Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 278 - Oct 9th

Today's post may tick some of my friends off. So be it. I'm tired. These all came this past week.

Most people would describe me as leaning towards the conservative side of many things although I've drifted lately. But one area I'm disagreeing more and more with my church and many of my friends is healthcare reform. The current situation appalls me. But I jump ahead.

I work two jobs and both have "very good" insurance. I'm lucky - I have friends that have been out of work or their jobs don't give them any insurance. One, a very conservative, evangelical Christian middle aged woman fell and broke her wrist. There were complications. Except...her husband had lost his job and they were uninsured. Now they are worried about the bills - they are mounting rapidly. What does a person do when they have $10K or $20K of medical bills? Trully it is something that jolts me awake some nights with worry. Is this America truly? Where someone has to risk bankruptcy over a broken wrist?

Two jobs, two insurances. And with the deductibles and the copays and the "that's not covered" and the pre-existing conditions...we've had no major medical issues this year, thank God. And yet, we've had to write checks for over $3500 for medical, dental and prescriptions. One of Jill's eye drops has a copay of $60 a refill! Peters trip to the doctor for his arm cost us just shy of $250. And I have TWO full blown insurances! Maranda got strep throat earlier in the year - TOO BAD! We had to pay most of that one too. Insurance basically only fully covers well-child checks. Get sick, pay money. When people say they can't afford to have kids, they don't know the half of it.

I just had to tell my oldest daughter we have to put off her getting braces until after the holiday season. Braces are considered "cosmetic" and will cost $6,300 per child - and both our oldest girls need them. Between the two insurances, they'll pay $3,000 each (LIFETIME max for ortho). So I'll "only" owe $6,600. Where will I get that money?

I have friends in Canada and England that oppose their existing systems. And I have far more that support it. L in Toronto has never paid a copay, never had a medical bill. She's never had to wait for any doctor or procedure. Never had to force-choose a "primary physician". And never felt the need to come to America for any medical anything. She's appalled by our system and I don't blame her.

When Jill's father got pancreatic cancer and Johns Hopkins had a procedure, Kaiser denied it (hopefully I'm getting all the names and events proper here). It was his best hope but at his age/condition, the procedure was deemed too risky. Talk about your "DEATH PANELS"!! We already have them and they are called insurance companies. Fortunately, Jill's mom is a tenacious fighter and eventually got them to cover it. But she's had to fight for SO much! For what? FOR LIFE. So her beloved husband could continue living and being a father to his three children. "Too risky"? Too risky to their bottom line and their CEO's $6Million income. To be fair, though, he did recently call for "health care for all" and that he supports universal care.

I know, long winded, meandering post. I've been following my friend Ken's ordeal since the beginning. $100,000 for a drug that ended up NOT stopping Bennett's seizures? Seriously? Thank goodness for the Cleveland Clinic.

My biggest complaint about the current healthcare reform legislation is that they caved to the pharmaceutical companies that have so many politicians in their pockets. The lobbyists are destroying meaningful reform. Ban them, I wish. I also just read this Wikipedia article and it just saddens me - our system is broken. And if you still are reading this, watch Keith Olbermann's hour long Special Comment. It's superb.

That's all I had to vent out today.


Laura said...

Oh my goodness...I never thought anybody in our family but ME would watch (and appreciate) Keith Olbermann! Welcome to the dark side, brother! ;)

I totally agree with you, BTW...

Laura said...

...and $6,300 per child for braces?? For real?! That's insane. And ridiculous.

Stryder Wolfe said...

as one of those people from Toronto, I thank God for our health care system...I can visit the doctor any time and never pay a dime...that's the way it should be....hopefully it'll never change and you guys in the states will get the same sort of thing one day.