Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Letter in The Boston Globe!

Here it is - my letter to the editor about the effect that health care coverage is having on my family.
I know that this blog is about homeschooling (well, and knitting) but for the last six months our lives have been as much about health, sickness, and insurance as anything else. And this is really a blog about our life, so this is what I'm blogging about.

In case the links stops working after today, here is the text from the letter:

Crying in pain, and in anguish over coverage woes

RE “AT best, Mass. health strategy offers halfway house to universal care’’ (Op-ed, Nov. 10): I really identified with Robert Kuttner’s op-ed. From my family’s standpoint, the health care glass sure looks half empty.

This year, I developed two fairly serious health issues, one chronic. In the midst of this crisis, my husband and I learned that our best health care option for next year, involving priced tiers, would make most of the doctors our family relies upon unaffordable for us as of Jan. 1.

Now I cry myself to sleep, not just from the pain of my physical ailments, but from the anguish of leaving the doctors we chose, including our primary care doctors, our sons’ pediatricians, and four excellent specialists. They’re among the best in their fields, and our relationship with some of them goes back more than a decade.

This experience has shaken my faith not just in our government but in our whole society. I wonder whether the soul-crushing mess that is health care in this country can ever be fixed?

Karen Kolp



Melissa R said...

Karen, I am sorry that your choices don't leave you much of a choice! I guess I must have my head in the sand. Ok, I know I do, because I don't read the newspaper or listen to news. Even NPR is overwhelming for me, as I feel I need to immediately drop my life and go help whoever it was that the last story on NPR was about. So...I guess I could use some schooling in this. How has the gov't made changes to things that has resulted in the company your family (husband I assume) works for changing their offerings to exclude your drs? Like I said, I am obviously clueless about all this and maybe should be embarrassed. What did the gov't do that has led the company to offer less? And, I assume you CAN still go to your drs if you want to but it will cost quite a bit since they will be out of network, correct? Maybe you can hang on to one or two that are the most important and find a way to pay for them?

jugglingpaynes said...

Excellent letter. Congratulations on getting it published! It's very neat to see your name in the paper, especially regarding an issue that is so important to you.

Peace and Laughter,

Karen said...

Melissa – thank you for your comment. I might not have paid much attention to this either, except for how it affects our family so directly; I understand exactly what you mean about news overload.
I'm naturalized, a former Canadian citizen, which I think affects my views on things like health care. When I see my many Canadian relatives and friends, living from one coast to the other and in very diverse socio-economic situations, consistently receiving top-of-the-line care without worrying about losing their homes, it makes me feel even more frustrated and sad about our own situation. And it's been like this for decades; back in the 50s and 60s, when the other first world countries were taking stock of how their citizens could most be helped by government programs (dirty words, I know), they developed single-payer health insurance programs. Here in the US, administration after administration failed to address this same issue and so today we have the "soul-crushing mess."
We have done exactly as you suggest in our family; right now, we're taking stock of which doctors are most important to us and which ones we feel like we can do without. We will probably keep two and let the rest go. I am mostly at peace with this now, probably because I'm in a lot less pain and discomfort that I was a few weeks ago when I wrote my letter. Amusingly, my own healing has come largely through acupuncture and Chinese medicine, which is far more affordable than any of the more standard medical practices because I go to Community Acupuncture, and can pay as little as $15 per visit. For the first time in months, I can straighten my leg and I'm hobbling around quite comfortably on a cane.
I know this is a stupidly long comment, and if you're still reading I appreciate you hanging in! Wishing you and your family good health and happiness, Melissa :-)

Cristina – Thanks. About a week after my letter, the Globe ran a front page article on the exact issue that I wrote about! I guess more people than just my family has been affected by this tiered system of health care:-)
Wishing you peace and laughter as well –


Sparklee said...

Seems like our current "small government" mania has caused us to forget what our government should be doing for citizens. I really hope you can find a workable solution, and I hope you continue to recover.