Ever since I turned 65, my medical care situation has been on a downhill slide. As long as was on MassHealth — Massachusetts Medicaid and the original model for “Obama Care” — I was good. I had all the medication I needed. If I was sick, I went to a doctor. Any doctor.
The day I turned 65, I got tossed off MassHealth. I hoped I was protected because of my disabled status. In theory, I was. But, my government had a better solution. Cheaper. Better for the bottom line. Their bottom line, not mine.
They reclassified me as not disabled and switched me to standard Social Security. The same money, but without the protection. I was all fixed. A medical and fiscal miracle!
Apparently when you turn 65, you are healed of your disabilities. And you can can live on 2/3 less money than you needed mere days before. Poverty is redefined to levels so low you won’t be able to afford maintenance on a refrigerator crate. If only the folks who hold our mortgage and other debts would knock 2/3 off our payments, it would be perfect.
In 2015, for the first time, I fell into the doughnut hole. It was Thanksgiving and suddenly, just like that, I had no more prescription coverage. Merry Christmas!
I’ve been considering using Magical Thinking as my new medical plan.
Magical Thinking is holistic medicine for the hopelessly deluded. I pretend I’m fine and voilà, I’m healed of everything that ailed me. Magical thinking is cheap, efficient and far less stressful than dealing with the problem for real.
It’s almost time for the annual shut down of the government by Republicans opposed to the Affordable Care Act. Beneath the GOP rhetoric, what I hear is “Just die already.” I have to wonder how I wound up here. How we, as a nation, wound up here.
I deserve better. So do you. No one deserves to die for lack of a doctor or medicine.
When — how — did the United States become such a mean-spirited country that would rather close down its government than offer decent, affordable medical care to its citizens?
How did we come to this? Who are we, anyhow?