a penchant for creative writing, don't you think? What imagery!)

Well then, hand over the pills if that's how you feel about it. I still remember the two drugs: Klonopin to help me stop convulsing, even though I've never had a single convulsion in my life, but she said she just wanted to make sure that I didn't have one in the future...and Desaryl to help me sleep, even though I didn't have any trouble sleeping, but she said that's ok, we just want to make sure that you sleep. I have no idea why those drug names stick in my brain, more than 18 years later. So does the red dot on the psychiatrist's forehead. I liked that about her. And I wanted one of my very own.

In effect, I became a not-caring slug-like lump who slept a whole lot. This didn't feel like the "real me," but I was soon able to leap back into me-ness. Because, as in most drug-laced situations of my life, I either ditched the insane job or the bad boyfriend, and then I miraculously could ditch the drugs too. Waddaya know.

But that one little eentsy beentsy appointment with the lovely red-dotted wrong-drug-dispensing psychiatrist made it impossible for me to get health insurance a little while later, when I found myself unemployed (having ditched the insane job). Maybe those nice people at Joe's Health Insurance were worried that I would convulse my way into a Desaryl-induced coma and they'd be stuck paying for intravenous fluids and $3000 Kleenex for the rest of my (hopefully for them) short life.

I learned a couple of lessons from that experience:

  1. Never go to a psychiatrist again
  2. If I must go to a psychiatrist, pay cash and don't tell a soul
  3. Never quit my corporate job
A job in corporate America for me was like heroin is to an addict. How else was I going to:
  1. Get health insurance
  2. Maintain my respectable veneer (because we all know I was an out of control slut)
  3. Be accepted into the "in" club
  4. Fuck men in suits (only CFO, CTO, CEO and higher - I never lowered my standards dontcha somebody will find this blog and reveal my secret dabblings with the lower echelon. Oh, I hope so! I need the traffic.)
  5. Buy all of that shit advertised in all of those fashion magazines, billboards, TV shows and movies.
After all, if I bought all that shit - the lipstick that never fades, the lotion that puffs up my skin cells to temporarily fill in my wrinkles, the $400 shoes, the $600 suits (new ones for every season!), the expensive car that smells like Corinthian leather inside, the hip new restaurants, the sexy lingerie, the designer beer - then I could continue to be "in," and fuck men in suits.

Men in suits can't fuck, unfortunately. Or at least not very well. They probably need to remove the large stick up their ass. And corporate America doesn't deliver either. It's a never-ending circling-the-drain existence that just ends up dumping you, as a dissipated, designer-wear-flaunting ghoul into some guru's or religion's or psychiatrist's lap. "Help meeeeeee! Help meeeeeee!" said The Fly as he was about to be devoured by the large spider.

I sat on many laps (some undulating) before I finally quit my corporate habit. I tried to do it gently at first, giving up hard liquor, let's say, while doubling my intake of wine. I sold my Volvo and paid $3500 cash for a used diesel Mercedes. (There's nothing like the smell of slow-burning diesel fuel and German leather in the morning.) I started shopping at The Wow Mart and Target for my clothes. And I gave up dinners at five-star restaurants in favor of street-side taco trucks. But, in the end, I had to quit cold turkey. I had to wave a middle finger goodbye to the completely incompetent born-again krishtian owners of the most insane job I had ever held. I had no job prospects. But I just took day at a time.

My company, as required by law, offered me 18 months of health insurance. Guess how much they told me that I was lucky enough to pay per month to insure my little self? $650.

I declined. Then I went to Blue Cross Blue Shield and filled out 650 pages of ten years of medical history to see if I could qualify for an individual policy. Weeks later, I was approved. It's because I never went to a fucking psychiatrist again. See how well I learn my lessons? My monthly policy was $295-ish.

Guess how much my BCBS monthly premium was after my 50th birthday? $350. I kept it long enough to have my uterus boiled (literally), which cost Blue Cross $3000, and didn't end my painful periods. Ah. Such is life.

Today, I am uninsured. I pay cash when I need something lopped off. If something happens to me that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix, then I'll invite my friends and family over to have a fun party before I die. If I'm incapacitated and become a ward of the state, well then, lots of doctors, nurses and candy stripers will be able to see me naked in bed. If any of my friends are industrious, they could sell tickets.

I believe that health care is a human right, and should be freely available to all human beings in America, and can be funded through taxes. If you give me the stupid right-wing question "where will the money come from?" then I'll answer, "Oh, take a tiny portion of money away from the fucking Iraq war and all will be well." We will all be well.

I believe that insurance companies are the bane of our existence. I believe they need to be eliminated as the corrupt and evil middle men between me and my doctor. Yes, that means that all the people employed by insurance companies lose their jobs. But I bet you a million worthless dollars, that they are all dying to get the fuck out of there anyway.

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