Thursday, February 5, 2015

Healthcare Meeting

Today, my place of employment had its annual meeting about the company health plan. After getting about four hours of sleep, I drove in a short but fairly intense snowfall to our home office. We have about thirty-five full-time employees, most of our workforce being seasonal part-time employees, many of them retirees. Thankfully, we aren't covered by Anthem, Inc. My spider-sense tends to tingle when I note certain company names, typically anything involving "Liberty", "Patriot", or "Family"- those keywords set off my BS detector, and I make sure I have my hand firmly on my wallet. Regarding Anthem, could the founder(s) have been an Ayn Rand fan?

Anyway, after a discussion of various copays, deductibles, and caps of out-of-pocket expenditures, I emerged from the meeting ever more convinced that a single-payer government healthcare system is the way to go. I haven't taken a prescription medication in twenty-five years, and I don't typically use any over-the-counter medicines, either, being a rather healthy, active lad. I'm a bit sore now, having spent a few hours yesterday shoveling snow on a balmy, sunny day- the neighbor who lives across the street and one house over and I were breaking up the mountains of snow left on the side of the street by the plows, in an effort to gain back our two-lane street. Even with some soreness, I figure I'll work the kinks out and muddle through the discomfort for a day... it's pretty much a typical Sunday for me.

One very funny moment in the meeting, one that underscored the boot/shoe divide in the organization, occurred when one of our production heads, an elderly diminutive lady who is as strong and tough as she is kind and sweet (I liken her to an ant, able to carry ten times her body weigh), asked for a list of in-network urgent care centers, so her staff wouldn't have to go to a hospital emergency room for a cut that "only required stitches". The office staff was genuinely taken aback by this somewhat blasé attitude toward bloodshed, while someone in her department joked about applying her sewing skill as an "in-house" solution. Me? I just nodded and chuckled "it's only a flesh wound", knowing the nature of the work. Hell, I slipped on ice last week and was fine because I was so bundled up, and I've practiced ukemi. We boot people tend to be pretty tough.


Vixen Strangely said...

I used to want to be a wrestler in my early twenties, so for me, taking falls is mostly no big. I roll--except this one time, I tripped when I was living in the 'burbs and there was no sidewalk where I was walking, so a passing car kind of activated my "dodge" reflex and I went bizarrely face-down.

I broke my nose, and blood-soddened a hoodie and denim jacket both beyond repair. I also bruised the almighty gosh out of the knee that made the first point of my ungainly landing. I trod about a block home, shaken not stirred, looking like an extra in The Walking Dead.

I have awesome state government insurance. My nose got put back in the middle and my leg eventually relearned doing leg-stuff.

A lot of my recovery was just me being "shit breaks" me, but I was glad I had a health safety net that made sure my face wasn't perma-whacked and that I didn't have some underlying damage that would bite me in the as later on.

mikey said...

Yes. Me, on the other hand, I have six different prescription meds that I take every day, and have for almost ten years. Five of them help prevent sudden death, and the other one it much more important, it keeps my brain from conspiring against me. Without insurance those meds would be way out of reach price wise, and even with insurance it's a substantial non-optional expense.

I may be a 'taker' (hmm, but wait, I'm also a 'maker'), but I feel that my community and my tribe should provide these basic life and health sustaining treatments. Health care should be a fundamental human right, not something you only get if you can afford it...

Chickpea said...

I'm so grateful we have a National Health Service that provides my son with the very expensive treatment he needs for his horrendous chronic illness, free of charge no arguments. Unlike fellow suffers in the U.S. who tell us on the forums that if their insurance doesn't cover this drug they can't have it.