Sunday, September 17, 2017

My friend Joye

My friend died the other day because she didn't have insurance.

She was intelligent, articulate, and beautiful. She had wonderful children that she loved very much and who loved her back as well. 

She had abdominal pain. People told her to go to the emergency department and get it checked out, but she was a single mom without insurance. That's a hell of a place to be. 

Do you go to the emergency department? What if it's nothing big and you are saddled with a bill that can run into five and six-figures? You literally have to make a decision about whether you risk putting your family into a financial hole it could take years to get out of, or maybe you die. Of course, maybe it's nothing. But, it's going to cost you your kid's school clothes money and maybe next month's cable bill to find out. Maybe more.  

So, she did what parents do. She put off her own needs and rolled the dice. Now, her children grow up without a mother. Her family is devastated and the community will have to deal with another broken family. There is no positive here. 

All of this so we can add extra weight to the pockets of insurance companies. We could eliminate the redundancies present with multiple insurance companies and guarantee a level of basic care for everyone in this country. We have the resources.  But, greed prevents it. 

As an emergency department nurse, I know what our capabilities are. I don't know if we could have saved her, hell, I didn't even know she was sick until it was too late. But, I think we could have if we were given one day to try. And, even if we couldn't, we could have given her the gift of saying good bye to her children. 

But none of this happened. Because of insurance.
You were weird, you were beautiful, and you will be missed.

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