In the last decade, I’ve had access to affordable healthcare for all of six months, after I broke in with my first full-time media job in 2012.
I had it long enough to get set up with both a doctor and a therapist. I had a checkup and all of three sessions to try and work out my depression and that was it, because our office policy rates spiked from $10 per month with no copay for healthcare to $60 per month with a $40 copay.
Overnight, it went from paying $10 to see a doctor to ten times as much, and I was a fully-employed guy with no history of smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, obesity, diabetes or any other malady which is often reason for an individual’s healthcare rates to boom.
This was life for a lot of us before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
Now I am not a “Big Government” shill, nor am I a diehard liberal out to take down “traditional” America, its family values or the almighty free market system. I can give you at least ten things wrong with both Republicans AND Democrats in under five minutes (and at least 90 more if given enough time).
I freely concede to being an unabashed social progressive, but also am a bit of a fiscal conservative. I regret nothing on either count, nor should be expected to.
If that annoys you, too damn bad. Go read something which insulates your particular echo chamber and stop wasting my time.
I know I did a vlog about this earlier in the month, but it’s a noteworthy point. I’ve been working since I was 16 years-old, two years before graduating high school. I worked in retail and office jobs. For a short while, I even had my healthcare guaranteed by the mighty AFL-CIO union.
Yet in that time, I have had access to even decent healthcare for fewer than three years. Three years of coverage in twenty-two years of life.
That’s what it was like for a lot of us before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
Is it a perfect system? Hardly. There are still too many things I won’t be able to likely afford under it and as it was written by insurance lobbyists for the insurance industry, there’s a lot in it which further angles the slope towards more profit for them and less effective healthcare for their customers who need it.
That said, for the first time in my adult life, I have healthcare that does not render me immediately poor and will hopefully give me the means to deal with both my CMT and my depression, which were allowed to go unchecked and to flourish expressly because I lacked the means to address them with qualified physicians.
My first doctor’s appointment is this next Tuesday and while the idea of being poked and prodded in places I’d rather not be poked or prodded may seem somewhat unpleasant, I’ll also take it because I’ve had the alternative, which is nothing, for more than long enough, I think.
The cliche is the first step to solving the problem is recognizing the problem exists. I recognized mine a long time ago, but couldn’t do anything about it.
Now I can, and if nothing else, I’m very much looking forward to the idea of feeling better in both mind and body.