Adequate Health Care Is A MUST For All People Struggling With Chronic Pain And Disability!
If you're reading this chronic pain blog, it's likely chronic pain is a part of your life. You or your spouse or your child or your sibling struggle with it, and you're looking for help.
You're not alone. Millions of people need help. And millions are being denied help because they have the misfortune to be without adequate insurance or private funds. And for that sin, they are made to suffer.
I know what it's like to be disabled and denied adequate care. In 1989, I was the innocent victim in an auto accident caused by a driver that sped away. As we waited for the ambulance, my husband stroked my hand and assured me, "Don't worry about anything. We've got good insurance."
Months later, having overcome two incompetent doctors who misdiagnosed and mis-treated me, I finally found a doctor that sent me for the right tests, made the right diagnosis and prescribed the right therapy. Each day, for four weeks, as I entered the therapy clinic, that doctor would ask me how I was doing and encourage me. I felt he cared. And after being abused by two careless doctors, that made a world of difference to me.
But on the fifth week, when I entered the clinic, the doctor, seeing me, turned abruptly away. I called after him, but he went into his office and shut the door.
When I approached the desk to sign in, a clerk came out and told me she needed to speak to me privately. In her office, I was told that my health insurance provider had declared bankruptcy. If I wanted further care, I had to make a cash deposit of fifty thousand dollars. I was stunned. She was emotionless. It was made perfectly clear to me that my relationship at that clinic was over.
Back home, I called the number I had for my insurance company. The woman that answered that number told me XYZ Insurance Company was no longer in business. A brand new company, XYZ-Z. was now enthroned. At the same address. Using the same employees. And the same phone number. In fact, everything was the same except one thing–I no longer had health insurance. And because I didn't have the cash, I no longer had medical care.
Keep in mind, please, that I had done everything society told me to do. I worked hard. I took care of my health. I paid through the nose for good health care, not a bare bones policy, but the high-priced spread that covered everything. But when I finally needed that policy, they pulled the rug out form under me, even while they went on selling insurance from the same building using the same employees.
That is why the United States needs to provide national health care–the same level of national health care that every citizen of every other industrialized nation in the world receives. And I'm not the only one that thinks so. I've spoken with many health care professionals who agonize over their inability to help good people heal and return to a quality of life.
Over at Salon, you can read an article by Ford Vox, an M.D. who works as part of a team that, as he describes it, tries "to put lives back together after disabling injury and disease." In his article, Dr. Vox describes the horror of having the resources of healing at hand, but not being able to apply them to people whose insurance has lapsed or been used up, or to people unfortunate enough to live in states with no commitment to adequate health care.
Millions of people on both sides of the table, pain patients and health care professionals alike, are clamoring for health care reform, for a system that, as Dr. Vox says, "does not trample on basic human rights." Add your voice to the clamor. Let your elected officials know that health care is a top priority issue for you, and that you will not sit back quietly as they once again let insurance companies thrive while we suffer.
Here is where you can contact your representatives: HOUSE http://www.house.gov/writerep/ SENATE http://www.senate.gov/ WHITE HOUSE http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ And while you're at it, use the comment box to add your voice to this blog. The more you speak up, the more likely you'll be heard!
### Bonnie Boots publishes Pain Health News to provide information and motivation to people living with chronic pain. You can stay in touch with her by typing your email address into the subscribe box in the upper right corner of this page.