We were fairly sure of this right after I finally had my Social Security hearing last month based on the very positive statements from the judge, but I didn’t want to jinx anything. We got the official letter in the mail today, saying that the decision was “fully favorable!” SQUEE!

It will still take some time for that decision to bounce around the bureaucracy and get monthly payments started, much less get the back pay from the SSA. Because the onset date was years ago, I should be eligible for Medicare right away, but I’ll need to talk to the attorney about that on Monday.

I really needed some good news, so the timing is marvelous.

This process has been an insane endurance contest. The fact that the SSA has been absolutely obstructionist throughout (and I know my experience is far from unique!) is ridiculous. The system demands that people who are most in need of help are least likely to get it in any timely fashion because it takes so much persistence, jargon, and inside knowledge to get anywhere. If you can do all those forms and gather all the records and so on by yourself, I don’t know that you should count as disabled! Even people with good support in other ways don’t always have someone willing, able, and persistent who can and will spend the hours and hours of time to push a claim through.

I started the filing process for one reason: I needed stable access to healthcare so that I could get well enough to go back to work. Five years down the line, I’m not at all sure that I will be able to return to work, because my health has deteriorated so much that it may not be possible to get back to an “abled” state. How many years of productive lives are being in the U.S. wasted for lack of access to healthcare?

I get annoyed every time I hear a talking head refer to plans to “insure” everyone. That isn’t what we need! Plenty of people have health insurance and still don’t get the actual health care they need because they can’t afford the co-pays, the insurer won’t cover a particular drug or therapy, there are pre-existing condition problems, or…

We need health care. Not divided up by age (this for kids, that for seniors, something else for working-age people, oh, right, the disabled here) by universal care, the same care for everyone, for the whole body, cradle to grave. (Whoever decided that eyes and teeth should be separated out, anyway? That’s stupid.)

I read an article about San Francisco’s health program last week—if I can find a link I’ll add it later. It does just what I described, from what that article says. I don’t know how much it costs to join, but apparently, there’s a lot of outreach to people who are otherwise uninsured. There are no pre-existing conditions.

Does anyone know of programs like San Francisco’s elsewhere in the U.S.?

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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