What would you do if you lost your health insurance? More and more people are finding out. Living without health insurance is a problem that people face when they lose their job and then can’t afford to pay for it out of savings. They wind up going without.
The way that people get by without health insurance is by simply living with illnesses that other people seek treatment for; such as strep throat or a chronic cough. They also live with injuries such as sprains and sometimes broken bones. And worse, so to do their kids.
The way that people get by without health insurance is by not going to the doctor for checkups, or pap smears or breast exams. By not having prostate exams or visits to the dentist to keep from losing their teeth, or having teeth that rot and fall out replaced. By not having surgery to fix a hernia or knee that gives out. By not seeking treatment unless they are dying. And then when they are dying, by going to an emergency room knowing they will be made to feel as if they are worthless simply because they are in such need, but cannot afford to pay for whatever it will take to save their life.
The way that people get by without health insurance is by praying they don’t get sick, or that their children won’t get sick or hurt themselves. Or that they will be able to know when a situation is serious enough that they won’t get turned away or ignored at the emergency room.
The way that people get by without health insurance is by taking their dignity and their pride, and tossing it in the trash can; by gritting their teeth when they see all the television commercials for all the medical assistance they’ll never see; by forgoing prescription medication for all but the most serious of ailments; by ignoring the reality of knowing they have a disease like hypertension that will likely kill them before they are able to find a job where they will once again be able to have health insurance; or for the chronically poor, before they are old enough to see their grandchildren come into the world.
The way that people deal with living a life without health insurance, is the same way they deal with all the other indignities that come with being too poor to get by, and that is, by getting up and out of bed each morning, because they have no other choice.