Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Which I Channel Andy Rooney

I’ve been thinking a lot about healthcare lately. My fibroids continue to kick my ass, so I am seeing a new doctor tomorrow. As I Mapquested the doctor’s office yesterday, I was inwardly bemoaning the lack of continuity of care I’ve received over the past few years. Between changing insurance carriers through Sweet Dub’s employer, starting a new job myself, and then having my employer change insurance carriers, this will be the fifth OB-GYN for me since Viva was born. Every time, I have to fill out extensive forms with my health history, get old records from previous doctors, etc. It is not a good system.

And now the latest U.S. Census data on poverty, income and health insurance are in. According to the report:

Both the percentage and the number of people without health insurance increased in 2006. The percentage without health insurance increased from 15.3 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2006, and the number of uninsured increased from 44.8 million to 47.0 million.
"The Uninsured" (which strikes me as a good name for either a horror movie spoof or a satirical version of the great Clint Eastwood movie "The Unforgiven") are those who don't qualify for medical insurance through any government program, but who can't afford to buy private insurance. That translates into close to one-fifth of the American population pretty much just relying on hope and a prayer that they don't get hit by a bus, or develop a persistent cough, or what have you.

Meanwhile, our family received an offer from Wells Fargo Bank recently for medical emergency insurance. For only $10 and change a month, we can get coverage of up to $400 a day for 365 days in the event that one of us has an injury or illness that leaves us hospitalized that long. The cover letter mentions that even with private health insurance coverage, an extended hospital stay can bankrupt a family.

I’m sure everyone out there either has a story or knows someone who has a story about the evils of the current health care system in the U.S. I have a dear friend who made the mistake of getting cancer and then her husband got laid off. He found another job, but inevitably there was a period of time when COBRA was running out and it appeared they would have to pay $3,000 a month for the experimental medicine that was keeping her alive.

The Wells Fargo notice tripped me out because now corporations are finding yet another way to capitalize on a bad situation and making money by exploiting people’s fears.

Note to presidential candidates: It’s not just the war, it’s the health insurance, stupid. Other developed nations have figured it out. Time to get on the bandwagon.

P.S. I have not yet seen Sicko. I think my head would probably explode. And I don't think my insurance covers that.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Worst. Mom. Ever.

This morning, at approximately 7:15, the fruit of my loins shot me a look dripping with venom*, stamped her foot and said:

"You are RUINING my LIFE!"

I truly was not expecting this until she was a pre-teen. I suppose I should have been taken aback, but in fact I was just amused. For those of you who are wondering:

How to Ruin Viva’s Life

1. Pour her a bowl of cereal. Add milk to said cereal straight from the carton, as opposed to pouring it into a separate cup and allowing her to add the milk herself.
2. Blow out the scented candle in the bathroom right before you take your shower. Even though you think you are doing this so as not to leave a candle lit and unattended while your 4-year-old is up and about, in actuality you are doing it in direct violation of the Universal Candle Rule, which is that any candle that is lit anywhere in the universe must be blown out by Viva, after the “Happy Birthday” song has been sung, even when it is not her birthday.

* Not literally. Visually speaking, this is a rather disturbing image, as it implies that some type of viscous fluid** was dripping from her eyes. If indeed that were the case, I want to assure you that I would not have remained where I was, on the bath mat, with water dripping from my hair, explaining to my offspring that she was being a bit unreasonable. I like to think that I would perhaps have thrown on some clothes and taken my kid to the pediatrician, with great quickness.

** Note: if you Google “is venom viscous” just as a form of copyediting yourself***, you are directed to this site, which provides detailed instruction on how to extract and smoke the venom of the Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert. I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

*** I am greatly concerned with quality control. Quality, not quantity!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Stimulatin' the Economy

Sweet Dub, on viewing two bags of clothes/shoes/toys sitting next to our front door to be donated to charity: “Jesus! We are such consumers!” Turning to me, he continues, “I mean, doesn’t it seem to you that we are constantly getting rid of stuff? What kind of lesson are we teaching our child? It’s such a consumer culture.”

“Most of it is clothes Viva has grown out of,” I say. “And toys she doesn’t play with anymore.” (And honestly, most of those, we didn’t buy ourselves, since not only does Viva get scads of stuff on Christmas and her birthday, but at each and every other birthday party she attends. Oh, not to mention at school they have a party about once a month and she gets even more useless crap there. Since I am an anti-clutter freak, I sift through her room and donate a lot of stuff on a pretty regular basis.)

“Agh,” Dub replies disgustedly, and this seems to be his final word on the crass commercialism of the fine society in which we find ourselves.

Five minutes later: “We need a new couch.”

(To be fair, he immediately picked up on his own hypocrisy and laughed at himself.)