Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Really Sad Story Of Jane Doe Who Couldn't Afford Health Insurance

This is the really sad story of Jane Doe who couldn't afford health insurance. Right now Jane is sitting in a doctor's office waiting to be seen for a painful feeling in her belly. She's afraid that the feeling is something serious and she's afraid that it will be a financial disaster because she doesn't have health insurance - she can't afford it.

Jane started getting occasional uncomfortable feelings in her abdomen a few months ago right after the presidential inauguration and the beginning of the 111th Congress...around the time she found out there was a health care crisis in the United States. It hit her like a ton of bricks that she didn't have health insurance coverage and the uncomfortable feelings became more frequent.

Jane knew she should have tried to get health insurance coverage but she couldn't afford it. She regretted that she had turned down the plan at work but felt she had to because even though the company paid the lion's share of the premiums it would still have cost her $250 per month. She just couldn't afford it even though she made decent money and didn't spend frivolously. As she kept hearing about the health care crisis she began to think about her lack of coverage more and more.

Although Jane was 39 (again) and healthy she was consumed by the idea of getting sick and losing everything. A day didn't go by that she didn't think about her lack of insurance. It made her feel ill. She thought about it every morning on the way to work while she was getting her Venti double shot mocha latte at Starbucks ($5 each work day). She thought about it more during lunch at the pasta place across from the office where she loved the Chicken Carbonara even though it wasn't on the $5 daily special ($8.50 each work day). Jane noticed she even thought about her lack of insurance while getting her hair done. It was a treat for her to get her roots done, a trim, and some highlights once a month ($50 per month). She even caught herself mentioning her plight to the nail tech while getting her nails filled ($15 twice a month).

Even at home in her comfortable apartment she would flip though the digital cable channels or surf the internet using her cable modem ($150 per month) to find out more about what Congress was doing to help people like her on her 50 inch LCD TV. She was glad to have some wine ($20 per week) to calm her while watching news that just got her more worried. Sometimes she got worried enough to go for a walk to calm her down. She should probably go to the gym instead since she was paying for it ($45 per month) but it was too much of a hassle to drive over there. She never used the gym. Oh well, the walk made her feel better and it was probably good for her health.

Jane was especially aware of her predicament when her office co-worker, a mean ol' conservative, continually took pleasure in pointing out that she could afford the company health insurance plan if she made some changes. He actually told her in front of the whole office that by eliminating her Starbucks habit and her cable tv/modem she would save enough to be able to afford health insurance. What a jerk! She couldn't believe he wanted her to live like like that. Where did he get off?!? It was all so stressful.

And that's the really sad story of Jane Doe who couldn't afford health insurance. How did you think it was going to end? Ok, ok. She had an ulcer. The doctor told her to reduce stress, maybe quit worrying so much and stop watching the news. He also said she should lay off the caffeine and wine, increase her water intake, and take the anti-biotic, antacid, and a drug to repair the ulcer he was prescribing. She paid for the office visit on her credit card and scheduled a follow up for six weeks. Then Jane went to Wal-Mart to fill her prescriptions for $10 each. She hardly even thought about the fact she had received appropriate health care without insurance. How sad.

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