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Are conservative Christian theology and liberal politics compatible?
Monday, 2 March 2009
Will I trust God, be financially responsible, and ignore my doctors?
Topic: idiosyncratic egotism

I explained my health insurance situation in several earlier posts.  To summarize it briefly, the insurance company through which the small firm that employs me obtains health insurance coverage first took away ALL of my financial flexibility in September by increasing my premiums (the part I pay by payroll deduction) by more than $300 per month. The insurer then increased my annual  deductible to $2,500 per individual and $5,000 for the whole family effective November 1.  This has left me in the position of needing 54%of my after tax income just to pay insurance and medical bills, before insurance pays ANYTHING.

Then, some medical matters involving other family members that were outstanding before November but extended into that month, and an emergency I had myself in December, left us hanging with about $2,500 in new debts which remain mostly unpaid to this day.  (Nearly all of these would have been paid by insurance if we had been able to keep our January to December deductible year, but we were given a new deductible year starting November 1 last year by forces totally out of our control, though we bear full "responsibility" for them).  

This leaves me with the quandary I'm in today.  Within the next 6 weeks, I have two "routine" doctor's appointments and one "routine" diagnostic procedure scheduled.  If I don't keep them, I won't be able to keep my prescriptions for my blood pressure medication, either--leading to an increased risk of death and other negative outcomes.  But I absolutely  KNOW going into these appointments that I don't have any way to pay for them--the insurance company already last September took the income I would have used to pay for them, and I'm still more than $2,000 in deductible claims away from where the insurance company would actually pay for the appointments.

So the iron law of "Financial RESPONSIBILITY(!!!!!!!)" tells me I must cancel the appointments, let my prescriptions run out, and if I die, I die (and I DESERVED to die for being IRRESPONSIBLE!!!).  If I keep the appointments, knowing that I can't pay for them, I have committed an act tantamount to a CRIME--theft of services.  Or, viewed in a better light, to be honest, I must cancel the appointments, let my prescriptions run out, and trust God to only let me die if my time has run out.

This is a really nasty choice to have to make.  

Hopefully I will get the already existing bills paid BEFORE I die. 

(I note that the most applicable definition of being "responsible" in this context is "having enough to meet any demand the world throws at me," and the definition of being "irresponsible" is "not having enough to pay the present demand at the time and on the terms demanded."  "Irresponsibility" exists, and is morally reprehensible and legally punishable, regardless of the degree to which I had actual control of either the demand or my resources; indeed, it is most reprehenible precisely in those situations where both demand and resources are most out of my control--because it can then be said that I SHOULD HAVE controlled them better.  Ask any professional bill collector, and they will agree that the definitions I have just stated are accurate and apply to all of their victims, er, targets, er, debtors.  Everyone who owes money is "responsible" to be able to pay it, and to pay each debt FIRST, ahead of all of the others, regardless of the resources actually available or of the illogic of paying every debt FIRST.   That is why I said that, if I die, I die, and I DESERVED to die....) 

Posted by ian_j_site2 at 11:13 PM EST

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