Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health Care Reform?

The debate rages on. There won’t be a bill before the recess in August which could very well kill it.

There are the Republicans like South Carolina’s Jim DeMitt who aren’t concerned about reforming health care at all but as the Senator says:

“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo,” he said in a conference call with GOP activists. “It will break him.”

So glad to see the Republicans see stopping health care reform as a way to get back in power at the expense of the uninsured and those who are insured who’s premiums continue to skyrocket. Once again we see that for the Republicans party is more important than country.

I’m not sure the plans the Democrats will solve all of the problems with health care but allowing the system to go along as it is will be a disaster.

Just some general observations.

We are told that the United States has the best health care in the world. But if you don’t have access to it, it doesn’t matter how good it is.

Critics say they are against a government bureaucrat telling them which doctor they can go to. Yet, isn’t that what insurance companies do. They tell who’s in network and out of network. Isn’t this a bureaucrat telling which doctor you can go to. So these critics have a problem with a government bureaucrat telling them who they can see but have no problem with a bureaucrat from an insurance company telling them the exact thing.

Having lost my insurance because I used it, I can tell you the horrible feeling you get when you're sick and you think it might be something more than the common cold.

A little over 25 years ago I had a major health problem. I had Sarcoidosis and Mycobacterium Kansaii infection, Bronchiectasis and for good measure TB too. The upshot was a lobe of my lung would be cut out.

Three days before the operation I got a call from the hospital. They said my insurance wouldn't pay for the entire operation so I would have to come up with $2,000 before the surgery would be performed. I summed up as much sarcasm as possible and said do they always give so much time to come up with so much money. The women on the other end obviously did not expect such a reation. Thankfully, I was able to call my parents and my mom said without missing a beast don't worry she'd right a check. It turned out the insurance did pay all of it and how I got the money back is another story to tell.

At the end of all this fun, my primary doctor said well since we don't know what caused this it is always possible it could come back. Soon after I was dropped by my insurance and any attempt to insure me by my employer ran into problems. So for a couple of years I had no insurance. Everytime I got a bad cold and started coughing crap up from my lungs I worried if I was getting sick again. I worried that I'd burden my parents with my medical bills.

Eventually my employer got me insured. I'm not exactly sure how he did it but he did. Then five years went by and I could answer all those questions they ask you in the last five years have you had such and such I could say no.

In 1983 my visit to the hospital (not the cost of the surgeon or all the tests that were done on me or the medication I had to take for TB) was around $6,000. I can only imagine what it would be today. But the fact is that without insurance I would never had had the operation. And I kind of figure I wouldn't be around today without the insurance.

So from my perspective health care reform where everyone is insured in some way and has access to care is far overdue.

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