Today, I want to talk about the insurance and health situation in this country. Yep, it’s a heated issue, and for some pretty damn good reasons. I’m not going to point fingers, or choose sides. I’m simply going to share what I know and let you decide for yourself.
A little bit about me first, because it’s pretty important to this situation. My name is Robin, I have 2.5-year-old boy-girl twins, and my husband just completed his first year of medical school. I work full time, teaching piano and doing a couple side gigs. When he finishes medical school, my husband will be a neuroscientist/neuropsychiatrist. He wants to help people, and work to change the pitiful mental health situation in this country.
But that is not what I am here to talk about today (though I could go off about that too). But, what I am here to talk about is the health care situation at large, and I need to use an experience from my own life to portray how bad the situation has become.
We are delighted to be expecting our third child this year. When we found out, I immediately sought out finding an OB who would be a good fit for our family. To my intense disappointment, I quickly found out that not only did I not have many options being on Medicaid, I had exactly one option, and that was to see the low-income clinic in town. Trying to remain optimistic, and impressed with the friendly reception on the phone scheduling my appointment, I was hopeful.
Two appointments later, and I am beyond discouraged. In short, not only will I never see the same person twice (which happens, I get it), but I will never see an actual doctor unless something goes wrong and they transfer me to the hospital. I will only see residents, who at my last visit were not only actually Googling how to measure the fetus and couldn’t figure out how to turn on the ultrasound machine, but not one person asked me how I was feeling. Not. Once.
Now, let me clarify, being the wife of a medical student, I am 100% on board with helping those studying medicine. Heck, I gave birth to the twins in front of over two dozen people because there were students in attendance to learn.
But as a full time, hard working, tax paying citizen of this country, I deserve better care. In fact, I believe everyone living here deserves better care. I deserve to have someone ask me how I’m feeling, to actually know how to perform an ultrasound, and not be treated with stiff tones of poorly hidden condescension when I call doctors’ offices to ask if they accept Medicaid.
I. Call. Bullshit. I would receive better health care going to a different country. Excuse me, but what is that about? It is disgraceful.
How do I know these well-meaning residents won’t miss something? I don’t. I mean, how can they not miss something when no one even asks me how I am feeling? This is not okay. I do not deserve to be judged for having Medicaid. I do not deserve to have zero choices for my healthcare. My family and I struggle to even get our teeth cleaned. I do not deserve to be left with one choice, where I not only am uncomfortable with the quality of care, but actually very displeased.
I do not deserve to resort to calling various OB offices begging them to accept my insurance or offer a payment plan I can somewhat afford. It is humiliating, demeaning, and not acceptable. No one deserves this. Not me, not you, no one. I know this needs to change. For us, for our children, for their children. It needs to change, and now.