My Biggest Pet Peeve!

My biggest pet peeve!  Premiums in the US are topping out at near 40K for a family.  My family’s insurance premiums have gone up dramatically.  Our premiums have gone up by so much I cannot even grasp the change.  I have had to make dramatic changes in the way I manage our finances.  All the while I have been managing to cope with cancer surgery, radiation treatment and the ongoing treatment I have for a chronic, painful debilitating illness, Ankylosying Spondylitis (AS) for which there is no cure.
AS erodes bone where it shouldn’t and builds it where it should not.  I have what appears to be shark fins of bone growing into my abdominal area, lung cavity from my vertebrae, my thoracic is fused and my lungs can no longer expand.  My cervical spine is mechanically fused due to it deteriorating so badly.  I have deterioration in my SI joint.  I have bone growing in my feet where it shouldn’t making it painful to walk, my hands–making it painful to hold things.  You name it I have problems.

Infusion treatment – I no longer am receiving biologic treatment because I got pneumonia for almost 3 months. It’s a no go!

I have been grateful that we can afford to pay our premiums and the only way that has happened is that my husband has been working 3/1’s up on the slope.  So looking at our situation, it breaks my heart when I think about is the families out there that are not able to manage.  What I cannot stand is that liberals pen conservatives as people who do not care about others.  Nothing could be further from the truth and we need to change that, not by a PR campaign, that will help but with action to change our current broken system.

All of these things have dramatically changed our life. Prior to passing of Obamacare I was an avid opponent to the idea. Having had to experience IHS (native healthcare) for a period of time when I was not able to work and had to rely on a government run plan. I could see what type of care could be the result. I had always worked, carried my own insurance, and had seen the truly unbelievable apathy of the healthcare workers.

I know that veterans also had similar responses from their VA experiences.  I know a lot of them go through this too.  This nightmare inflicted on Americans by liberals who think they will do better are just chasing a pipe dream that sadly is just that. A pipe dream. One built up in the heads of academia and liberal America that sounds good but doesn’t work out in real life.
Can you imagine being told that my


joint swelling and pain was a result of too much soy sauce in my diet, without any tests, any real investigation into my symptoms?  At one appointment early on in my disease, at that native clinic,  this is what I was told.  This was a slap in the face.  The hardest thing now is knowing that had I been taken seriously and treated instead of disregarding my symptoms if they weren’t explainable by very little (or no) investigation –  perhaps my thoracic spine would NOT have auto-fused and I might still be working today.  And what I wouldn’t give to be doing that!

deyfunkyIn fact, the native system disregarded me to the point that they neglected to even look at my neck when I told them it was severely painful after my first cervical fusion.  They claimed I simply had failed surgery–labeled me seeking pain medication and wrote me off.  However had they looked they would have seen my disk above the fusion they did had ruptured, was pressing against my spinal cord and a ruptured chunk of my disk was lodged between a nerve and a muscle. Fortunately we moved to Wasilla and had access to private insurance again.  I underwent surgery the next slot the surgeon had once he saw my films.  Can you imagine my disgust?

For those that know me, know that the idea that I was pain med seeking is laughable.  For those that don’t let me give you a bit of a history about me.  I started working in non-profits in Juneau, AK in 1994.  In 1995 I started working at Tongass Community Counseling Center.  I did such an outstanding job with clients that I was encouraged by all clinical staff to begin my training to be a substance abuse counselor.  So I did.  Having no native substance abuse counselors at the time in our community I felt compelled to be part of the solution.

I quickly excelled in my abilities as a counselor and was commended by the State of Alaska auditors for my assessment work and treatment plan development while at Gastineau Human Services.  I also took that high level of expectation of assessment work to Clitheroe Center when I moved to Anchorage and raised the bar there.  My last full-time position was with Akeela working at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center as a substance abuse counselor in the prisons Intensive Outpatient Treatment program.  I loved my job and it pained me to leave it.  While I initially left that position to go back to school, because I have always wanted to do more – work harder- my health quickly degraded and I was unable to even do that.

Working harder has always run in my family.  I began working in parent’s businesses when I was 8 and often held 3 jobs as a youngster.  I loved working and even my disability judge acknowledged that prior to becoming ill I was a “workaholic.”  Just because I cannot doesn’t mean I still do not want to advocate for those who still can.  I know that so many want to work hard.  We need to set the stage for that to happen.  The current climate and Obamacare  and the economic principles will not allow it to succeed and the true way to reform should include NOT the government or insurance companies being the dictator of healthcare but a free market with patients and physicians in charge of care. Government does have a place and certain regulations should be set.  I will admit that the pre-existing conditions issue is a big one.

My pre-existing conditions that put me in this lovely high-risk, unwanted and unfortunately high cost segment of the population. This segment of the population will be what liberals will fight for tooth and nail and I hate being in that pool that they scream for.  Heck–I know that one way or another I will make it even if it were abolished-it’s not the government’s job to make my life comfortable sadly.  But by simply keeping that provision and manage a high-risk pool with capped premiums it could be accomplished.

I believe we need to open the market across state lines and make it reasonable for people to purchase plans without the excess requirements people do not need or even want. Then remove the employer mandate that has killed Americans full-time jobs. This needs to be a focal issue of what we ask for. Our economic health will not fully return on part-time wages.  Then and only then will we see a return of the full health of America.

I’ve been gone a while—but back again because–well I just don’t give up!
Until next time!

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