Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To canada.com Readers: I Hate Private Health Care Insurance

Listening to my mother reading out loud the comments on my canada.com article, my father interrupted her and said, “Shireen advocate for private insurance? I don’t believe it.” He was right. I didn’t. I advocated for privately operated clinics funded by public insurance. But, as is their wont, people didn’t read my text; they read what’s in their head. So let me be clear:

I hate private insurance. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Did I mention how much I loathe some bean counter deciding on my health, usurping my medical decisions that affect my body? Did I state how much I loathe the paperwork, the begging, the stinginess, and most of all the denial of care just because some bean counter decides he knows better than me and my doctor what health care I need? Well, let me be clear: I hate it! I had to endure it for years when I made accident benefits claims under the no-fault system of car insurance in Ontario. OHIP, which leaves all my health care decisions up to me and my doctor (with the proviso that they cover it, of course), was a haven compared to that special hell.

Another big complaint was my bona fides. Well, I did think about putting “brain injury survivor” in my bio so readers would know I have experience in what I speak about. But I loathed (again, that word!) painting myself as a brain injury. I try very hard not to use the words “schizophrenic” or “autistic” when writing about people with schizophrenia or children with autism because persons are not diseases or injuries. We may have them; we may have to live within the limitations they impose; but they are not us. I don’t even like the term “brain injury survivor.” So I feared putting those words in would instantly slant people’s perception of me as a writer and an authority on the subject. I had also hoped people would click over to my website and discover my full bona fides there. But, sigh, we’re all too lazy to make that extra effort, aren’t we?

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