Early this morning, I gave up on sleep. I can only sleep for about two or three hours, then I'm up, then it's sleep for another hour, then I'm up. Sometimes, I try to relax in the wee hours with a crossword, but it's not much of a life. I don't recommend it. It's quite lonely.
In any event, I surfed through television channels, hoping for something soothing. Or relaxing. And came upon the CUNY NYC Council Channel. And, dear reader, what do you think was on the air? The City Council Hearings for Single-Payer Insurance, held on 12/13. Where yours truly gave compelling testimony about her experiences as a psychologist over the past twenty years. Now I had the opportunity to see how I present on camera.
The hearings were about four hours in all. Many people testified, mostly in favor. One heard horrid stories about not being able to afford basic care. On people who were self-employed and had high deductibles. One person paid $600/month for the premium and had a $7000 deductible before he could use it. Another person, an asthmatic, told of the insurance company deciding that after 10 years of covering her inhaler, it would no longer do so. If she wanted to stay with that inhaler, she could pay $300/month for it. A student who suffered from depression took medical leave from college and then, when he felt better, could not return--the school wanted a note from his treating therapist--he had not been able to afford therapy or a psychiatrist, so he was now in limbo.
I was the only psychologist there period. There were physicians, nurses, and teachers, union members and their families. Psychologists are members of unions. And, like the cheese, I was alone. Later I found out that unionized psychologists are against the single-payer system--it is "a very bad bill." Yes, except for all the others out there and our current system. Some unions are against single-payer because it makes them less distinct--if they aren't offering health insurance for their members, what do they have to offer? Maybe they should just resurrect JGE--remember "What's the story Jerry?" "JGE, a store that is only available for "union members and their families." Nurses, teachers, doctors--believe that their practices and their patients would be better off with single-payer. And psychologists are against it. Why, are they afraid that they would now have to treat middle-class students, teachers, idlers, bon-vivants, flaneurs, and not just hedge fund managers? I was excoriated by the males on my listserve and accused of violating the list-serves rules against politicking. I did not take sides when I posted about this--I was just informing other listserve psychologists of a pending bill in Albany and what would happen if it were enacted. No private insurance. No co-pay. Your payroll taxes, your taxes, etc, fund NYHealth. Private insurance can only exist if it offers something that NYHealth doesn't offer. Health would be a not-for-profit enterprise. It is not socialized medicine. Doctors and hospitals continue to offer care and plan care. It changes whom you bill. Instead of having office staff devoted just to billing, any schmo just bills the local Department of Health.
Then the list-serve was all a twit--someone claimed that if this came to pass, reimbursement to psychologists would go down. At this point, I broke my resolve to discontinue posting, period, and educated them about the difference between legislation and regulation. Our representatives in Albany pass or don't pass legislation. If it passes, the Department of Health regulates it by setting prices and other parameters. Sheesh. Doesn't anyone remember "I'm a bill, I'm a bill on Capitol Hill?"
But that's not what I 'm posting about. I stayed awake to see how I looked on camera. When my turn came, I saw what a twitchy mess I am. Constantly in motion, sometimes grimacing, shaking my head (hair in eyes issue). I couldn't believe it. How restless, how antsy. I undermine myself. It looks like I contain multitudes, all trying to escape my hirsute Hydra's head.