Thursday, August 19, 2010

Part of the whole deal with the dialysis thing is the "unseen" expenses, and the absolute necessity to be on the Medicare roles. With expenses in the 40K range per month, without any additional hospitalizations or doctor visits, it is imperative to have medicare as your primary insurance source. With a catch in the original medicare law from the late sixties and early seventies dialysis, kidney transplants, and any end stage renal failure diagnosis, are covered by the system up to 80% of cost. The rest, if one does not have private coverage which will pick up the remainder,
 ( which incidentally most do not, or will not over a longer period of time do to the massive cost), must force one into the state medicaid roles, or also known as welfare. Last week I had to go for my semiannual interview to renew my benefits. I really hate having to get it but with excess billings in the 10's of thousands per month I have no, I mean no choice. The real unfortunate result of all this for me personally is that while I can work, and within part time parameters could be employed at a regular rate as an attorney (which i am licensed in Texas and Ohio to practice) I am limited in the amount of money i can receive and still get insurance. We will see if the new medical laws have any affect on this, as in me not being denied private coverage through work for my pre-existing situation, and it not affecting other's premiums as well. For now I live, in theory, below the poverty line. I am not deaf to being on the front line of the medical/insurance debate and conundrum for our country, but feel strongly, regardless of my personal desire to be alive, that medical care, within some specific exceptions, is not a "market driven privilege" like any other economic good or service. On both sides common sense must prevail, costs must come down, and access must come up. Most importantly, as a society medical care should not be thought of in terms of only when one is "sick". Medical care should encompass healthy living from conception through end of life issues which address compassion and cost. 

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