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Monday, May 19, 2014

Dealing with the "System"

I hate admitting it, but it's true.

My kids are on Medicaid.  I can't afford insurance and my employer doesn't offer any.  Once upon a time I had good insurance, but those days are long gone.

It took me forever to get them finally covered, months with knowing you can't take afford a doctor is devastating.  It makes you feel like you are a horrid parent.

Everyone says that there is all this help out there.  Well, I don't know where, because I've certainly run upon roadblock upon roadblock.

Today, once again I tried to make my youngest son an appointment with a pediatrician.  I need to take him to the doctor.  He's healthy right now.  I think.  I don't know.  You don't always know what's going on with autism.  For you "autie" parents out there, you understand what I am saying.  Now, imagine, my son hasn't seen a single doctor since January.  For a child with special needs that is too long.  The last time he was to the doctor was for chicken pox.  (Yes, he had been vaccinated, and still got a minor case of it.)

The only pediatrician's office I could find won't make an appointment because his previous pediatrician has yet to transfer the records.  This is after I waited over a month while trying to sort out the whole Medicaid business.  Medicaid was saying they had insurance, too bad they didn't.  So, I sit and wait again.  Knowing, wondering, is he okay?  I know he's been zoning out more lately.  I know he seems to have trouble hearing as well.  I really want these things looked at.  But, alas, I find myself facing that horrid truth.  I jumped through all their hoops so that my children would have the coverage, and I still can't get them in to see a pediatrician.

The system is broken.  I am a working mom.  I work hard.  I try my best to take care of my children.  But, I can't afford to do it all.  I wish I could.  I make just enough money that I personally get no coverage, and just enough that I will get fined for not having coverage, yet not enough to be able to afford any coverage for myself.

The thing is, I could "use" the system and take "advantage" of the system.  But, I refuse.  I will not lie.  I will not quit my job and live totally off of it.  I will not go out and find a lesser position with no future so that I can have coverage.

This economy and everything I have seen over the past number of years has taught me to swallow my pride.  So, I do.  But, the last piece of pride I refuse to give up is the pride in knowing I have tried.  I know I have tried to work a decent job so I can afford to take care of my children.  One day I hope to be back to where I don't need the help.  I dream of that day.  I know I will reach it, but for now I need a helping hand.  I used to think that the "system" was there for people who needed it, that it was supposed to be a way to help out in times of trouble.  Now, I know that too often, the only way you get the help is if you stop trying to better yourself and your family and accept that you are a "nobody", a "bottom feeder", and "not worth anything better".

Problem is, I can't accept that.  So, I will wonder, why?  Why is the system so broke that when someone needs the help that they can't get it?  Why do you have to stop trying to better yourself and pull yourself back up on your feet to get "help"?

It is only too true, that in some ways the "system" rewards people for not trying.  If I made just a little less money, I could qualify for food stamps for my family.  If I make less I could receive coverage too through the state and would be able to see a much needed doctor.  If I made less money, even if I didn't receive state coverage for me, I could afford a periodic doctor visit for myself, if only I made less money, took a lesser job than what I can do, and took advantage of the "system" as it stands.  Too bad that is not in my personality to do.  This is a challenge too many people face today.

We need to make changes to the system.  We need to make sure that this inbetween stage of not completely poverty, but not "middle class" is given assistance to bring themselves to a point where they can take care of their families.  It shouldn't be an all or nothing prospect.