Year of cancer

NO, NOT ME. And not quite a year either.

Last January, a nephew discovered he had cancer. The problem began when testicular cancer was misdiagnosed as a cyst.

The testicular cancer, untreated, spread to his lungs, and that’s when the problem was discovered. The cyst diagnosis had come from a doctor practicing at a generic drugstore.

Mexico is chockablock with doctors, and many find work at drugstores, charging about 20 pesos a diagnosis. While this may not be a bad option for minor, routine ailments, I wouldn’t count on it for anything potentially serious.

The drugstore option is used primarily by folks who are financially challenged. That would be our nephew.

He is 31 years old, married, two great kids, 10 and 6, and few real occupational skills. His father — my wife’s brother — was murdered by a lunatic when our nephew was a toddler.

His mother died a decade later due to diabetes, which she simply ignored until it killed her.

The nephew was 14, and his brother was 16 when mom died. They have been on their own ever since.

The testicular cancer has been removed. The lung cancer is more stubborn, but test results have been going in the right direction. By sheer luck, he had health insurance from a job driving a wrecker on the autopista near here.

He has been receiving chemotherapy at a government hospital in the nearby state capital. This has been going on for the past year. At first, we were part of a group of friends and relatives who ferried him to these sessions.

He has no car.

But, in time, the others have dropped out. Now it’s just us. Once a week. Some weeks on, some weeks off.

* * * *

Alternative medicine

In addition to this traditional treatment, he is also going to a witch doctor. At least, that’s what I call him. Others call him a practitioner of alternative medicine.

The witch doctor was recommended by another aunt and, unfortunately, he is not located in the nearby state capital but hours away in the City of Querétaro.

Once a month, the nephew travels to Querétaro by bus, leaving early in the morning, and returning late at night. The witch doctor is not cheap, and he prescribes all manner of medicines, none of which is covered by the health insurance.

My wife and other aunts pay the witch doctor.

The nephew has more faith in the witch doctor than he does in the oncologist at the government hospital.

The test results have shown a good bit of improvement over the year, but the lung cancer is not in remission.

I hope for the best while thinking of Steve McQueen.

100-day plan

TRUMP DELIVERED an excellent speech at Gettysburg today. It should be required listening for all voters, especially those who plan to vote for fringe candidates.

The Donald spells out specific actions he will take immediately on becoming president. They are good actions.


There is poetic justice.

The hallowed halls of academia, where low-information voters gather en masse, those fresh-faced zealots in the Cause of Obama, a multicultural Rainbow America, and economic equality by force, are suffering blowback.

CluelessThey’re losing their medical insurance!

The ObamaCare legislation makes the traditional, low-cost, student coverage so beloved by students and parents impossible to continue.

Schools are either pushing the semester-by-semester payments through the roof or they’re canceling the plans.

Message to students: Whoops-a-daisy!

Consider your candidate more carefully next time.

Read more here.

And a fun video here.

ObamaCare South

Insurance office
Our insurance office.

I’ve had no health insurance since I moved over the Rio Bravo 13 years ago, and I haven’t been worried about it at all. I pay out of pocket.

Sure, something really major could crop up, and from what I have read, heard and observed it could cost me up to the price of a new, midsize car.

And I can handle that.

What it would not  cost, unlike north of the border, is half a million bucks or more. For that kind of price tag, you darn sure better have insurance.

But that’s not the world I live in. Our hospitals do not charge $500 for a 75-cent pill, a common ripoff above the border.

We’ve seen some health emergencies recently in my child bride’s family. The brother who came down with, and is still recovering from, encephalitis.

Another brother, shortly after, had an appendix emergency, and that required surgery too. Last year a cousin here in our town had major surgery, some female thing. I forget the details.

All of this happening together got my child bride to worrying. She thought we needed health insurance in spite of my insisting we do not.

The three relatives in question paid virtually nothing for their hospitalizations, all of which went off without a hitch. And all three were enrolled in a relatively new health plan called Seguro Popular, a government scheme.

Seguro Popular  is what Obama’s gang should have dreamed up but didn’t.

First off, it’s free to virtually everyone. It’s also optional, up to you. No coercion. If taxes went up, I doubt anyone noticed.

Well, you can’t beat free, so yesterday afternoon the two of us went to the enrollment office. That’s it in the photo above. A nice man took our information and the copies of a few simple documents.

He asked some questions like do we own a home, a car, a stove and refrigerator, and what kind of floors does our house have.

Then we stepped to the other side of the room where we were weighed, height and waist measured, and a drop of blood was taken to see our sugar level.

We’re both in tip-top shape.

About 20 minutes after that, we were fingerprinted with some high-tech gadget, and given proof of insurance and a color booklet that details all the procedures included. It appears to be almost everything that might befall you.

That’s it.  We’ve covered.

I doubt we will ever use this insurance. Why? You must go to government hospitals, most of which are quite basic, to put it mildly. I prefer a snazzy private facility 40 minutes away in the state capital.

But the future is unknown. And we now have health insurance.  Free!

God, I love socialism!