Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Update 3: Ranting about health insurance

OK. So I said Milk did make me want to do more for the things I believe in. And dammit, I really believe we need some healthcare reform. On Wednesday, I will be buying into the same system I was just dissing and going to lobby day in Olympia to talk to my legislators about healthcare.

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what needs to happen for me to go back to graduate school in the fall. Both the UW and Berk have a 400K cap on their graduate student health insurance. Seeing as how a bone marrow transplant (which will be necessary should I relapse) will cost ONE MILLION DOLLARS, I kind of need more coverage. Initially I was looking into catastrophe plans with high deductibles that, but those are turning out to be a bust. The coverage is shoddy and expensive and my social worker at Swedish said that the best thing to do in my case (should I relapse) is work on getting rid of all of my assets so I can apply for Medicaid.

This is so fucked up. I believe in Medicaid. I believe poor people should have coverage, but I am not poor. In fact, I would happily pay for health insurance. I DO pay for health insurance—with a big smile on my face. But because of privatized insurance, no one in their right mind will cover me to any decent extent after I am forced to leave my group plan with my work—my only option is to bankrupt myself so I can be eligible for Medicaid. That is dumb.

Let me back up. Right now I have primo health insurance through my work. My employer and I pay ridiculous amounts of money for this coverage—about $550 a month. And I can COBRA that for 18 months—for $550 a month out of pocket. Yipes. Do-able. Sort of. But when my COBRA runs out, I’m left with student health insurance (inadequate) until I am employed by someone else with group coverage.

The things that make me the most angry about this situation are:
-Caps. This defeats the point of insurance. Lifetime caps discriminate against people with chronic or long term health problems—the people who need health insurance most of all. People with AIDS and chronic cancer can spend millions of inflated dollars just to receive basic life supporting prescriptions and treatments.
-Pre-existing conditions and the ability to deny coverage: I will pay for my health insurance, but no one will have me. Fuck them.
-The fact that I would pay for my health insurance, but the only option is to let the government and Medicaid pay. That is stupid.
-Everyone is going to get cancer eventually. I really believe that. The statistics are high and growing. We need to come up with a better way to address common health issues like cancer in a most cost effective way.

-women are charged more for health insurance because they go see the doctor more often—for things like preventative care.
-preventative care is awesome and so much less expensive than emergency care, but most insurance companies are too stingy and short sighted to pay for that kind of thing.

You know what, this is just making me mad. FUCK HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES. THEY ARE EVIL INCARNATE.

Update 2: Review of the only Oscar Nominated Movie I saw

What the hell is so radical about this movie? Sean Penn and James Franco are hot, the acting is good, and there is nothing blatantly offensive about the general production of the movie. I totally enjoyed it. I cried. It made me realize I need to do more to stand up for things I believe in. But now I am going to bitch about why it’s not really that groundbreaking.

I can’t get over how people think that just because two guys are kissing each other in a coupled, monogamous way that this movie is at all divergent from any major paradigm or theme in any other movie about overcoming adversity. Oh my god, this is a story about a bunch of white guys who got together, rallied as white guys using the system, and accomplished something for a bunch of other white guys. Totally blows my mind. Not. Stories about people overcoming obstacles by being scrappy (and white, and male, and middle class, and educated) and working the system are a dime and dozen and feed into the idea that the system works and that if you just try hard enough you will be rewarded with victory.

Here’s what really pisses me off. These guys didn’t organize in any radical kind of way. They were just part of the general masculine-centered activist paradigm. If you made a movie about a bunch of women who did something together and organized in a non hierarchal, peaceful, feminist way, no one would go see that movie. Every one will go see a movie about hot guys who do sexy things like yell into microphones and march militaristically and you know that secretly everyone is excited by the fact that these dudes have penises and they put them each other’s butts. Whatever.

I realize there about 100 places to punch holes in this argument, but I don’t have time to write the most well-reasoned argument. But you get it, right? That this movie isn’t telling us anything new or radical?

Update 1: Prednisone

5 days a month is actually turning out to be pretty OK. I have 5 nutty, but extremely productive days a month and the worst of the side effects (horrible heart burn, total OCD insanity, sleeplessness, despondent withdrawal) are all minimized by the brevity of the situation. This round of Pred resulted in these excellent results:

-Taxes: filed

-FAFSA: filed

-Shopping: 2 new sweaters, one new bra

-Perfume bottle: fixed

-Lamb/tomato/tumeric red lentils: perfected

-Gym: joined

-Bills: transferred to roommates

-Laundry: 4 loads

-Mansion Lease: signed