How Can You Get Health Insurance if You're American with a Pre-existing Condition? Live Long Enough.

Veneto, Italy - Scrovegni Chapel. Deatil of Christ of Raising Lazarus/Getty Imag

Italy, Veneto, Padua, Scrovegni Chapel. Scenes from the Life of Christ of Raising of Lazarus. Via Getty Images.

This Sunday is an important milestone for me. It's the day I no longer risk losing health insurance.

I left my last job-with-benefits when I was 51 years old. I'd been commuting an hour and a half each day, and I was worn out. My husband had excellent health insurance, and publishing jobs were plentiful.

Six weeks after my job ended, however, the dot-com bubble burst and jobs everywhere started to dry up. In 2003, I discovered I had a great big pre-existing condition — a defective heart valve and an aortic aneurysm that would eventually require surgery. I became uninsurable except through my husband's employer (and mine, should I ever find another job).

And then in 2008, the year I turned 60, the whole economy tanked. I realized I was now entirely dependent on my husband's employer for health insurance, since I would probably never again have a job-with-benefit.

Righteous Indignation: Half of America is Poor

"Homeless and Cold" Image via Wylio

"Homeless and Cold" in New York City's Lincoln Square, 2010. Image via Wylio

There are times when a story in the news just makes one stop with a righteous indignation.The news I heard today that one in two Americans is now classified as poor makes me angry.

This means half of the people living the richest nation in the world are poor. Is this the American exceptionalism we want?

I am angry because this is a not necessary. I am angry that so many people are suffering, while our elected officials are playing games, unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to promote the general welfare of the nation.

The Afternoon News: Monday Nov. 14, 2011

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