The Inconvenience of Not Dying


Kevin Hartranft –

It is becoming increasingly expensive to continue to live. Much to the chagrin of Sarah Palin and her predicted death panels of the affordable health care act (ACA) the truth is much the opposite. medical science has progressed to a point where people that once died, are now surviving. I am on such people.
Operation how to downsize medicareAlso quite unfortunate, the ACA did not address the true costs of insurance, medical services, equipment, and pharmaceuticals, mostly because the people who profit from those prices did not want this to occur. They line the pockets of political entities to make this happen. All this is for another paper, but suffice it to say, the ACA does not cost less because the politicians yelling this from the treetops did not allow it to cost less so they could own nice things.

I will spare the full details of my illness but at 30 years of age, in 1992, I experienced a major health problem. At 30 I had no wife, no children anywhere. I was a single guy with no real health issues to that point other than the occasional broken bone or sprain. I had no reason at that age to expect a problem. I had no reason to need or want insurance of any kind. I was wrong.

One of my internal organs crapped out rather suddenly and I was rushed to the hospital. I do not really remember the next month but it was spent in the intensive care unit of  two different hospitals. The second of them was the University of Michigan where I was a guest in the surgical ICU for some time. I was given the last rights. I was expected to die. Through the miracle of modern medicine and my own stubborn streak I did not.

I awoke about a month later. As I said earlier I had no insurance so what I awoke to was a very different amount of debt than what I had gone into this with. My job at the time was not sufficient to handle a debt load of that nature. After hearing of my financial situation, in desperation,  it occurred to me many times that I might have been better off just not making it.

131514_600This is the current situation of our Elderly, our disabled, and even those, like me, that were sick temporarily but recovered. The cost of living with illness or a disability is tremendous. Insurance doesn’t want any part of it. They spent years turning me down because I have a preexisting condition which arose from my resurrection. They turn down my parents now as both are at a point where their health is failing. Both are in dire need of affordable options in care as their income is fixed but their expenses are anything but.

One of my parents is on dialysis and the other one has had a heart bypass. Both of these situations are considered end stage and therefore both conditions are not insurable. If you do not have insurance when these conditions hit you are out of luck. If you do have insurance when these hit you they will raise the cost of the deductible one you fixed income life until you can not afford to get help.

It is not abnormal now when ill or disabled to have increasing health costs butted up against lowering income as your illness makes it harder and harder to work. At what point does society begin to choose those death panels Mrs Palin so loves to talk about? Society is already opting for peer pressure in many ways.

us-healthcare-costsInsurance costs rise as people in society make risky life choices. This is prompting certain companies to charge more to employees that are overweight or smokers. It is instilling a witch hunt mentality in people trying to cut costs. many feel they shouldn’t have to pay for others risk and, on paper, it seems somewhat logical. In reality we live in a free society so how do we balance it?

The right wingers in our society, the ones trying to get rid of the affordable care act, and the ones espousing a fear of these mythical death panels, are the ones always on about costs, the ones that neutered the AFA in regards to cutting costs. They feel in a capitalist society you pay your own way and that is the end of the story. And, if they get their way and return to the way it was before the ACA was in place, coupled with their desired cuts in medicaid and welfare, they will have stepped right into a vast quantity of irony.

People barely able to afford their health care now will not be able to afford to treat themselves and their long term illnesses. This will create two interesting things. One is that this is, in itself, a form of death panel Sarah Palin predicted, the difference is it will comes from her tea bagger friends instead of president Obama. The other lovely irony will be that once these people lose the ability to care for themselves and die they will no longer be able to pass their bad genes onto the next population. In time this will create a healthier population because genes for long term illness and short term failure in the human body will be eradicated by evolution, which is something the right wing firmly denies even exists.

So rest comfortably in the afterlife all you disabled, and ill, and elderly people knowing that the republicans are now living in a world where the science they deny has gotten rid of the illness they need to weed out the poor, sick, and disabled they hate. The republicans eventually drown in their own cesspool of irony.

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