That phrase used to be an ad for The Gap clothing store. Now I think of it as the rip in the social safety net. Many people I know assume that everyone in this country now has access to medical care, by one route or another.
Hoping to avoid debate about the Affordable Care Act, I just want to mention something about it that many people don’t realize. A lot of people don’t know that the subsidies are only for a certain income range. Below a certain level, the ACA website puts you through to the Medicaid site for your state. Fine and dandy, but states differ in who is eligible for Medicaid.
At this writing, there are still twenty states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage to bridge the gap to ACA. In Florida, to get Medicaid you have to be a child, a pregnant woman, certain impoverished parents of children, in long-term care, or in hospice. Ordinary adults are not eligible no matter how low their income is.
The three sources of health insurance that I can think of are employer benefit, government program such as Medicare or Medicaid or VA, and buying it yourself. None of those work for me, so I use Groupon.com.
Sounds silly, but I have gotten sharp discounts on dental and chiropractic care through Groupon. For a long time, my back has been really bad. I can stand, but only for a few minutes. I can sit, but only for an hour or so (except in my recliner). I can walk, but only a few yards. I got a really great deal on x-rays and two chiropractic adjustments through Groupon.
Wow, no wonder! My lower vertebrae are bristling with arthritic spurs, noticeably out of alignment, and quite close together due to disc compression. It’s like a six-bone pile-up in there. The compression is why I’m an inch shorter than I used to be. It’s called “degenerative joint disease with retrolisthesis of L2 upon L3 and L3 upon L4.” The two Groupon adjustments will ease the worst of the symptoms. By the time it gets bad again, maybe there’ll be another Groupon offer.
On the way home I stopped off and gave blood. That got me a mini physical. My blood pressure and pulse are normal, temperature my usual low normal, cholesterol lower than it usually is, probably the liver tonic.
There are ways to cope without traditional medical care. Indeed, when I hear about hospital-borne infections and fatal medical errors, I’m downright grateful that I have to seek out alternatives.