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Another health care rant

December 14, 2009

Where you do even begin anymore when you talk about health care reform?  We’ve got a bill in Congress that no one has even fully read, no one can give us any hard evidence that it will work if passed, and only 23% of Americans actually strongly approve of it.  But Congress is hard at work trying to shove it down our throats.  Nancy Pelosi even called it a Christmas gift to the American people.  *gag* I hope she kept the receipt, because I know I sure as hell don’t want it.

I’ve been writing my congressmen about the bill.  So far I’ve only received the standard responses about how America needs them to take action and lamenting the horrors of the uninsured.  What’s the number, 40 million or so people who lack health insurance?

What I’d like to know is why those 40 million people don’t have health insurance.  I figure they fall into one of three categories.  Either they don’t want to spend money on health insurance, they honestly cannot afford health insurance, or they’re unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to have health insurance.  The only people we should be worrying about fall into the ‘honestly cannot afford’ category.  I imagine that with the aid we already have in place, the number of people in the 40 million who can’t afford health insurance is small.

So I ask, why should we be allowing the government to reform our health care system (and in a way that even the supporters aren’t sure will work) for people who don’t want health insurance or are capable of getting it, but won’t?

And yeah, I get it, people are thinking “Well Tricia, you have health insurance, it’s easy for you to say that.”  Well no, it isn’t.  Yeah, I have health insurance through my employer, but it isn’t free.  I pay a portion of my hard-earned money to have that insurance.  And it is not an insignificant sum.  There are times when I see my bank account dwindle down to nothing and wonder how I’ll make it to the next payday.  It sure would be nice to have some of that money back that I paid to keep my health insurance.  But I sacrifice for that security and I find a way to make it work.  So frankly, to say that I will end up paying taxes for people to obtain health insurance that weren’t willing to make the same kinds of sacrifices that I do, well that’s just insulting.

Now, having said all of that, I realize that there are problems that need to be fixed.  Insurance companies are so heavily regulated that they can’t even effectively compete in a free market.  And ok, I’m going to say a bad word…it’s called…”capitalism.”  And you know what?  It works!  Insurance companies competing in a free(r) market would cause rates to go down, not up.  Insurance would be more affordable, thus more people would be insured.  I know, it’s a crazy concept I’ve got going on here.  Capitalism!  Ridiculous!

But, it would work.  It’s too bad our government doesn’t care if the health care industry actually works.  They just want control of it.  I’m not prepared to hand that power over to them.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Williams permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:22 pm

    You’ve missed another rather significant portion of people in your short-sighted three categories. This is the group of people like myself, that due to no fault of their own, were born with or were stricken with some sort of illness that the health insurance providers deemed a pre-existing condition and therefore too risky to cover. I could easily afford insurance for my family, but I had to go without because I have a genetic condition called psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This is an illness I had to deal with by either popping a cocktail of 10-12 ibuprofen and Aleve per day just so I could walk. This isn’t an exaggeration to make my story sound more pitiful. I was either downing those or taking prednisone that A. added to my weight and B. increased my blood pressure. We had to put off having another child until my employer provided healthcare finally came through because a pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.

    Is this bill the silver bullet that will fix all our nation’s health care woes? Most likely not, but it’s movement. We’ve suffered nothing but inaction for too long.

    And pardon me for saying, but my health is too important to be governed by the same forces that dictate microwave prices at Walmart. Here’s an interesting concept. Not everything in America has to make a profit. Some services transcend profit. GASP, Blashpemy the Neo-cons say!

    • December 14, 2009 11:40 pm

      Listen, if you have a condition that costs more to treat, then you’re going to have to pay more money. That’s the way it works. Even if we operated under a not-for-profit health care system, that should still be the case. We’re all dealt our cards from the same stack of life and we’re all burdened with something.

      Do you know that private health insurance companies already have one of the smallest profit margins of companies in this country? The way we’re going now, they have to keep increasing prices just to stay in business. That’s only going to get worse with a major government overhaul of the industry. Sure, the government might mandate that you have to be given insurance, but at what expense? Higher taxes? Most definitely.

      As I stated before, allowing the insurance companies to operate in a freer and more open market would drive costs down. Will you still have to pay more for insurance than me? Probably. But you’ll also use it more. If we want to talk about fairness here, there’s no better example than that.

      I also encourage you to read this:

      If that family can can find a way to responsibly deal with the burden of medical bills, I think anyone of us can.

      I certainly don’t mean to sound callous here. If I was burdened with an illness like that I’d want to make sure I was covered by insurance, but I surely wouldn’t expect my government to help pick up the tab.


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