Monday, July 20, 2009
I've been dormant here, but active on Facebook, about health care for the last few months. I should be agitating, informing, and organizing here too, because I know there are tons of mountain adventurers who need health insurance or just have some really piddly "catastrophic" coverage. (I use scare quotes because, even with the insurance, any injury/illness is still going to be a catastrophe, considering the huge deductible and meager co-insurance typical of these plans). Forthwith, I plan on showing up here as well for those of you who consider, not only whether a tight couloir or runout climb might break your leg, but how the hell you plan on paying the bills for that broken leg, not to mention lost work, rehab, and interest on the bills (supposing you pay some on your credit card). Those of us who are college-educated (and some who are not) who are settling for low-paying jobs in order to be in a ski town, getting as much pow as possible, are particularly vulnerable -economically and from a risk standpoint- of getting F'ed up by a serious illness or injury. Even just the flu can be serious for the uninsured/underinsured. Case in point: this winter, my roommate got a pretty nasty strain of influenza. The cough became a hack and just wouldn't go away. In about a week, it had turned into pneumonia -which is what happens with untreated flu. The coughing continued and caused a cracked rib. Finally, with mounting pain (and all of us yelling at him to get help), he finally went to the doctor for antibiotics, painkillers, x-rays, etc.
If you've been paying attention, you still might not now much about single-payer, the national health insurance system used by most other industrialized countries, because there has been a media blackout.
You still have a chance to get involved, and the time is now. Obama is trying to get healthcare legislation to the floor of Congress before the August break. Get involved and do something to help yourself and your bros: