The Third Rail

“These are the souls of broken factories
The subject slaves of the broken crown
The dead accounting of old guilty promises
These are the souls of the broken town.” — Gordon Sumner

If the past few years have taught me anything, they have taught me the importance of insurance reform. That by itself is a revolutionary term we need to grasp hold of as progressives. The alternative “health care” reform sounds scary to people that don’t know exactly what you are talking about. It’s that issue framing situation all over again.

See, the care we get in the United States is among the best in the world. That’s when we are able to get that care. To peel back the onion a little, as most people that know me know, I was diagnosed with diabetes about three years ago now. Since then it feels like I’ve lived in a doctor’s office. I’ve managed to meet my deductible three years in a row now, so if anyone knows the pitfalls of insurance it would be me.

The problem is not the quality of the care. I can’t complain about my podiatrist. I can’t complain about my endocrinologist. I’ve just started seeing a gastroenterologist, so I can’t complain about him either. I see someone else for my allergies. I can’t complain about them either. I also have to see someone else about my eyes. I think you’re getting the idea.

A summer vacation spent away from work was spent largely in doctor’s offices. Unfortunately, I have to go back to work and there will be more interruptions than before. The problem has never been the level of care. The problem is how much that care costs and the limitations on that care due to insurance. It doesn’t help that I feel like I’m falling apart.

Health care reform means we need to improve health care. Insurance reform means we need to improve insurance. My attitudes have changed over these past few years. When the ACA was being debated I was firmly in favor of a public option, but I was not quite on the single payer train yet. That has changed. The point is how we can get the quality of care we need at faster intervals and lower prices.

One of the things I had when I was in the hospital was a doctor or nurse that coordinated with all of the other doctors. With all of the bureaucracy we have built up in our insurance industry it sure would be nice to have someone that was able to coordinate all the stuff going on with me. Maybe i could get in faster to deal with certain issues.

Yet, the most important thing is that the quality of my care shouldn’t depend on my employment or my wife’s employment. If this is the greatest country and health care system in the world then why is it denying access to some people? How can some people lost access based on changes in their employment status? Why can’t I choose a doctor or group of doctors that are convenient for me or based on the quality of care I want?

This is just amongst the many things we can’s do right now. We are too worried about wedge issues that don’t matter at the end of the day. We have to worry about boys using girls bathrooms, boys playing girls sports, whether Jethro has the right to shoot his toe off, and how we can keep those nasty black people from voting. Maybe someday we can actually worry about the stuff that’s real, but I’m not holding my breath.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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