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Please begin with an informative title:

I am one of those faceless, nameless statistics that you hear thrown about when it comes to people without health insurance. More below the fold.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I am a 62 year old male who was laid off from my job two years ago. Because of the lay off, I lost my health insurance. In the two years since the lay off I have been unable to find an insurance company that will take me, because of my age and a pre-existing condition of heart decease and high blood pressure.

I do have a health clinic I go to for $60/visit. They check me out every three months and refill my prescriptions; which I can barely afford. In the event of something unexpected coming up, I go to an urgent care or emergency room.

This happened last month. I went to an E.R. because my face was swelling up to the point where I looked like a jack-o-lantern. Turns out I had an infection in my face and had to be admitted. I did not want to be admitted because I knew I could not afford it, but I had no choice.

Long story short; the infection caused my blood pressure to rise to the point where I could not be sent home. One night in the hospital turned into six. Yesterday I received a bill from the hospital in the amount of $43,286. This does not include bills from the individual doctors, hospital departments such as x-ray, ct scan, etc. Those bills have yet to arrive.

I also must have ongoing treatment and additional prescriptions. This is something that my current clinic cannot provide. I have had a terrible time finding a doctor who will take me without insurance and also let me make payments, instead of paying in full.

I am not whining or even complaining about this. I know there are millions of people in worse situations; but when I hear a Republican Senator say that no one dies in this country for lack of health care, they are out of their mind.

I think the U.S. does have the best health care in the world. My hospital stay was as good as a hospital stay can be. But the best health care in the world does not help those who have no access to it. The E.R. works fine for short term problems; but when one needs on going treatment for anything, it's very difficult to find it if one is uninsured.

I'm optimistic that I will be fine. I know the bills will never be paid, but I am working with a social worker who is working with the hospital, to work out a payment plan. I know the ACA is coming next year and in three years I will qualify for Medicare. I just have to make it to that point. The next time I see someone say we should repeal the ACA, I may put my fist through the t.v. We need single payer or Medicare for all, and we need it yesterday!

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