I am in the middle of a family health meltdown. In this time when the yearly flu epidemic is turning deadly, my two kids living at home and still in high school are both home sick. And I am finding it difficult to pay for illnesses. My recent trip to the hospital for a faux heart attack has left me staring down an incoming tidal wave of doctor and hospital bills. I have been paying more for health insurance than ever before. The lovely caring government has been mucking about with health care issues to the point that, even though I am paying thousands of dollars more per year for health insurance than I did ten years ago, I have huge medical bills that, due to higher deductables, leave more for me to pay as my portion than ever before. I am paying twice as much for a three day stay in the hospital than I did five years ago when I had pneumonia, and was hospitalized for five days. The Princess’s doctor visit yesterday cost me $77 dollars. Number two son goes to the doctor this afternoon, and I have to hope it won’t cost more than that, because I am running out of Uber money for the month.
Gone are the days when I could afford to be sick. Now, bankrupt and with no credit left to my name, I am going further into the dark lake of debt, hoping for the mercy of lawyers and credit collection agencies. They may as well grind my bones to make their bread. I have little else to give them.
If this sounds like a complaint rather than the humor I usually shoot for, well, that’s because that’s what it is. I am sick and tired of always being sick and tired. But I have to do my part to help the American economy. It is really booming right now. Probably because people like me are investing so much in health care, right before we die because we can’t afford to pay for the medicine the doctor prescribes.
My thanks go out to the ghost of Norman Rockwell for providing the illustrations for this post. The pictures make me long for the good old days when doctors actually cared, and weren’t just making lots of money. Of course, it isn’t the doctors who are making most of the money off piratical health-insurance schemes. Whoever those people are, we never actually see their faces, and the voices we argue with over the insurance help lines are just their employees. Anyway, I am not myself sick yet. That probably comes later. So I will hunker down and burrow my way through a potentially terrible week.