Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lack of Affordable Health Care and Health Insurance Killed My Husband - 2

"One of the most unpatriotic things I can think of is the callous disregard so many of our fellow Americans seem to have for their uninsured fellow citizens. They are comfortable leaving millions in the hands of insurance companies all citizens know already "come between you and your doctor". And we ALL know that if you serve the corporate bottom line (our current system of health "care"), instead of being accountable to voters, you're going to chose profit over actually providing for someone's health. So many 1st world countries have successful ways of providing health care for their citizens. We should learn from them, and improve on their examples. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" should read "let me provide aide to your working-weary, your too-poor-to-get-health-insurance, your having-trouble-to-breath"... Your HMO and your insurance company already stand between you and your doctor. Don't use that as a lame excuse to prevent the uninsured from having an access to a doctor at all. The public option is compassionate patriotism at it's best."

Sort of looks like those "death panels" everyone is afraid of are already in place and thriving, don't it?

Keeping an eye on the soybean seed being unloaded.

James had worked since he was 6 years old on his family's share-cropped acres.  One year, when he was 13 or so, his Dad worked for a dairy farmer.  James got up at 3:30 a.m. every morning to help his Dad do the milking before he went to school.  After school, he ran or hitched a ride the 3 miles home so he could help his Dad finish up the cleaning and do the milking again.  He never received one dime of pay from that old dairy farm owner, hell,,, back in those days his Dad barely received enough pay to feed his family. From the day James graduated from high school until the day he died,  the jobs he held could be counted on one hand.  Anyone who knew him could tell you what a wonderful, hard-working, man he was, no matter what sort of job he did on a farm,  and he became an excellent farm manager.
This was James's school picture during the year he worked with his Dad at the dairy barn.

The thing is, farming feeds the mulitudes, but farming in the delta region doesn't provide many perks, including health insurance for the employees.   There is still a lot of "good ole boy" mentality floating around down here in our part of the Mississippi River delta, left over from the days of slavery.  Many of the farm owners feel that "ya gotta keep em hungry and in debt to ya,  pay em too much and they won't work nearly as hard."

So, why didn't he work somewhere else? I guess he was one of those folks who still believed in the American Dream and honestly thought that hard work would eventually pay off.    Also, even when you divided his salary by the hours he worked, and it showed he worked for much less than minimum wage for many months of the year, the truth of the matter is, his salary was high enough that we could actually eat and pay our basic bills at the same time. And one of the farm jobs came with a house and utilities. I helped by working  as much as I could too.   We raised 3 kids who had as much as they needed although probably not as much as they wanted. We paid for their births and other medical needs without insurance by paying as much as we could one month at a time.  But back (our last child was born in 1980)  then the highest hospital bill for giving birth was $1100 for 3 days in the hospital (the fees had doubled from the year before cause they built a new hospital).

Kinda makes you understand why I'm pretty damned mad right now,  along with having the worst heartache (even worse than some of the things my kids have said and done lately and in the past) I've so far ever had to endure in my life.  My husband didn't deserve to die at age 59.  He still had an awful lot of lovings to give to his grandbabies and  a lot of farming to do. Dammit, I miss him!


Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry that you are having to face this pain and heartache without your soulmate. I wish, more than anything, that this wasn't true.

I totally agree with you. The health care in this country is shameful. You should see what they're doing with the "privatizing" of Medicaid. Children and the elderly are really being hurt. Soon that "wonderful" plan will be forced onto those of us with Medicare. Ten abominable, disreputable companies with lawsuits from everywhere from the state Attorneys General to the Federal Attorney General and, still, they're being allowed to take over Medicaid and Medicare management ... and hurting lots of people in the process ... AND making tons of money at doing it. Shameful.

When the pain starts to ease ... I promise you, it will ... you should write down all the wonderful memories you have of your husband ... everything happy and funny and joyful. You want to be able to pass those wonderful memories on to the little ones in your family.



Donna said...

I know you are still grieving and hurting. And I haven't walked in your shoes yet with losing a loved one. I pray that you will receive God's healing.

Health care is a commodity and there are a lot of expenses that go into it, and those get reflected in the costs. I'm sorry that you weren't apparently able to qualify for state assistance or afford at least a catastrophic policy. I hope you continue to look into it, because surely you should qualify now, at least for yourself.

Insurance rates are going up even more since the Health Care Act got passed because of new regulatory requirements and taxes. And now you will be forced to buy a policy or else pay a fine (tax) to the government. They are already admitting that the law is making things more expensive rather than less, and the full coverage of the act hasn't even gone into effect yet!

My husband has been on Medicare for a couple of years and his coverage is worse and more expensive since the government forced him into it, all because of his age. I'm not looking forward to Medicare in another 5+ years either. We would prefer to NOT have government insurance, but sadly we don't get a choice when we turn the magic age of 65. BTW, many private insurance policies are based on costs + a fixed fee, such as my BC/BS coverage. BC/BS is non-profit. And over the years, they have never, ever given us any hassles in applying coverage. Unfortunately, we started having problems with Medicare coverage for DH within a week of it starting. They denied coverage for his blood pressure medicine. Oh, what a mess it was to work things out, and after a year he finally got switched to a medication that they do cover and works adequately. In the meantime, if he dropped dead of a heart attack, Medicare could have cared less. They have a set list of what drugs they "approve" and if it isn't on the list, you can't have it.

I am praying for you, sweetie. God bless you. Your husband was a hard-working man who took his responsibilities seriously. He had a tough life of labor, and he is one of many of the unsung heroes in our country who provide for their families and contribute to society. God welcomed him with open arms. He paid his dues and then some.

Paxie said...

Oh Brenda sweetie...this has me in tears. I am so very sorry this has happened to you. James was an honest, hard working man his entire life. So tragic. I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for you.

Since I went on SS Disability two years ago, they automatically made me get Medicare this past September. I'm hoping I don't have problems like Donna just mentioned.

No excuse for every American not to have OUTSTANDING health care. None.


bichonpawz said...

Dear Brenda...I am so very sorry that you are having to go through this awful heartache. My heart and prayers go out to you. James was a very hard working honest man who certainly paid his dues. Health Insurance in this country is a terrible mess right now. We are dealing with my husband going on Medicare and that whole red-tape process right is not good that we as Americans have to go through this crap.

Blessings to you, my friend. I am sending you cyber hugs!! xoxo

Out on the prairie said...

My insurance is terrible, i have to drive 90 miles to a hospital.If i was having heart failure how long do you think I would last?It is sad to not have benefits when we give so much of our life to work.One thing we never plan in our lives is poor health or leaving this earth.You are always in my thoughts.

Jeanette said...

I'm sorry, Brenda that you have to deal with that angry on top of your heartache. The health care system in this country is definitely lacking.

Sally said...

Thank you for sharing this, Brenda. My heart aches for you. It's not fair and in my opinion, criminal what happened to James.

God bless you, my friend.

Donna said...

Bless your heart dear friend...I feel so awful for you!
Still praying for you here...

Virginia Gal said...

oh my God Brenda, I am so sorry, I feel just awful. I wish I could hug you right now.

I will tell you this, reading your posts has reinvigorated me to continue to work to put the right people in office and clean our health care system up! James will not have died in vain.