The doorbell rings. Once... twice... I'm finishing up some work in my office and don't move. I hear Mandy pulling open the door. "Oh! Babies--- how C-U-T-E!!!" In the background I hear the kids muffled "Trick or Treat!" Mandy talking with the moms and escorts, telling them how great their kids look, and how cute they are, and what wonderful weather we're having-- what with this unseasonably nice warm breeze.
For a moment, I feel a bit nostalgic remembering back to when my kids were young and I used to bring them around so that they could Trick or Treat. That was a nice time. I think most parents will agree.
Then, for some inexplicable reason, my mind wanders to an interview I saw the other day on TV. This being the last days of the political campaigns, television is awash in interviews with common folk telling their stories. Out of work-- pensions and 401Ks dwindling or lost-- homes taken-- and then the one that always makes me take notice-- living with out of control healthcare and prescription drug costs.
There was a nice couple from somewhere out in the midwest. They had owned a business, something to do with oil or heating fuel. She was a teacher until she retired. Afterwards, she went to work with her husband. She did the books, he did most everything else. The price of fuel eventually forced them to close their doors, so they retired. And that's when it hit. She was taking twelve different medications each day for her rheumatoid arthritis and other health issues. Insurance didn't cover most of it and the monthly costs were more crippling than the arthritis itself.
She can't work. Hell, she can barely hold a pot. At 72-years old, he's now a Wal-Mart greeter. For real. Not a bad job, I guess. It just wasn't something that they had envisioned him having to do. But they need the money. You understand. Living with Mandy and learning about MS sure helps me to understand.
I'm amazed at how many folks out there just don't understand though. They really don't. They think that just because they've always been lucky enough to have been covered by an employer's health care plan, that everyone enjoys the same benefits. They say, when told that someone is struggling with private insurance, "Why don't you just go get a job?" or "Hey, just let your insurance company pay for it?", or -- and here's the one I like -- "Just call another insurance company and switch!"
That last one tells you real quick that the person you're talking to is either very healthy or employed by a good size company that offers their employees health insurance plans. Because anyone who has ever had a health issue and who is not covered by employer based health insurance KNOWS, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you do NOT just pick up the phone, call some other insurance company and tell them you want to switch.
Not in this country. Not today.
But Tuesday is a new day, right?
The doorbell rings. "Trick or Treat!!!," the kids shout in unison. Mandy's laughing and handing out candies.
I find myself smiling once more. Maybe this time we'll get it right and tomorrow will, indeed, be a better day.
Published On: November 04, 2008