Maps, Comedy, and Politics

Or, why I should update my blog more often. (Sorry!)

Maps: I’ve got a new post over at the Magic District, talking about the map thing in epic fantasy. Triggered by something dumb on Fox News (is there ever anything else?), and an odd interaction I had at Worldcon last weekend, wherein I handed a copy of my ARC to someone and they protested (good-naturedly, but still protested) it wasn’t epic fantasy because it didn’t have a map.

Comedy: The other creative, activist black sheep in my mother’s side of the family, cousin W. Kamau Bell, is coming to NYC this week to do a series of comedy shows as part of NYC’s Fringe Festival. He’s really, really effing funny, and I’m planning to go see him next weekend. Here’s a sample of his routine — not worksafe, note, and contains copious racial slurs, used to make a point against racism. See the sidebar for other examples, then if you’re in NYC, go here to order tickets.

Politics: I generally try to keep politics off this blog, but I’m so angry that I need to vent.

I’m 36 years old. A little overweight, mostly because I love to exercise but also love to cook and eat really good food. No bad habits other than that; no real health problems; no history of same. I have a recent minor health issue, fibroids. (Like 40% of women.) My doctor sent me to get an ultrasound to see if I had them; I did; they’re tiny and require no treatment; no big deal; end of story.

Or so it should have been. Instead I’ve been getting letters from my insurance company saying that the fibroids are a preexisting condition, and therefore I have to pay for the ultrasound myself. They’re not preexisting, note; I get an exam every year like clockwork, and they weren’t there at last year’s exam. I wrote back to the insurer explaining this, and referring them to last year’s doctor for followup. But because I was on different health insurance at the time, and went through a brief period sans insurance while I was transitioning from being a 9-to-5-er to a full time writer, what my doctors say is irrelevant. I have no way to “prove” that I haven’t been walking around with giant benign tumors just waiting for my chance to spring them on some undeserving insurer. Ergo I must pay.

I’m fighting this, of course. I can afford to pay for the ultrasound, but I shouldn’t have to; it’s an ordinary preventative test given my medical history and demographics, and besides that, I didn’t have the damn things last year. But this little brush with the utter stupidity of our health care system brings home to me just how lucky I really am. I can afford to pay for the test; I have the means and the test doesn’t cost that much. And the fibroids are just fibroids — I don’t have cancer or something serious. I’m only 36, not 63 or at some other age where my insurer might not even consider covering me. I actually have insurance, which 43 million other Americans don’t. I have options.

But I’m not as lucky as I could be. I live in the United States, not an actual industrialized, modern, sane country, where the state would pay for my preventative care and consider it a good investment in its population. And while I can handle the insurance stupidity this time, what happens if I do get cancer? What happens when I am 63?

This is stupid. I can’t speak any more strongly without getting extremely profane, but this is stupid.

So I’m writing to my congresspeople. I’m pissed that the single-payer option is apparently off the table; I’m going to tell them that. I think everybody in this country needs to tell them this. So please do the same, and pass it on.

OK, back to writing.

4 Responses »

  1. Your insurance company did WHAT? Gah! Guess I’d better not try to switch insurance companies before either hitting menopause or getting my uterus yanked out :P

  2. Love your cousin’s work! Thanks for the pointer.

  3. I don’t know why they’re having such a problem with it, but… yeah. I guess nothing else had better go wrong with my uterus, because I imagine they’ll call that preexisting — had the same uterus all my life, after all.

  4. He plays in California too!