Back on the road. Once again, many thanks to the Fairfield Inn & Suites in
Roderick: Roderick from the hotel told me, “Everyone should have healthcare and it should be provided by the government, not by for-profit companies.” I asked him if he thinks the current reform proposals are enough. He shook his head, “No.”
And so I headed out on the road. I usually walk on the westbound lane (against traffic) and as I was walking along
Chris: We didn’t have too much time to talk as traffic zoomed on by. But he told me, “We need help, it’s rough out here for everybody—not just the elderly. There’s drugs and alcohol problems, no treatment and the price of medications is too much.” I asked if he had a specific example. “Sure. My mother’s got Alzheimer’s and her medications are five to six-hundred dollars a month.” His friend in the passenger seat shook his head in amazement that they had bumped into someone they had just seen on the news. I contemplated the incredulity of it too. Maybe we’re onto something …
A couple miles down the road I stopped into the
John: “It’s a critical situation,” he told me. “Especially now that people are losing jobs. But keeping prices down is important. Even with the insured, prices are inflated, they’re sky-high.” I nodded in reply. “So, it’s hard to stay healthy if you can’t afford health care.”
Six miles later, when
Ed: “Definitely things need to change,” he said. “But it’s more like tweaking. I’m 100% against something like the Canadian system.” I asked what he thought of the health care reform debate in
Later, heading down the long stretch of IN-130 (7.7 miles) I stopped into the
Eric: Eric’s got a brother who had an eye accident, lost his job on account of that and being without health insurance had to file for bankruptcy.
Jack: Jack has good insurance. But his story starts with unexplained pain in both of his feet. He went to dozens of doctors, podiatrists, and other specialists but nothing seemed to help except painkillers and these were prescribed only sparingly. It was a terrible problem and he could barely walk and was at risk of losing his job. “Then there was this neurologist who gave me two injections in the back—L4, L5, I think it was—and that worked!” I nodded, realizing that his foot pain was clearly related to the back (perhaps spinal stenosis or a herniated disc) rather than the feet. “But, guess what, the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the one thing that worked and now I owe $6,000!” I grimaced at the story. “Oh yes,” he added, “before, several years ago, I didn’t have insurance and I had to declare bankruptcy.” Eric glanced over with a knowing look.
John: John actually had two stories. First, his wife has diabetes, lupus, and fibromyalgia and he feels that the drug companies are just pushing drugs … through the doctors. The drugs don’t work; she doesn’t seem to get better and the only effect seems to be that she gains weight. His second story was after his first son was born. The $11,000 dollar bill forced his family into bankruptcy, again, soon after his wife gave birth. John felt the bill was ‘padded’ but there was nothing he could do about it.
Continuing on along IN-130 (another driver, recognizing me from the Chicago news, stopped to talk and provide encouragement), I finally reached
Kyle: It’s a bit complicated so bear with me. Kyle’s a senior in college (at Purdue in
And so I checked in, went to my room, lathered the Neosporin on my feet and called it a night.