Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Things to Think About
Last night, I joined Tanya Ward Goodman and the poet Helena Lipstadt for a reading at a very cool independent bookstore in Echo Park. A small, intimate crowd came, and we sat outside in a funky light-stringed courtyard behind the store. I can't tell you enough good things about Tanya's book Leaving Tinkertown, and even though I've read it in different incarnations over many years, it's still a thrill to hear her words. Helena is a new friend whom I met in my new writing group, and her poetry is so intelligent, lyrical and powerfully erotic. I read a few of my How We Do It posts and realized as I was doing so, that they might make a book if they are strung together in some skillful way. I need to get on that.
Other thoughts today concern my struggles with obtaining a better health insurance policy, how I'm realizing just how insidious the tentacles of the Insurance Industry really are --at least for those of us in the independent market. A few years ago, when the whole healthcare reform movement began and the rumblings started about Obamacare, I wrote of how ridiculous it would be to "shop" on the free market for healthcare. You can read about that here. I'll give you a moment, because it's pretty prescient, if I do say so myself.
Are you back? What I'm finding is that while I can certainly add Sophie to our individual policy because the ACA has done away with the preexisting condition clause, the drugs that she takes are not on the formularies, and I'm terrified that we'll have to go through some crazy labyrinthine system to get those drugs covered. If you can recall from my Canadian drug mule days, we finally found a non-profit foundation that picks up the co-payment of one of those drugs, but the other one is equally expensive and was only covered after months-long wrangling with the insurance commissioner and my local congress person. For those of you who have written me with the suggestion that Sophie go on Medi-Cal, well, she is, secondary, and those drugs are not picked up by them either.
Hey, like The Tan Man says, The United States has the best healthcare delivery system in the world.
Why the hell do we not have a single payer system? Why the hell is socialized medicine a less attractive alternative to a plutocratic system?
What a clusterf#*ck.
I'm also thinking about the Congressman from Virginia who was stabbed by his mentally ill son who then shot himself and died. Evidently, the son had been admitted for mental health treatment earlier in the week, but a bed wasn't available for him.
Again, let's recite the powerful Tan Man's mantra:
The United States has the best healthcare delivery system in the world.
That being said, Michael Tomasky has a great, brief piece on how the Affordable Care Act addresses mental health coverage for the first time in history. You can read that here.
Finally, ya'll might want to come on out and visit the estate sale of Dr. Arnold Klein, the dermatologist who worked on the face of Michael Jackson. He lives in my neighborhood (the fancy part), and evidently his estate will be liquidated over the next four days. Rumor has it that an extensive collection of Star Wars memorabilia, as well as Picassos and other celebrity crap will be auctioned off. There's a line snaking out the door as I type.
Reader, what are your thoughts today?