Monday, April 21, 2008

Getting Honest About Health Care

Let’s talk about health care. This issue is top of mind for me right now as I am awaiting a Doctor’s appointment. The problem is I have no insurance.

That means I will have to pay cash for the appointment and cash for any procedures and cash for any prescriptions, etc. What this means is I wait until I absolutely cannot delay medical care any longer before seeking a doctor’s advice. Let me tell you, this really sucks.

For a large number of American’s this is a familiar scenario. Unable to get health coverage because of a pre-existing condition and being self-employed is a double whammy when it comes to insurance. As Elizabeth Edwards noted in a recent column on, 9 out of every 10 people seeking private health insurance don’t get it. Insurers disqualify you for practically anything from your medications to “pre-existing conditions”. In Texas I can get insurance through what is called the “high risk pool”, a special program set up to clear the consciences of the insurance companies. The coverage available is priced far too high for anyone to afford. For me, it’s over $1500 a month. Oh come on! At that rate it would be better to just deposit $1500 in a savings account each month and pray you don’t get sick. That is if you have a spare $1500 lying around each month!

McCain has proposed an alleged “health car program” but it would not cover folks like me ot Elizabeth Edwards. Clinton and Obama both have better solutions, yet neither addresses the issue of someone who cannot afford even the minimal cost of insurance.

Why are we beating around the bush? What this country really needs is a single payer health insurance or socialized medicine like every other civilized country in the world. Having traveled extensively, I can assure you that these programs work in other countries and they can work here. What it will take is a Congress and President who are willing to stand up to the big money of the health care insurers and deliver the bad news. They need to either make insurance available a reasonable rates to everyone or they need to find another line of business.

No comments: