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I had an MRI in July to make sure my increasingly frequent migraines weren't being caused by a brain tumor (they're not. Yay!). Fortunately, I have insurance, so that $3,200 head scan only cost me $300 out of pocket. Even that is not an insignificant amount of money for me to pay all at once, but if I didn't have insurance, there's no way I could have had that MRI, much less the dozen or so doctor visits that preceded it this year and the daily meds I have been taking since 2003 to keep the migraines mostly under control.

Today in the middle of a work meeting, a total crusher descended on my head. It felt like my brain was trying to kick its way out of my skull through my right eye. By the time I got on the train to go home, I was in tears from the pain. I went straight to bed when I got home, and I'm only mildly functional now, several hours later. These migraines have been kicking my ass this year, and I'm not entirely sure why they've gotten worse, but fortunately I have a great doctor who's helping me through this. And I have insurance that enables me to see this doctor instead of...I don't know. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't see her, if I couldn't afford the medication.

What I do know is that I could lose this insurance at any time. It's through Jim's work, and if he got laid off, we'd be screwed. Getting another insurance plan might not be possible for me -- these migraines would be considered a pre-existing condition that could very well disqualify me from coverage.

The reform plans are not perfect. They may not even be great (especially if the public option gets "bipartisaned" out of the picture). But this system we have now is not right. It needs to change. I wish we could have a serious discussion about the human right to health care instead of taxes and teabaggers and all the other distractions. But I'd settle for everyone who is against reforming the system getting the migraine I had today, and then losing their insurance for a few days while they figure out what to do. Can someone make that happen?

Replies: 1 Confession

I feel for you. I can barely stand to follow the news on health care reform. I also have a pre-existing condition. Luckily, I bought my own personal insurance before I got sick. (I was out of work, so I wasn't otherwise covered at the time.) Over the last 9 years, I've had a variety of work - sometimes as an employee, sometimes as an independent contractor. Through it all, I've paid for my own insurance - at a cost of about $5000/year, and increasing as I get older - partly because I still have some health issues, mainly because if I let it lapse, I can never be insured again, at all, for anything. This isn't efficient. This is crazy.

Leeds @ 09/07/2009 09:44 AM CST


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