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Problems of the heart? Problems of the wallet.

First off, no this isn't about prostitution! One might think that based solely on the title. This is about how lucky a lot of you are to live in a country with universal healthcare and the struggle some of us go through over here in America.

As I write this, I have a Holter Monitor attached to me. I finally decided a few weeks ago to go to the doctor with a few issues I'd been having and they found a slight arrhythmia in my heart. From there, I had an EKG and now, a few weeks later I have this Holter Monitor on for 24 hours to give a more detailed look at how my heart is doing. What's going to happen from there? Nothing for me. I decided that, since I've had the arrhythmia for this long with few issues, I'm sure I'll be fine.

That's just what I'm telling myself, though. Had I the money, I'd get further testing in a heartbeat... pardon the pun. This Holter Monitor is putting me back $228 while the doctors visit plus medications I got was around $150 total. It comes to the point where I have to decide if I want to risk my health or risk my bills. It's a pretty shitty dilemma because what's the point of having a house if I'm dead and what's the point of being alive if I'm homeless?

This is not a "well, that's just one person" issue, either. Nearly every middle class American or lower has this same issue. Some, like my sister, are of such a low class that they actually receive their care for free, but that program is few and far between. The overwhelming majority are faced with the question "Am I sick enough to go?".

Personally, I waited over five years for one issue of mine, and only went last month when two more issues cropped up suddenly. I would've postponed. Actually, I probably never would have gone.

You might think I don't have insurance at this point, but you'd be wrong. My insurance covers almost nothing at all. It's catastrophic insurance so it only really comes into effect if I've been hit by a car or struck by lightning or some other horrible thing has happened. That insurance costs over $250 a month and does nothing for me, yet is the cheapest I can get and have to get because insurance is required. I'm caught between a rock and a poor place.

People over here that are against universal healthcare claim it wouldn't work. They believe that, because we have the best healthcare in the world, and because it's the most expensive, the government couldn't make it work. That's weak. Government pays for schools, military, and a lot of other projects. Adding a small amount to taxes, just like every other developed nation in the world, will get it done.

I have to wonder how much less stress people are under over their medical issues over in the UK and elsewhere. I imagine it's a lot simpler not having to worry about whether you're bad off enough to go to the doctor.