The economy is really in the pits right now, but you couldn't tell from my current situation. I'm not living the life of Riley, but right now I have enough work and with a little luck, I will continue to have a non-negative cash flow for a while. Because I don't have a long-term iron clad contract anywhere, that could change. At least until the end of the year and likely for a while longer, I am living the life I can afford, if not the one I wish to grow accustomed to.
This wasn't always the case since I started teaching. Back in early 2008, I didn't have health insurance and a false alarm became a very expensive nightmare. Right now, I definitely budget in health insurance and Kaiser, a system I am used to, is well within my price range. (Note that cable TV, a car and a cell phone are NOT currently within my price range. As I said, not the lifestyle I wish to grow accustomed to.)
About a month ago, a little irritation on my left heel started acting up, and I went to the Kaiser emergency room. They put a bandage on it, gave me some antibiotic cream and told me to take a wait and see attitude.
I waited a month. It didn't get better.
Last Tuesday, I saw my G.P. He said he didn't like the look of it and sent me to surgery. I had the wound removed and they gave me a bandage that was to be left on for five days, a boot/sandal to wear while it was bandaged, antibiotics, both oral and topical, and some pain stuff just in case it hurt a lot after the local wore off, which I used a little the first couple days. And, oh yeah, there was an x-ray before the surgery.
The co-pay for everything last Tuesday was about $50.
As of now, the bandage is off, the wound is healing normally and it doesn't hurt to walk.
Granted, Kaiser isn't perfect. I got three different diagnoses (ulcerated wound probably caused by diabetes, infected wound, skin cancer), but they did a biopsy and the best news of the three - infected wound improperly healing - appears to be correct. Also, the G.P. sent me to surgery, but the surgeons saw the trouble was below the ankle, so they sent me to x-ray, then podiatry. The runaround means something that should have taken three hours took more like six.
I can live with that. In more ways than one.
And of course, even though I'm a God forsaken liberal, I do economize so that I can afford health insurance, so the crowds at GOP debates don't have to cheer for my death.
On the other hand, I have reasonably priced health insurance because my union fought for it, yet another reason I will NEVER belong to the Tea Party or the Tequila Party or any of those silly political movements named for beverages I rarely drink in any case.
Here's hoping you are covered when things go wrong. With the human body, it's as close to a 100% likelihood as you can get. Moreover, seeing a doctor regularly means you might be able to detect something before it turns into an expensive trip to the emergency room.
Health insurance. What a good idea.
Wait, didn't I just read that someplace?