a real life story from the nation
: this person was not irresponsible, didn't skimp on benefits to buy a car or party and what happened? we are destroying our human capital as a society by not meeting the responsibility we have to each other for providing access to decent affordable universal health care.
i knew that my health insurance would run out shortly after i finished college, but i couldn't find any affordable options that provided more than catastrophic care.
if the best i can get will only help in an emergency, i thought, what's the point of having any? faced with what was essentially a choice between insurance and food
, i opted for food and hoped for the best. it was just bad luck that i got sick in january 2004, less than three weeks after my parent's insurance stopped covering me.
i waited for over a month to visit a doctor for tests, and i only went then because i was starting to feel too sick to work. it took two more months, multiple appointments, one visit to an emergency clinic, and four rounds of antibiotics to treat the infection that i had, although none of the physicians i saw ever gave me a specific diagnosis. on at least one occasion the doctor listened to my list of symptoms and wrote a prescription without doing any tests because she said they didn't want me to incur any unnecessary expenses.
in the end i spent nearly $3,500 on care and prescriptions between january and april, and another $1,500 in november and december when i got sick again.
after struggling to avoid excessive student loans in college, i found myself with another school year's worth of debt. in many ways i'm lucky. i didn't need hospitalization, i don't have a chronic condition like diabetes, and my parents helped me with some of my bills. it is a testament to how broken the american health care system that i feel fortunate to not be financial ruined after my experience.
this substandard care takes a heavy toll: uninsured adults are 25 percent more likely to die prematurely than those with private health insurance.
with the numbers of uninsured americans increasing, young people face the prospect of being sicker and less economically productive throughout their lives. immense economic benefits can be gained by making sure all americans have healthcare, somewhere between $65 and $130 billion dollars,
even more significant when you take into account that the government spends approximately $30 billion annually
to compensate healthcare providers for assisting the uninsured.
Sep 5, '06
Maybe they should make healthcare a higher priority in their lives then Cable TV??
Just a thought.
The American Healthcare System isn't 'broke', it just requires some personal responsibility. Imagine that, PERSONALLY taking an interest in one's own health.
Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 5, '06
Sep 5, '06
Sorry, I'm just not interested in a 'cradle to grave' gov't Daddy.
Pave a few streets, build a few tanks, deliver the mail and otherwise: LEAVE ME ALONE! (and actually, these days, I consider delivering the mail to be optional.)
And, I'm not alone. THAT is why this initiative failed so utterly in '94. And you know what: the public is even LESS interested in communizing our healthcare system TODAY.
I can bet ONE THING: Candidate Hilliary will be less interested in touching this hot wire NOW then she was in '94.
Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 5, '06
Sep 5, '06
Quote from ZASHAGALKA
But, I DO have healthcare. You don't have to be rich to take responsibility for your own health.
While I agree that people don't appreciate what they don't have to work for, I find myself bristling at what seems to be an assumption that if you don't have health care you are irresponsible. Perhaps I misunderstand you???
I'm happy for you that you have health care. Likely your health care is subsidized by the hospital you work in. If you're posting on this board, likely you make a lot more than a large chunk of the public, who are working as hard as they can. Sometimes two jobs at a time.
You don't have to be on welfare to not be able to afford health care. For ten years my husband worked at a business that was small enough that it was not required to provide health insurance. I was raising four children, two of which were special needs, and doing what I could to bring in money as well. (day care cost more than I could make) We simply could not afford the 1200.00 a month it would have cost us to have more than catastrophic insurance. That was 1/3 and 1/2 of our takehome pay. (depending on the month)
It had nothing to do with responsibility. We did not have cable TV. We did not have cell phones. We did not have cars younger than 10 years old. (one was 20) We ate simply and I bought clothing at garage sales. We were not in debt...THAT is responsibility. We also didn't go to the doctor. At all.
It upsets me when people imply that those of us who are uninsured are somehow scamming, looking for a free ride. I'm now a single mother, putting myself through nursing school. I've made it two years, one more to go. I long for the day when I can afford healthcare for myself and my children. The instant I'm working as an RN, health care will be the first thing I buy. Not a new car. Not a satellite dish.
I don't have a good answer for how to handle health care. But our system right now is near-broken. The amount of uninsured and underinsured is growing by leaps and bounds, well over 40 million now. MILLION. They can't all be slackers, can they?
But I digress. The thread said uninsured adults are 25% more likely to die prematurely. And they will die after having cost the state more money than had they been healthy because they lacked preventative care. Preventative care is much less expensive than end of life catastrophic care. Who pays that cost? Taxes. That big chunk of money that keeps coming out of YOUR paycheck. Which would cost more? A few dollars for preventative care? Or the state picking up the tab for an extremely ill, terminal individual.
Last edit by Halinja on Sep 5, '06