Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bitten by Cobra

Ok, I'm sick. I tried to fight it all weekend long, as I was working at Sunset Sessions. I was videotaping 30 bands performing and interviewing artists. You'll be seeing and hearing the fruits of my labor as I work on the production of the video scrapbook and radio special over the coming months.

And after returning home late Sunday night, I still couldn't allow myself to be sick because I was filling in for Ron Kuby on Air America yesterday.

But when I woke up this morning, I knew I was sick. Today I allowed myself that luxury... though not the luxury of seeing a doctor.

I thought I had health insurance. When I was let go by Clear Channel, I opted to continue my health coverage via cobra. My premium was $304 a month -- that's for me alone. For me and my daughter, it would have jumped to $760 a month, so I found private insurance for Alison.

I set up my bill payer account to automatically pay my monthly premium and forgot about it. But I returned from San Diego to find two pieces of mail from SHPS, the company that administers the cobra program, and opened them to find that I had been terminated.

You see, my premium apparently went up to $325 a month at the beginning of the year. It certainly would have been nice of them to inform me... or at least inform me that my payment was light. But no, it's easier for them to just cancel the coverage!

I got someone on the phone from SHPS this morning, in all my sickness, and was told that she'd look into it. She explained that often it's necessary to file a written appeal to get the coverage back after being cancelled, but said she'd let me know what I needed to do. But it could take 3-4 days!

We as a nation are victims of legalized, government sanctioned extortion. Can anyone explain to me just what health insurance does except inflate the cost of health care, add red tape to the process of getting health care, and make money for their industry while keeping us from being well?

Today is just one more reason to support a system of single-payer health care.

Funny that just as I was writing this post, I got an email from democrats.com asking me to sign their petition for single payer health care. Now I pass it along to you. Please click here and send an important message to your representatives in Congress.

Maybe next time I get sick, I'll actually be able to go to the doctor.

Hear today's brief edition of the Radio or Not podcast by clicking here.