SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Health Care is in the Toilet!
By Marie-Jeanne Cadle


November 02, 2009
Monday PM

I am still trying to get over the absurd implication by Mr. Peter Jensen a few months ago that un/underinsured people will somehow dirty his private toilet as he refers to his current health care. Mr. Jensen is also worried that access to health care by these apparently dirty individuals like myself, will somehow limit his access. I can assure Mr. Jensen that people such as myself; un/underinsured, will never have the opportunity to soil his precious private health care because 1) Mr. Jensen is Native American and has health care provided at tax payer expense that will never be available to the un/underinsured non-natives and 2) Mr. Jensen is military and has health care proved at tax payer expense that will never be available to un/underinsured non-military.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy for anyone who has health care coverage because I believe it is a basic right for all. Mr. Jensen you say in your letter you want to be able to limit access to friends and family. Well I am family, I am your sister-in-law, married to your brother and I am one of those you are trying to exclude from health care. Right now that really hurts because the insurance I have finally gotten after 5 years of being uninsurable thanks to cancer is refusing to pay for the simple surgery that will ensure I will not die of an easily addressed medical problem. And I can not get a surgeon's office to even schedule an appointment to meet with me because the insurance won't pre-authorize the surgery and even though I offered to pay the $25,000 plus it will cost. I would even pay upfront if I had the money. But after six years of $10,000 plus a year in out of pocket medical (more than $60,000) most of it because I was denied health insurance thanks to having cancer three times in my life and unable to work enough to get insurance, I haven't been able to save up the $25,000 necessary to pay upfront. So I will require a payment plan, which they don't have, so they won't see me.

This morning I was awakened by an early call from a nurse, at the charity clinic I have been referred to in the event my insurance continues to refuse coverage; and she told me in a very angry voice that she would not schedule me for an appointment to see a surgeon because I have insurance. She was sorry they might not pay, but I she didn't think I should have been approved for charity care because I have insurance, whether they will pay or no, and because I don't live in Washington. She told me to stay in Alaska and not to call the clinic again.

So tell me Mr. Jensen, how does your system get me care? How is this not rationing or worse yet, outright denial of care? If I die before I can work the system, and at the rate my symptoms are progressing it is a very real possibility, has this not worked as death panel? It is an ironic special occasion I celebrate this weekend. Six years ago I was diagnosed with advanced cancer. I was given low odds that I would live and Christmas Eve of 2003, my doctor did not think I would live through Christmas day. But I received a miracle and I did live. I fought my way back. And now I celebrate my sixth anniversary fearing that I may die before Christmas of this year if I can not get this simple surgery. I am not asking for handouts. I am only asking for basic humanity: health care for all so no one has to suffer this fate and this fear. Because no matter who you are; you have people who love you, need you, and hurt for you as you suffer. And no matter who you are you feel pain and fear. And you can suffer and die horribly, painfully and needlessly while those around like you brag about how clean their private toilets are.

Please don't just step over us in the street as if we are unworthy human beings not deserving of a few pennies of your money for health care. Healthcare in the country isn't a toilet, but it is in the toilet!

Marie-Jeanne Cadle
Ketchikan, AK

Received October 29, 2009 - Published November 02, 2009


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