Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Not About Insurance


I cannot begin to tell you how freaking sick I am of hearing about health care. I am over it. The politicians in Washington have no idea what they're doing and have their own self-centered and power hungry reasons for wanting whatever bill they've constructed to go through. All they're going to end up doing if the thing passes is causing more taxpayers to foot the bill at a higher price. And it's highly unlikely that the higher price will accomplish anything. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to know because the bill has swelled, at last count, to over 1,900 pages. There is absolutely no way that any given Senator or member of Congress can know precisely what is on every single one of those 1,900+ pages. None. (Granted, I wouldn't trust half of them to know what was in the thing if it were only 19 pages, but with 1,900 I know they don't know what's in there.)

And before you start shooting me emails or leaving me comments saying that things like it must be easy for me to say those things because I obviously have insurance, pipe down. I don't have insurance because I'm uninsurable. I got extremely sick about 10 years ago and damn near died. (I had awesome insurance at the time, but gave that up when I left that particular job.) Since then, whenever I've attempted to get insurance again, time after time I am denied because they dub me to be high risk. Now, my sickness was something that anyone could get, regardless of any particular lifestyle trait or quality, and that over 200,000 people every year come down with. But the fact that over half of those folks die within 48 hours is what makes me "high risk".

The insurance companies can suck it. Would I like those aspects of health care in this country to change so that those with pre-existing conditions or those with past conditions can easily get insurance to access health care? Sure I would. Do I want it done in via this particular health care bill passing? Hell no. In the meantime, I'll just do what I've always done and take care of myself rather than sit around and wait for the government to offer me something to take care of me. I suggest that everyone else do the same.

But my point (surprisingly) wasn't to come here and rant about being uninsurable. My point was to rail on media publications that try to exploit any sort of death out there that they think could possibly be related to someone not having health care. Today's media abomination of exploiting the dead for political gain comes to us courtesy of People.

Apparently, on Tuesday, a one 37-year old Jennifer Lyon died of breast cancer. Until reading about her passing, I had no clue as to who she was. I'm pretty sure I'd never heard the name before in my life. She was a contestant on the 2005 season of Survivor: Palau. (I wasn't real sure that I had ever heard of Palau in my life either, but then realized that it is a tiny little island that is about 500 miles east of the Philippines. Actually, I didn't realize that, but tomato, tom-ah-to. Whatever.)

And while it's unfortunate that Ms. Lyon passed away at such a young age, here's the angle that People magazine felt the need to include in their article. "It all began in the summer of 2004, when she "felt something in my right breast that didn't feel normal," Lyon told PEOPLE in October 2005. "I thought it was probably scar tissue related to my breast implants. It was right along the ridge of the implant, so I let it go, and I let it go for a long time."

See, now I'm thinking after reading that passage that they're going to go with the angle of how important it is to always get these things checked out. Yeah, not so much. Instead they went with: "Asked why she delayed seeing a doctor, Lyon said, "I didn't have insurance, which is a big part of it. And it really wasn't changing much. But a year later, I felt another lump, and then I felt something under my armpit."

Soooo....if the not having insurance was a big part of it, what was the other part? Um, People? Hello? Oh, that didn't get asked. I see. OK, how about this question: When you had your implants, did you have insurance? Oh, what? Oh, riiiight! Right. Implants would be cosmetic and insurance wouldn't necessarily cover them. Huh. Sooooo....you went to a doctor then, right? So, why didn't you go this time? Oh, that's right. People didn't ask that question either. And when you finally went to the doctor because, after a year you felt another lump and something under your armpit, did you have insurance then? Hard to say because People did go there either. Thanks for the craptastic article there, People. Gee, I wonder what you wanted the angle on this story to be?

Let me take a guess as to what happened her. Again, it has nothing to do with the no insurance thing. According to Wikipedia (take it for what's it's worth, I realize that), for the particular season of Survivor that Ms. Lyon was a contestant on, "Applications were due on June 22, 2004. Around 800 applicants were selected for an interview between the latter part of July and August 2004...48 were chosen as semi-finalists...during September 2004. From these...20 were chosen to participate (on) the show between October to December 2004." I think that her desire to be on Survivor was a huge factor in her putting off seeing a doctor. I have absolutely nothing but speculation to base that assumption on, but it seems fairly reasonable, given as how she had proven in the past that she had no problem seeing a doctor when she wanted something to be taken care of, ie breast implants.

Look, I'm not trying to malign the deceased, all right? My condolences go out to her friends and family. But the other thing that goes out to her friends and family is the utmost hope that this doesn't get turned into something that is about having or not having insurance because it doesn't sound like it is. If this is going to get turned into anything at all (and I pray to God that is isn't) it needs to be on the importance of getting checked regularly and to not put off seeing a doctor when you find some abnormality on your body. No one knows your body better than you do. If you find something that isn't right, go find out why it isn't right.

Lately, so many people are obsessed with being on TV for no other reason than just being on TV. There are a gazillion reality shows out there for people to choose from so that they can claim their fame by being seen as whatever it is that they're portraying themselves as by (unfortunately) millions of viewers. I watch these morons that cannot sing a lick try out for American Idol. They act as if their life will be over if they do not make it on that show. There are things that are more important than reality TV. Priorities people. Priorities.

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