Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Biggest Obstacle to Simple Living

Simple living isn't necessarily easy. At the moment the biggest problem for many is access to health care.

Many of you who know me know I suffer from psoriasisitic arthritis. Dealing with it has been an ongoing hassle for the last decade, and that issue hasn't gone away. Since I lost my health care coverage in a divorce a while back I now contend with the pre-existing condition issue, so independent health insurance simply isn't an option. Neither is paying for the treatment out of pocket. We're looking at a protocol that would cost better than 30000 dollars a year. The condition comes and goes, at times it's bad enough that it's painful to drive a car, so you can imagine single-handing a 34000 pound engineless gaff cutter was difficult. I became very concerned that I could easily find myself somewhere in the world with a flareup, unable to handle the boat, unable to get treatment, and I'd likely have to simply walk off and leave the boat, losing 9/10ths of all I owned in the process. If I hadn't sold the boat, I guess I would have stuck with it, as there wasn't really any other option, but I certainly decided it was in my best interest to, if I could, diversify a bit to protect myself. I was in pretty rough shape at the time. Better today, actually, and thanks--but it's a every day thing. And fortunately the opportunities presented themselves for me to more or less keep my lifestyle. Necessity is a Mother.

Living a simple life requires compromises. You will have to pick and choose what it is you can afford and what you can go without. You will have to go without something. You will have to make some sort of deal with the devil, especially if you're of the economic class that deals with this sort of issue--which you probably are, or would have very little interest in anything I've got to say. It's not all bad. Since for my condition one of the most effective treatment protocols is hanging out on a beach in the sunshine, you may well see why I live where I do. For 30000 bucks I can do a lot of that.

This may well change. The Federal insurance plan would be a godsend for sure, especially as it would not concern itself with the "pre-existing" condition. Elsewise at the moment my only option is to work some crappy place, full time, for miserable wages, for most of a year--if the company hangs in there that long, and keeps offering the plan--if I get into trouble. It's not a happy prospect, but it's the only one out there, and I rightly need to keep that ace in the hole. Not happy about that, but, well, whatever.

Life is happens before you get sick. No one gets out of here alive.


mr lucky said...

do you know how frustrating it is to try to reply and this fucked up Google password thing won't let one?!! FUCK!!!

mr lucky said...

FUCK! 5 times! Why am I still here?!!! ok, calm down. Whew. Firey aren't I? Dang, just start up a new email account and I get to talk here...

First of all, let me say that I sympothise with your condition. May you find the best natural preventative cure.

As I was saying, with luck, the health care system will be improved in the coming years. HOw can we have a country, where 90% of it is bankrupted by medical cost is something bad happens. It's screwed up so bad now, we nearly need to begin again from scratch. Some folk seek care for every hangnail, while others only seek care when on death's bed. WE have to have a system where we are responsible for ourselves. Seek a lot of treatment, and you pay more than someone who seeks little. If we take care of ourselves (or are lucky enough to have good genes) and are healthy, we pay less than we other sickly ones. The sickly ones who seek lots of treatments pay more than sickly ones who seek less.

One possiblity is to relocate to a another country, where treatment costs a fraction of what it does here, and is often better care. Or do as my ex-gf did, who quit her job & lost her insurance to go do a Thru Hike. What are you going to do for health care, I asked her. Christian Scientist, she cheerfully replied. It's not a bad solution.

Danny said...

First let me say your condition really sucks. I've had something called "mixed connective tissue" disorder for over 20 years now and it is very similar to what you have. Fortunately, mine has mostly been in remission over the years but when it flares its a bitch. Seems every time I turn around someone has some sort of auto immune disease, and they all suck ... no cures! Knowing something about you Jay, I'm sure you are doing all you can to avoid the drugs, surgery, etc., taking the natural way whenever possible.

That said, I have serious doubts about a Federal health care plan. Medicare has been a godsend for the elderly, but its becoming pretty apparent to me that we cannot afford it in the long run, not with all the baby boomer coming online and the escalation in medical care and costs. As Mr. Lucky mentioned, another country could be an option. You may not have to relocate, just go there for the treatment. I've heard of people going to India for heart treatments, etc. for a faction of the US costs and its first rate.

Bob Hall said...


Yup, health care sucks. Buying it by yourself on the open market is too expensive, and they'll probably hit you with preconditions. I'd love a Canada-style single payer system -- I don't see how it could be any more bureaucratic or expensive than then system we've currently got, and it'd be far more equitable.

I sort of keep forgetting about this whole issue since I'm in my 20s...

jaywfitz said...

I have a friend with the same condition, some of you know Patrick.

He's a commercial pipefitter, but seldom gets insurance on the temp job he works.

So I asked what he did to treat it.

"Lug around heavy cold steel objects all day. Ha ha ha." He replies.


Amos said...

We definately need national health insurance and I don't think it will cost much more than we are paying now. I think most people don't realize how much their employer pays for their insurance. My wife and I have a small business and a group plan and it costs the two of us $12,000 a year and I have an HSA plan and my wife has full coverage. My wife has a prexisting condition so this was the only way we could get insurance.