Until you’ve had to do a cost benefit analysis to decide whether or not going to the ER or doctor is ‘worth it’…..you haven’t been gravely ill without insurance in America.
Even when I’m AT the ER/doctor I sit there & pick & choose my tests by figuring out which ones will help the most while costing the least amount of money. When I do go to the doctor, we try to decide what meds to use. Not by what may be the most helpful, but by what may be the most affordable to me. There are meds that would help me live a more ‘normal’ life……..but I can’t afford to have them.
I’ve refused to go get treatment until I’ve been septic from infection, or my lungs were so full of fluid that it was literally suffocating me, or when my fever stayed above 105 for 4 or 5 hours straight. I never go on my own, it takes somebody taking me in, kicking & screaming the whole way. I would rather be in pain & potentially die than have to go to the ER because I know I can’t afford to get proper treatment.
Read that one more time. I’d rather DIE than know I’ll have a zillion dollar bill for trying to get medical care in this country. I’m sorry, but don’t talk about trampling on your ‘rights’. I should have the right to see a damn doctor BEFORE I’m septic. BEFORE my pneumonia has me gasping for air. BEFORE I’m suicidal because the antidepressants aren’t working worth a shit (because I can’t afford the ones that do actually help).
I get accosted with phone calls at least once a week from the ER because I dared to actually try to get treatment. Like literally someone said “if you knew you couldn’t pay for it why did you come in?” This is what health care in the U.S. looks like right now.
And yet the “right” to emergency room service is what a lot of people will point to as their reasoning for why we don’t need a better social support system. Never mind all the ways in which it’s better all around to treat problems before they’re an emergency, it just doesn’t work that way.