Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Fundamental Unfairness of American Health Care

Re. the health care debate, my primary question is: Why must people be legally compelled to buy health insurance? If they can do so because the insurance available is affordable and gives them the protection they need, they'll do so. If not, why punish them?

There are two important facets of any useful universal health care plan: the first is availability . . . to be able to be insured regardless of preexisting conditions. The second is affordability. I don't see that the second aspect is being adequately addressed.

And the single most aggravating thing about insurance of any kind is that it doesn't carry over. I pay thousands of dollars every year for health insurance and homeowner's insurance (and did, for car insurance, before I sold my car) and at the end of every year, everything rolled back to zero and started over again with the inevitable deductable. It's like dropping money into a hole. And if one changes jobs, it's not possible to carry the insurance over without extra expense and even if allowed, it doesn't last for long. The odds are stacked in favor of the insurance companies.

Why not just call it a legalized "protection" racket, which is what it is.

Doctors and dentists have begun to fight back by insisting that customers pay the complete bill for visits the day of the appointment and then make them go after reimbursement from the insurance company. This is the single reason I have not had any dental checkups or work for 8 years. I can't afford to pay $200-$300 or more and then wait a couple of months to be reimbursed. I don't HAVE that sort of discretionary income. And so what happens is that I have a yearly checkup for which I pay a deductible and the rest of the money I pay into health insurance goes directly into the coffers of the insurance company.

I suppose that later, when I become elderly and my health fails I might be able to take proper advantage of my health insurance but by then I probably won't be working for the place that has subscribed to a plan I'm paying thousands into.

It reminds me of the company birthday lunches I used to attend where I'd get a salad, watch co-workers throw back drinks and have steaks and then get the entire thing split up equally among everybody present. It's not fair but nobody seems to be paying any attention to what's happening.

It sucks.

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