Another girl, another blog


Universal Healthcare
July 18, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

As most of you who read this blog know, I’m a liberal in my political views. In 2004 I ran the Orange County for Kucinich campaign, I’ve listened to KPFK and Pacifica Radio for years, I wish Keith Olbermann really WAS my secret lover (like I joke around with hubs) and I absolutely believe that Bush and Rove stole the 2000 election by working with Kathleen Harris’ office in Florida to prevent thousands of voters in Florida from having their votes counted.

When hubs had cancer in 2001, he was without health insurance and we were fortunate enough to find out about a program that eventually covered his surgery, chemo and radiation treatments. There was one month where his coverage lapsed and the oncologists office would not give him chemo because we could not come up with the $2000 for EACH TREATMENT (one a week…), but other than that, without MSI I know hubs would be dead. His surgery alone was over $100,000.

In the last two days at work, I have had to hospitalize two clients. Yesterday, my client was “fortunate” enough to have Medi-Cal, which is state sponsored insurance for people on SSI. He came in with his brother and sister. The client was homeless, smoking crack, not on his medications, and incoherent and delusional with psychotic features. He had Medi-Cal and I was able to find him a bed in a hospital within an hour. He was out of my office in three hours.

Today was a completely different story. I was doing intakes today and had a client who was “Short-Doyle.” Basically, that means the client is without Medi-Cal or Medicare and we are supposed to refer them to an agency that receives funding to work with that population. The client and his son came into my office at noon. The client had not eaten in three weeks, was paranoid, anxious, depressed, unable to take care of himself and generally categorized as somebody who is “gravely disabled.” I had the client evaluated by a psychiatrist who concurred with my diagnosis and agreed that the client needed to be hospitalized on a 5150 hold. I had the hold completed at 1:45pm.

So then I called ACCESS, through LA County Department of Mental Health, to help me find a bed. I was told I’d get a call back in an hour. Because my client had no health insurance, it was going to take some work to find him a bed at a County hospital. 

So I waited. 

And I waited.

And then I got the run-around. And got told there was nothing available from two county hospitals.

And then I got some more run-around. 

All in all, I spent over six hours with the client and his father in my office. He was finally accepted at a local county hospital and will be out in three days. 

If we had universal healthcare coverage, shit like this wouldn’t happen. A sick old man, his anxious son, and a social worker wouldn’t have wasted six hours of a day trying to find the help that he needed. I shouldn’t have had to watch a son worry about where his father was going to go. I should have been able to immediately get the assistance I needed, and I should have been able to have them out of my office much MUCH faster than in six hours. I didn’t leave my office until 6:45.

Universal healthcare coverage is going to solve a lot of our problems that we have as a nation. With 47 million Americans lacking health insurance, and eight Californians dying each day because they lack health insurance, it is time that we start recognizing that we are the only (ONLY) industrialized nation without health care coverage for our citizens. We need to do something to change this. With the amount of money we are spending each day on a war based on lies, you’d think we’d be able to give each citizen comprehensive health coverage that would allow them to get the help and care they deserve.

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