I am uninsured.
The topic of pundits.
The tagline for ideologues.
The target of vile hatred and misconceptions.
My first three jobs provided pretty kick ass coverage. Meaning, when compared to other people’s policies, mine rocked. My PPOs allowed me the luxury of seeing some of the best specialists in the country.
Then my employment situation changed and, eventually, the COBRA went the way of manufacturing in Michigan.
A year later, still unemployed, I visit Planned Parenthood for a routine exam. Prepared to pay out of pocket they ask for my financial information (they also made sure I knew to eat three meals a day) then notify me that my unemployment puts me in an income bracket too high to qualify for their plan.
I keep quiet to avoid overt assessments established by employing assumptions and not fact.
Another year passes, I investigate Hackley Community Care given they offer sliding scale coverage. They accept five new
lazy beggars patients the first of every month.
9:00 November 1st I call.
They open at 8:00 so all the slots are full.
December 1st lands on a Saturday. The following Monday I learn they accept people on the 1st.
And on and on.
This past Saturday I discover they now only accept patience on the first business day of the month (Monday).
Today, I dial at 8:00 on the button. The phone tree does not offer an “intake” option. I hit zero and am notified that extension is currently unavailable.
Second time. Repeat above.
Third time. I hit 0 and it rings and rings and rings.
Fourth time. Repeat above.
Fifth time. Visiting their website, I guess at an alternate extension and leave a message at 8:09.
Sixth time. After talking to an operator, I leave a second voicemail at 8:12.
8:39 I discover that they took 10 people this morning all of whom left messages before I did.
“I tried calling and no one answered.”
“Well, somehow they got through.”
We go back and forth for a few minutes.
“Who you are, as an organization, accountable to?”
“If you need care you can go to the Emergency Room or a Medi-Center.”
“No, who funds you?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Where do you get your money? Who can I call about this?”
“We get some funding from the Federal Government. You could try your state representatives.”
While that last sentence is moronic that is exactly what I did.
I call bullshit and they are a good place to start raising hell.
All day I agonized about reporting this anecdote. In a culture where people are called moochers and whores for talking about health care the last thing I desire is situating myself in a shitstorm of squabbles joined with some strong streams of judgment. However, READ CAREFULLY, said program is sliding scale. Meaning, people pay for it. Furthermore, READ CAREFULLY, I pay taxes and have done so for 22 years. I do not want birth control; I just want a well-exam. And maybe some
crazy pills Xanax* to safeguard against a panic attack.
My shame about seeking assistance disallowed me from sharing my story sooner. Yet, I speak (write) now because I am not alone. Society will always take care of the very poor. All that separates those of us in the middle from monetary devastation is a single slip down the stairs.
As for Hackley Community Care, it occurs as if they neither provide the community or the care as their name indicates; however, the verdict remains out at the moment. I will keep you posted.
The Queen of Alyssaland
*Alas, to get into the “community” mental care, as an adult, one must be suicidal.