Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Why we need health care reform

We need health care reform, and a government option, because there is little to no help for those who have no insurance through an employer. When Gary lost his job earlier this year it would have cost us $218 a month, WITH the government subsidy, to continue our coverage -- then $645 a month after the subsidy ran out. Not doable, not. (Oh, and that was just for him and me, not the kids.) But what options did we have? Thank God he got a new job right away and insurance within 3 months. But for that, we would have been up a creek. It is a myth that all low-income people can get medicaid, by the way -- at federal poverty level, if you aren't disabled you DO NOT qualify if you are a non-pregnant adult without kids. It isn't right that a family or individual should be one major illness away from bankruptcy. It really isn't. Why is treatment so expensive anyway? I understand people want to make money but come on!

I am not sure that reform is being pursued in the right way, but at least it is being pursued. Still, they need to get rid of frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs for everybody and make doctors afraid to do anything for fear of getting sued -- or they do Everything, run Every conceivable expensive test, just so they don't get sued for missing something. What nonsense.

But it annoys me immensely when people say everyone has health care, you can go to the ER if you need health care. The ER is not health care! They don't have to treat you for cancer or other long-term illnesses. They stabilize you, and send you home. We need to be able to get help when we need it.

Back on the other side of the argument, I believe with ever fiber of my being that quality will deteriorate when they pass this reform. Whether they pass it now, or 10 years from now, quality of care will go down. And for that, I am very sorry for those who have serious illnesses, because they will be less likely to live through it. But, at least they will have access to some sort of help, which so many do not have now.

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