Thursday, July 23, 2009

Consider This...

Seems everywhere one turns these days -in the newspapers, on the TV news -the big topic nationwide appears to be finding a way to derive a reasonable health care plan. One that would be affordable for everyone, ya know.

Right now, I am one of the more fortunate ones in that with social security, I have Medicare and also, have a supplemental insurance plan that makes keeping up with doctor's appointments and such relatively affordable.

For me, that is a really new and very big deal as for many years, like from 1979 until 2004 -twenty five years - I rarely had any health insurance at all so I'm kind of basking in what I have today and it's nice not to have to constantly worry about doctor bills, pharmacy costs, emergency room visits and the like.

But for my daughter and son-in-law here, things are not quite that way. Right now, they have no health insurance at all. And although the son-in-law is barely earning anything, what with his trying to start his own automotive repair business and things being what they are with the economy now, it's tough sledding to just cover his operating expenses and make a little bit then for himself and the family. The thought of trying to find health insurance that they could afford right now is totally out of their financial realm.

I read a very interesting blog post earlier today at my blogger buddy, Dianne's place - Forks Off The Moment -in which she gives a good description and explanation of what President Obama's healthcare plan would do for people in this country. If that plan were to be passed, it would give Mandy and Bill a chance to have health care insurance that they could actually afford.

And what a Godsend that would be for them, for sure.

But if that doesn't come through, they might have to start looking into other things in order for Bill to have his own business and for them to be able to manage to have health care benefits. Heck it could come to something as drastic perhaps as moving to a different state even. Like suppose they packed it in here and moved south, at least in North Carolina there is short term health insurance NC.

Now, I'm not crazy about the idea of leaving here -that's for sure. And, if they were to do that, I would have to go along with the deal too because I can't afford to live in this house by myself on just my social security.

That, plus it would be difficult for them, no matter where they might move to, for him to start up a business of his own without any contacts, any thing at all -starting from scratch, you know.

But the fact of the matter is that here in Pennsylvania there's no health insurance that is available at a reasonable cost for a young couple like Mandy and Bill. And, I think that is just a shame!

However, when you stop and think about it, since the overwhelming majority of those of us living in this country today are here because our ancestors immigrated here from some other land -many with nothing but a very few personal belongings and somehow, managed to forge ahead, to find work, to grow, to thrive and in many, many cases, they left family behind, never to see them again too.

Life can be tough, hard, wicked, unforgiving at times, for sure, can't it?

But I'm just thinking that if things would ever come to a situation like that where my family would have to go elsewhere to try to earn a living, they -and I -would all have to become like our forebears and make the best out of any situation we might find facing us.

Here's hoping something good comes out of the work the legislators are trying to do to put some kind of affordable health care options out for the all the people of this country to be able to access.

That's something every bit as important as the recovery of the stock market, the re-invention of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler or anything else mixed in to give us a healthy economy again.


Maggie May said...

I am reading blog after blog about ordinary folk in USA who have no insurance for health.
I must say, that I am really shocked & worried as I thought it was only the poorest of the poor who had this problem.
I really hope that Obama comes up with something that everyone will be able to afford.

We all grumble about the national Health service here, but the more I read of the plight of Americans, I am so grateful for the free service that we have.
Here's hoping that there are some good radical changes coming your way, without the need for you to have to move to another state.

Hammer said...

When I didn't have insurance, I could just go to a doctor pay the $35 and he would give me enough samples of antibiotics if I needed them.

Emergency rooms won't turn anyone away because they aren't allowed to.

University and county hospitals only charge what people can afford to pay.
It's not like people in the US are dying from lack of care like they do now in England and Canada when they make heart patients get on a year waiting list for a bypass.

If the obama plan goes through up to 80 million people will lose their current insurance and be forced to take the government option.

Linda said...

As someone who works closely with insurances and what they pay and don't pay (you wouldn't believe the stuff I need to know as an ambulance dispatcher), I can see that part of the problem is that way too many people are going to way too many doctor's appointments way too often. For that reason, the current Medicare/Medicaid programs are collapsing and there will be nothing left for anyone else when you need it.

I have been paying into Medicare since I was 17 years old - actually probably longer as I had jobs at 16, too - and when I finally get to 65 or whatever age I need to be, I have no doubt that all of that money that I paid into the program is going to be long gone - used up by people who barely paid anything into the program. My Aunt Dell, Lord love her, uses her Medicare like there is no tomorrow as she feels that she is "entitled" to whatever the government wants to give her. She may not NEED a new walker but she'll by golly go ahead and take it if they're offering it to her.

Waste, waste, waste! And Medicaid patients are the worst. It seems that every unemployed drug addict and alcoholic here in Connecticut has Title 19 (along with just about every person in a skilled nursing facility) and the amount of times we haul these people around via ambulance or wheelchair van is appalling for things that they really don't need. Add on the fact that facilities will lie to us about the medical necessity for an ambulance versus a wheelchair and it's more of our tax dollars being wasted.

The current system is most definitely broke and needs fixing but perhaps what it needs even more is reigning in by those people who take advantage of it and and abuse it. I'm not saying everyone does - not by a long shot - but I think there are more who do than those who don't. As long as you have people who think they need to go to an emergency room for a runny nose or a minor case of the flu, this system is never going to get better or work properly.

People need to learn to be more responsible for themselves and not expect the government to fix them. Those hardworking immigrants that came over to form this country certainly didn't come over with their hands out so why is it okay to do so now??

Berni said...

As one living in Canada I don't think our health care system is all that bad. Admittedly we have had some line ups for surgery but the really urgent ones get attended to. I can get health care whenever I need it and I pay $38 a month for it as it is based on income plus Health Care is considered everyone's right and subsidized by the government. I think I would be very anxious living in a country where I could not afford health care.

Deb said...

As one of the self-employed in this country I can truly relate to your daughter and her husband's situation. Costs are through the roof and we have an enormous deductible. Scary, frustrating, maddening...just a few of the words that come to mind to describe how I feel about the situation. I pray that the leaders in this country listen to the people, and are able to come up with doable, long term solutions - not just a band-aid fix, not just throwing more money into the mess. It is a complicated problem and we need well-thought out solutions. Take care.

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Amen! We defintely need a revamp health plan for this country and stat!

Dianne said...

screw NC, I'm starting to think I'd like to live in Canada

the more I read of the contortions the plan is going thru the more discouraged I get

and the more I read of Americans who don't freaking understand the plan, or the reality of people like me, the more annoyed and angry I get

I'm sick of this crap Jeni

but I love ya :)

hugs to the kids