Posted in writing

To live and be healthy in America

Going back five years I wrote a post regarding the then pending health care reform.

So many people were in an uproar over having to get health insurance or pay a penalty.  Five years later I still don’t understand why any American wouldn’t want to be medically insured.  You don’t balk at insuring your home or your car.  Shit, some people even insure their pets.  So what’s the big deal about getting health insurance?

Ironically for people who complained about the government being involved in our health insurance five years ago, the government has an even bigger hand in it now than they did then.  It’s so big, in fact, they don’t want anyone to have anything, especially low-income, the elderly and the disabled.

So, how is this new plan the GOP has proposed better?  Maybe some would agree with Asshole Paul Ryan who, when asked to say how many people might lose coverage under the new plan, stated: “It’s up to people.  We’re not going to make an American do what they don’t want to do.  You get it if you want it.”

You get it if you want it.  Imagine if it were like that when you bought a house.  You get it if you want it.  Then you have a fire and ooops!  Too late.  You didn’t have it when you needed it.  That’s how insurance works, folks.  It is something that is put into place for when you need it. Not because you want it or are “forced” to get it.  And as human beings, I don’t care how healthy you are, there will be a point in your life when you will need health insurance.

Here is the post I wrote five years ago regarding this very same topic.  With all that’s going on with the reform of the health care reform, it’s almost as if we reached a milestone and then turned back fifty years and are left in the dark with nothing.

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Don’t you think that’s what most Americans would want?  To be able to live and be healthy in America?  Yet somehow there are quite a lot of people out there who don’t seem to get it.  And I don’t understand it.  If you are an individual who has gone without health insurance for a period of time, or has never had it, why would you not want to have it?  Simply because it would mean the government is “forcing” you to have it?  Or is it because you’d have to pay for it?  Uh, duh.  It’s for your own good.  It’s something you need.

I realize many (most?) are enraged by the “individual mandate” thing that states starting in 2014 anyone who does not have insurance through Medicare, Medicaid or his/her employer must purchase insurance or pay a penalty.  This isn’t any different from what I and many others face every October when it comes time for annual benefit enrollment at work.  They offer us a variety of plans (five last year).  I get to look at the pros and cons for all and choose what is best for my family.  And if I decline coverage, I have to prove that I have health insurance coverage somewhere else (like through my spouse).  Yes, my company “mandates” that I have health insurance.  And I also have a portion of my pay taken out towards the cost of my health insurance.

It’s not like this “mandate” is telling people they must have health plan XYZ or nothing; there are going to be choices.  And like the choices I have in choosing a plan, the cheaper you go, the crappier treatment you get.  Then again, you get what you pay for.

Although many do not want to face the possibility of (gasp!) having to pay for their own health insurance (like so many people do now anyway–me included), health care costs and changes are something we do need to face.  How right is it that someone should be able to use the ER as their primary care physician, time and time again, getting free care, while the health insurance premiums for people who pay for health insurance keep going up and up?  Think about it.  If you are a business (such as a hospital) and render a service (such as an X-ray), why wouldn’t you be entitled to payment?  No wonder so many hospitals are closing up shop or being forced to combine their services with other medical facilities just to stay afloat.  If you were a self-employed roofer you wouldn’t expect to do a job for free, would you?  Then why would you expect the hospital to foot the bill for your X-ray when you fall off the roof and break your leg?

To use a bad analogy:  In most states drivers are required to have auto insurance.  They don’t necessarily have to have collision or comprehensive (although they are stupid if they don’t–but that’s another story).  But they are required to carry liability, injury protection, etc.  There’s a reason for it.  To protect themselves.  Just as there is a reason why this healthcare reform was created.  To protect ourselves.  To be able to live longer, healthier lives.

For the ignorant ones who say they never get sick, well, never say never, my friends.  We are only human.  You are going to need some kind of medical treatment at some point in your life.  Not just for illness either.  Do you have any idea how much it costs to have a baby?  Not to mention the costs even before the birth.  There are countless prenatal visits, ultrasounds, etc.  And don’t even think about what it would cost if there were complications before or after the birth.  I wouldn’t think anyone would like to get a bill in the mail from the hospital that would equal the cost of four years of Ivy League college for junior.  That’s just one of the many reasons why it is important to have health insurance.  To defray a lot of the costs of medical care.

I won’t even cover life insurance here.  It amazes me how many people are ignorant about not having life insurance.  It’s there to defray the costs of burial, as well as assist family left behind.  But that’s for another day.

I dunno.  Maybe all these people bitching about this reform law are made of money and they can pay out-of-pocket to have a mammogram or have a baby or get their prescriptions.  More power to them, I guess.  But when they run out of money, when the hospitals turn them away, that’s when I’ll say “I told you so”.

 

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Author:

I'm a writer. I'm also a wife and a parent who works too much and lives too little. In addition to writing I also love to read, listen to music, travel, cook, I enjoy looking for bargains at flea markets or thrift stores, Christmas, football and of course writing! How did I come up with the title of my blog? Two things: 1. I live in New England (duh) and 2. Canadian singer Alan Frew once arrogantly told me to "get a New England life"--again--DUH! I already HAVE one!

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