Saturday, August 8, 2009

And This is a Bad Thing Because.....

Last week, I heard a soundbite of a Republican in Congress railing against President Barack Obama's proposed health care reform package. He was most upset at the idea that private insurance companies, like the behemoth Blue Cross Blue Shield, would be put out of business by the plan Obama has laid out to make private insurance companies pay claims for their insured customers.

And this is a bad thing because....?

I've read opinion pieces in newspapers decrying the "socialized" medical model, claiming that people will have to wait a year to get in for a visit to a specialist.

And this is so different from our "capitalist" medical model because....?

Former Alaska Governor and vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin called Obama's health care reform plan, "Evil". She's among those alleging that the government would take over health care in this country and push the elderly into wanting to be euthanized.

And I'm supposed to believe this woman because...?

The more that the nay-sayers squawk about Obama's health care reform plan, the more I like it! Because, you see, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain... most especially finally being able to afford access to coverage. It is one of the cruelest ironies in the world that I am a health care provider, and yet I don't have health insurance myself. Last month, when I stepped on a rusty nail in my back yard, I actually called a friend for a second opinon, if you will, on whether I should go to the Patients First clinic. Maybe I could just take a chance and wash my foot out myself... I think my tetanus shot is current?... and then I could bandage it myself and avoid shelling out the money I don't have. She told me not to be ridiculous and take a chance. And so I went. And I paid. Chump change compared to my neighbor's work man who had witnessed my accident, and then he fell victim to a rabid fox two weeks later... and he is stuck with paying for rabies shots that will cost him $1,700. And, like me, he has no health insurance and little money.

For people like us, the idea that costs might be lowered, that pre-existing conditions can't be used against us, that I will be able to stay with my doctor who, bless her heart, has done what she can to keep my costs down... what Obama wants to do sounds pretty good. And maybe, just maybe, I can afford to buy health insurance for myself.

So who wouldn't like Obama's plan? Insurance company executives who have made a profit out of denying legitimate claims and forcing patients and health care providers (including yours truly) to re-file simply to get paid what we're owed. Or maybe it's drug company executives who make a fortune off of prescription drugs... drugs which people overseas can get for a fraction of what we pay because they aren't subsidizing the research costs. Or maybe it's Congressional leaders who already enjoy subsidized health care for themselves and their families. Or worse, maybe it's the average Joe or Jane who has a private health insurance plan provided through an employer. Some of the "haves" seem to think that to extend such benefits to other people would somehow lessen what they've got. For me, it's saddest when another person trying to earn a living can so quickly turn on me and others in my boat with an "I've got mine!" attitude. Would it be too much to ask that I get to have some, too?!

This is a bad thing because...?

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