Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Insurance Now

I'm not normally political, actually I am but I've been trying to leave it off my blog. I wanted to focus on books, movies, and music; the fun stuff that brings us together as a community. I didn't want to spout off my political views though I have many, and as anyone who knows me can attest too I'm not normally shy about sharing them.

I've actually toyed with the idea of starting a political blog but I don't think I would have the time to be as active on it as I would want to. So now I'm having to post this here, on this blog, because I need somewhere to put my reactions to this story I just read.

Here is the link, I'm not going to try and clean it up because if I do, I know I will mess up and break it somehow.

It is from the Journal Sentinel Online website. The Journal Sentinel is a paper out of Milwaukee, WI and one that I visit from time to time.

I found myself getting rather emotional over this story and more than a bit frustrated. The story is about a family who is having to make hard, hard choices just to make sure they have health insurance. The wife has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is having a rough go of it. The husband had lost his job, his severance package was expiring, he has not been able to find a job, and their health insurance was about to get too expensive for them to afford.

The needed the insurance though to cover the cost of the wife's chemo and medical bills. So what does the husband and father of three find himself doing at the age of 39 and while his wife is sick and suffering a relapse of the cancer.

He joins the Army, which is a heroic thing to do, but it should not be the last option for a husband to make in order to have health insurance for his family. He has to be away from his family for 4 years while his wife suffers without him being there. No family, No individual should ever have to make this choice.

We need universal health care in this country so families don't have to tear themselves apart in order to get coverage. I'm tired of the bickering and fighting over the issue and wish those fighting the idea of providing health coverage for everyone would realize that there are real people, real families that suffer due to the lack of health insurance. I wish they would realize that doing nothing is not an option anymore, that those who die every year simply because they lack coverage are victims of a system in disorder. That living in a country where millions of people without health insurance is a problem. That it is an economic, moral, and public policy emergency that needs to be fixed so situations like this never happen again.


Ceri said...

As a UK citizen, I have to say that you guys (US) have the worst health care system I've ever seen. It really is appalling. I mean, you guys are one of the most richest and powerful countries in the world.

I haven't really read much about what Obama's plans are for the new health care plan but my boyfriend told me it sounds very similar to what the NHS does here - everyone gets healthcare. But a lot of you guys hate that idea????? What the hell??

bookmagic said...

I couldn't agree with you more Ryan. I don't know why so many people assume that affordable health care is for lazy people that don't work and just collect public assistance. They need to live 5 minutes in this family shoes

Rich Mom, Rich Dad. Poor Mom, Poor Dad. said...

I think, Ceri, many people are afraid of it turning out to the way it is in Canada. Canada has the WORST social medicine system. I had quite a few Canadian patients tell me it can take up to 5-6 months to get lifesaving cancer treatment. Also, opponents don't like the idea of government having the final say and some don't want to increase the national deficit which is in the trillions. I get their fears, I really do. Our economy is tanked and the right wings HATE our President (one, whom I might say, has one of the WORST messes a new president would ever have to clean up after!)

Now, on to my personal views, I am all for nationalized healthcare.. if done right. Arizona's Medicaid system is wonderful and the ONLY insurance that will cover Emma's treatments. When I worked in Oncology, I had sooo many problems with Aetna, United Healthcare, etc. approving Radiation treatment! It was awful. Medicare- no auth required, AHCCCS (Arizona's Medicaid System), not a problem. AHCCCS went above and beyond, even approving stem cell treatments for a young girl who was dying and is now cancer free. Here you can even purchase an AHCCCS health plan if you work for an employer who doesn't offer health insurance (only $50 a month!). It's awesome. Is it perfect? No, but it's better then nothing. Now if they can provide better dental care other then extractions in the case of an emergency, it will be better.

However, when I return to work, I have NO PROBLEM paying a higher dividend to be able to have health insurance.

I am tired of people doing similar to this article just to save a life... sad.

Rich Mom, Rich Dad. Poor Mom, Poor Dad. said...

Correction, not dividend, lol, I meant a tax. hahahaha

Anonymous said...

I heard about this story and it is heartbreaking. Thank you for writing about it. I have been shocked at how this issue has inspired so much vitriol when it should be something that should bring us together because it affects us all.

Logan said...

Ceri in the UK, Maybe one reason why the US is one of the wealthiest nations is because we're stingy on paying for things like universal health care. It sounds like most of the opponents (people who already have good health care through jobs and other means) of it are scared it's going to cost them...

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

That is the saddest story I've heard in a while. I hope something can be done. Even those of us that have insurance have a hard time. I have insurance, but my son has ADHD. Even with coverage, his two medications cost us over $50 a month and then his counselor is about $40 a month. If he has to see the psychiatrist, that's another $40-$50 a month. This is on top of the money that comes out of my husband's check every week for the insurance. We need something that will help everyone to afford needed treatments and medications. Maybe I'm misinformed, but I can't help but think that if it works for the UK, why couldn't it work for us?

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I am all for health insurance for everyone. How can we justify spending money on wars, etc., when our citizens are suffering and even dying because they lack health care?

Even with health insurance, many of us health care insurance is going up a couple hundred more a month...I may have to switch plans. At least I have options. I cringe when I hear about people who have to do without medical care.

My oldest son lives in Europe and has received better health care there.

Carol said...

So, the story had me crying at work - not good. Anyway, I don't know what the solution is, but you're right that he shouldn't have had to join the army when he was needed at home.

Alexia561 said...

Can't understand how things got so out of control with our health insurance. Bottom line is that America should take care of it's own, but isn't.

In my grandparent's day, they went to the doctor and paid his bill. No co-pay, no deductables, just a flat fee. The government needs to do something, but I can't understand why so many people are against trying to make a bad system better?

And don't get me started on all of the people who shout that they don't want the government messing with their medicare....

Dakota said...

Thanks for writing on this subject, Ryan. I couldn't agree more.

Becca said...

EXACTLY! I completely agree with you.

When people say how horrible universal health care would be their basic reason is because it would cost them money. So does a lot of things, much more idiotic than giving everyone health care. We pay for everyone's education, why not their chance at life?

I have fibromyalgia. If I ever run out of health insurance because I lose my job, and no one is there to help me pay for COBRA or there is no COBRA, I am S.O.L. If I do not have my medicine and my massages and my doctor visits, I will be in so much pain I won't be able to go out and even find another job. It's not like I gave myself this illness. I didn't smoke until my lungs wouldn't work. I didn't drink myself into needing a new liver. I simply inherited the genes for it.

As a teacher of at-risk children I am also all too familiar with the way not having health care for all affects children. Their teeth are full of cavities. They can't afford insulin to help the diabetes. They come to school sick and spread the flu because mom and dad can't miss even one day of work in this economy or they lose their job altogether. It is heartbreaking.

Our country would be so much better off if we can put a universal health care system in place. Why can't we look at the UK, Canada, and other countries with this system and use what works and discard what doesn't work until we come up with a usable plan?

I feel like anybody against this plan has never worried about money, has never been sick, and/or has never loved anyone in these situations.