Healthcare for everyone?

Mar 29, 2010 by

I already had a lengthy facebook discussion on this topic, but I really want to expand and hear everyone’s thoughts.

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to healthcare, politics should be the least of Americans’ concerns.  First and foremost, our concern needs to lie with the actual HEALTH and CARE of our fellow Americans.  It should not matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on.  So far, choosing sides has accomplished nothing…unless you count arguments, bullheadedness and a blatant refusal to consider anything the other side has to say, simply because the “other side” said it. 

I heard a joke recently that, while amusing, ended up making me sad.  The joke is: What’s the difference between politicians and infants?  Infants eventually grow up and stop crying.  The “funny” thing is, it just goes to show you what a joke our political system really is. 

(Side note: The same joke was made regarding kU basketball players.  Now THAT is funny.)

Healthcare reform is definitely offering change.  I don’t think you have to choose a political side to want change.  You don’t have to pick a “team” to want the best for everyone, even if they don’t agree with your particular values.  Whatever happened to compromise and working together for the COMMON good, not the Democrat/Republican good?

I don’t pretend to know everything about the bill that passed, but let me tell you what I do know: how it affects me and my family.

Maybe people with company health insurance don’t realize what goes on when you actually own the company.  Let me tell you, it’s not pretty!  The idea of providing incentives for small businesses to offer healthcare to their employees is a great one.  I guess a lot of people don’t necessarily think of farmers as “small business owners,” but that’s the reality.  We reorganized our insurance last year and the result was less coverage for employees and paying for our own coverage rather than being covered by a corporate plan.  Do you guys even know how much coverage costs for a young, healthy married couple who isn’t covered by a mass corporate plan?  I do!  Over $400 a month.  I thought those kinds of prices were reserved for the elderly and sick!  And if you want to have maternity coverage, which you better–just in case, you can go ahead and tack on almost $100 extra.  It’s outrageous!

I also believe mandating that insurance companies cannot deny infants born with “pre-existing” conditions coverage is a fantastic idea.  I can’t believe an infant can have a pre-existing condition to begin with, but if the insurance companies say they can, I say insurance companies need to have some regulations.  Most people have no idea what it costs to care for someone with even a “mild” pre-existing condition (like asthma) but I can tell you that it would make our current insurance plan look like a drop in the bucket.  If you want more details, Heather from has some excellent blogs regarding her personal experience with paying for children’s health insurance once they have been deemed “high-risk” based on their “pre-existing conditions.”  Scary!

On a mostly related note, I also think the part of this reform that bans insurance companies from kicking you off your plan just because you are unlucky enough to have recurring cancer or other extremely expensive medical issues, is a FANTASTIC one.  Maybe I’m missing something here but that just seems obvious.  And to be totally honest, I didn’t even know insurance companies could do that, prior to this reform being passed.  What a disgrace!  As if you don’t have enough problems dealing with a little thing like recurring cancer, they could kick you off your insurance and you could go bankrupt paying for treatment that may or may not work and could, in fact, kill you?  What an excellent idea!  Just in case anyone in the entire universe didn’t know insurance companies were a-holes, that ought to clarify things.

So let’s review my version of the new reform bill:
-Incentives for small business owners to offer healthcare to employees
-Mandatory coverage for people w/ pre-existing conditions (which, btw can include allergies)
-Insurance for people w/ recurring and expensive medical conditions

Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t think that sounds reasonable?  Look it doesn’t matter what side of the spectrum I’m on…those things just make SENSE!  And isn’t common sense the one thing Washington is missing?  Duh.

Granted, there are a lot of things I don’t like about this bill.  I think everyone should have access to health care at a reasonable cost, with the same quality of treatment and doctors.  I don’t think the government should require you to pay for health care…I just think you shouldn’t be treated if you don’t have it.  Why should the government be responsible for your poor judgement?  Most of all, I don’t like the cost.  We are already trillions (that’s TWELVE zeroes, people) of dollars in debt and this plan costs trillions more.  I understand better than most that you have to spend money to make money, but this is ridiculous. 

Instead of focusing on why everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong and what you don’t like about this plan, focus on coming up with concrete solutions and then DO SOMETHING about it.  Don’t like how it went down?  Don’t re-elect your representatives who passed it.

This bill isn’t perfect.  We can ALL agree on that.  It’s a start though. 

Soapbox, completed. 

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Lauren well put. More people need to read this. Robert Fleming from Ca.

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