By Clancy Sigal, Reader Supported NewsThis article first appeared on Reader Supported News.

Under the influence of the painkiller Dilaudid, and dog-tired after another day of fighting for my life with my private health insurance company, I glimpsed Mitt Romney and his running-mate, Paul Ryan, entering my Los Angeles hospital room dressed in surgical gowns with scalpels in their hands ready to fatally operate on me.

It was a drug-induced hallucination, of course. But the mirage made me sit bolt upright in bed and, fully awake, start to rethink my previous, bitterly dissenting view of Barack Obama.

For the past year, I’ve been in a death spiral without knowing it. The occasional fainting spell, sprawls on the street and a dramatic weight loss were shrugged off as merely a cost of doing a writer’s business. Denial is a most powerful analgesic. Even when paramedics first rushed me to the hospital, I angrily argued with the doctors.

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