Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You can't fight the system

Instead of blogging or drawing or doing soul feeding things, I've been battling a Medicare reviewer. Medicare is a great system executed in a frequently cruel fashion. It took much effort on my and Mother Magoo's part to get Grandma Madness into the Medicaid/Medicare system, but now we're being "reviewed" as our clearance is recent. It took years of my life to get her in and now they're reviewing us? Um, fuck you.

Our application was ten inches thick. Literal inches, not hyperbole inches. I'm a Stanford graduate (*cough* namedrop *cough*), Mother Magoo has multiple degrees and we still had to get a lawyer to explain it and advocate for us. How Grandma Madness -- with a high school diploma, paranoia, dementia and a nonexistent filing system -- was supposed to apply is a complete mystery to me. So I'm rage-y at the intricate idiocy of it all yet grateful we have a system to support someone like Grandma Madness because she is receiving a quality of care we couldn't possibly match or afford on our own. Without Medicare/Medicaid, she'd be living in our bathroom asking us who we were every twenty minutes and breaking shit with her Alzheimer's fueled strength.

Her nursing home costs 9k a month in one of the cheapest cities in America and it's considered mid-level in price! Oh, and we put her in other facilities who's care was insufficient so we moved her. Three times. Oh, and we moved to Buffalo for three years to manage this process. For a woman who is evil. Not in the pretty TV kind of way, more in the woman who shouldn't have had children kind of way. Grandpa Madness was crap too, but he's dead so he's out of it. Thousands of my hours and dollars later, she's in a good place and happy, but I'm fairly certain the process shaved a few years off the rest of us.

Grandma Madness has us so she's taken care of, but she could be rotting in a hellhole with a smell that would never leave your nose. We saw people in those places when we were reviewing homes and I can state with complete certainty that I will throw myself off the Golden Gate Bridge and take my chances with damnation before I live out my years in a place like that. Same goes for Mother Magoo and Husband-cat. We got quite an education on being elderly in America and I'm so glad I found out before I got old. Retirement funds, living wills, dnr orders, healthcare reform, financial planning, all suddenly became very important to me.

That's why when people natter on about how our health care system is so perfect I want to fucking rip a leg off the table and beat them to death right then and there. The system is Byzantine and expensive and unless you have someone with the time and resources to devote to your case, your cause, and the temper to make sure you get the best care possible at every step of the way, you are screwed. You just are.

(Insert sound of me frothing at the mouth and jumping up and down screaming "We're all gonna dieeeeeee!")

I'd like to end on a cheerier note, but it's late and I'm not going to edit. Fuck it. Medicare/Medicaid is a double edged sword. I thank the Lord we have a system to keep people from dying in the streets like they used to, but damn, we can do better than this shite.*

* Not misspelled. British.

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  1. This is like an open letter to Senator Ryan and the Supreme Court ... I hope they are listening.

    At least as far as the Supreme Court goes, some of them are too close for comfort to they system, I hope they've made plans.

    Sorry you are going through this AGAIN...

  2. It wouldn't be so bad, honestly if we knew it was coming but every indication was that we were irrevocably finished with the whole process. Mother Magoo has a meltdown every time they send a new demand letter which I understand but adds to my aggravation.


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