Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good-bye, Tony...

I am angry and sad and frustrated today.

Worst of all, I feel helpless.

A friend of mine passed away this morning. Medical science has the technology to help him, but he was less than a month short of being eligible for Medicare. Tony needed a defribbilator, and was hanging on until Medicare would cover it, as the operation would have been in the hundred thousand dollar range.

Tony was a small business owner, self-employed his whole life, and just didn’t have the money or the insurance. On December 1, he would have become eligible. His doctor scheduled the operation last week.

But now it’s too late.

I feel like there is something I should be able to do about this. Not single-handedly, of course, but some way I can act as a catalyst for change. And, of course, not for Tony, but for the thousands of other self-employed individuals out there who can’t afford insurance for themselves or their children.

Then I look at a friend of mine in Canada, who traveled to the States for medical care. He said he was treated like a king at one of the best facilities in the world, because he was paying cash. So I know the solution up North is not “the answer” either.

I guess this is basically just a vent. And a clich├ęd one at that: the high costs of healthcare for self-employed individuals. I also know there’s no easy solution, and I’m very grateful that my husband has a job with good benefits and security, which permits me to live a fantastic lifestyle, working from home.

It’s different to vent about health care in the abstract, however. This time, it has hit home with the loss of a gentleman I worked with a few times and will always think fondly of. Rest in Peace, Tony, you will be missed.


Lori said...

I'm very sorry for your loss, Dawn.

TJWriter said...

The sad thing is I saw a headline somewhere that was commenting on the loss of pension while posing the question of whether employer-paid healthcare was the next to go.

Soon we all may responsible for the cost of our own healthcare. I don't see that turning out well at all.

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend.

Dawn Allcot said...

I don't see how the country as a whole could afford that, honestly. The prices they charge the self-employed for insurance is ridiculous.

For instance, one of my former bosses was paying, for a family of five (his wife and three kids) an annual amount that was about HALF my annual salary (after taxes, but still!)

And thank you.