Even then, I can’t promise a regret. I’ll start this with an acknowledgement that I am a Democrat, a reasonable one anyways. I’m not reminding you in the sense that Newsroom reminds us that Will is a Republican, though you know they only say that as a way to prevent people from thinking the show has a biased agenda. (Not that I have a problem with that, it’s a television show for entertainment that can have any agenda it wants and some that I agree with personally.) I know people need help, and they should be helped. This isn’t about that. This anger goes towards people who don’t need help but get it anyways.
I remember being ashamed to be at the WIC office every 3 months to collect funds to support my son. I felt like the waiting room having a storefront window was supposed to make you feel guilty for being there. I would look out the window, then away, afraid someone would see me there. I needed the help, working 80 hours on a minimum wage paycheck wasn’t anywhere near enough for myself and a newborn. With the state health insurance, I could hide it. Here, I sat looking at the other people in the waiting room. No fail, every time I was there so was this woman with her special needs child. I wouldn’t normally note it, except this child was always bruised up. I wondered how the office could just ignore it, that made me more ashamed of sitting there. The rude staff wasn’t much better, and the minute I could, I never returned. I vowed never ever to be in that position again. I never had problems with my health insurance either, never had to argue over bills with a stubborn person in billing who insists they were right even though you knew they were very very wrong. I never even saw a bill.
It was after that I realized that I didn’t get the best care. But I realize now that getting the best care is a lot more expensive. I looked over my hospital bill from having my baby and saw that one Ambien cost me $60. For one pill, that was the size of a Tic-Tac. I’m glad I didn’t have an epidural or C-Section, I would’ve hate to see how much that cost. I looked down and kept seeing $3 for every Advil I took, a charge for time in the Labor room, Delivery room, and Recovery room. That’s even funnier when I inform you that they were all the same room. I looked down the list and I couldn’t believe it at all. When laughing about this bill aloud, I was told “you have to pay extra to make up for the people that can’t pay at all”. I don’t know if that’s true, it may be though. No one will ever admit it though. I’m not sure who or what to blame, but it takes a lot of number crunching to afford these piling bills. And when the doctor’s office double charges for everyone and their brother, and you can’t do a thing about it, you really just get pissed.
When I found out I was pregnant, I looked to see what my options were for help. I knew that Massachusetts had supplemental insurance, and I looked into that. My husband made too much money, by $2000 a year. When ranting about it with a friend, she told me about how she tried to get help too only her and her boyfriend made too much money. She was given $8 a month in food stamps to help her. It’s sad we live in a place where people who just don’t make enough can’t get help, but some people can get paid because they just don’t feel like working. (“Not feeling like working” and “can’t find a job” are two very different scenarios.) I won’t deny that with parts of savings and part creative budget works I wasn’t able to figure out how to pay it. But the system needs help. A lot of help. No system is going to be perfect, but something needs to change. Everyone talks about how “oh the poor people need help” or “screw the rich people”. I haven’t heard a word about the people in the lower middle class bracket. That’s the worst one. You need the help, but make just enough to not qualify for any. Those are the people we should consider when decisions are made.
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