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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lets talk about health care

You all know where I stand politically. I don't need to rehash it over and over again. I've said my piece and I'm done. At least this week. But I would like to talk about health care for a minute. Both candidates promise changes in health care. Obviously I believe in the way Obama is stating it. But either way, something needs to change in our health care system

Here's the deal. My previous company was an extremely large corporation. My family was always covered under my coverage, with me only having to pay for their coverage, mine was paid by my employer. This was all well and good. Until we moved. My old company does not have a Denver office. This meant, I had to find a new job. I did find one, but it's with a small firm. I can not be covered by their insurance plan. I was denied. My kids were denied. We have pre-existing conditions. Logan's company is brand new, with him and two of his cousins. They have no employees at this time. Basically there is no way for them to get coverage either. So we had to go out on our own to get coverage.

We were turned down by twelve insurance providers. TWELVE times, we were turned down. Basically anyone of them that you've heard of, we can't get insurance through them. They literally will not cover me and Bailey. They'd cover Logan and Morgan, but not all of us. Doesn't matter what we'd be willing to pay, they will not cover us.

Our pre-existing conditions are not that far out there. Bailey and I are both asthmatics. We both have bad asthma and numerous allergies. They won't cover Bailey because of this. They won't cover me because of this and because of the small breakdown I had last year. Here's the thing about my breakdown though. I did not end up in a hospital. I did not end up in any facility for any time at all. I did not try and kill myself. I was just seriously depressed and ended up in massive therapy and on some meds. But for this and the asthma, I am uncoverable. My four year old child is uncoverable.

We considered going uninsured, except that our medications would cost us as much as my dam mortgage. Plus, a cousin of Logan's is uninsured and they treat her badly anytime she has to go to the doctor; her and her kids. Doesn't matter that they can pay their bills and feed their kids, but because they can't afford insurance, they are treated like lepers. They do not qualify for government help, but they can't afford insurance either. So they go un-insured and pray that nothing major happens to them. When regular things come up, they pay cash to be seen.

So, we found a plan. A crappy insurance that I'd never heard of. We have a $20k deductible for the year. Which means, we basically pay for anything and everything at the time of service. No discounts, no hope of our insurance covering it. We pay $1250 a month for a $20k deductible plan. The only saving grace with it, is that our prescriptions are almost free. Which is good, because they'd cost us more than the plan does a month.

Basically we are paying for all of our own medical expenses, even with insurance. All because of pre-existing conditions. This is the reality of our health care in this country. People can't afford it; people are going without it; or people are paying an arm and a leg for the crappiest coverage out there.

Something has to change. As a country, we can't afford for it to stay like this. Personally, I think health care should be something that everyone has. It's a basic need, like water, air and food.

When Obama says things about health care like these statements: "Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums. - Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees." I want to jump up and down. I want this to happen. He has a plan to make it happen. I need this to happen. Because I can afford my shitty insurance. Logan and I have worked our ass off for years to get where we are. I can afford to take care of my family. To provide the medications my daughter and I need to stay alive (and sane). I can afford to pay cash if I need to, every time my other daughter has a high fever (When it gets above 104, Morgan has a seizure. Lets just say, last year, I because friends with the ER staff.) and needs to go to the ER. I can do all of this. But most people couldn't. Most people would be on the streets if it meant needing to pay what we pay out each month. Or they'd be on medic-care or whatever.

This system sucks donkey balls. It needs to change, it has to change. It's unacceptable the way it is. And blaming it on people who can't afford health care, is not helping anybody. Blaming it on our taxes doesn't do any good. The days of blame need to be over. We just need to fix it.

It bothers me when people say that having health care is a choice. That people make the choice not to work hard enough for it. That people make the choice to be on medi-care. It's not that cut and dry; not that black and white. Health care is a gray issue. There are no easy answers. But instead of blame, we need to work it out. We need someone in power to stop ignoring it and do something about it.


Anonymous said...

The amount you pay per month for insurance (crappy insurance!) is more than twice the amount of my mortgage payment. Seriously.


Lesley said...

GREAT post! This is such a HUGE issue for me. (A big who-gets-my-vote decider and I am with you on Obama.)

I have an employer who does offer insurance. They take a big chunk of my money every check to do so. However, in essence they are self-insured and the English translation of that is in these tough economic times, less and less is covered. I have basically paid for most all of my expenses myself this year...while still paying my premiums. (FOR WHAT??)

What in the world would I do if, like you, I had children? I can't even imagine. Because yes: It is a basic need. It should be a RIGHT.


Did I mention great post??

iMommy said...

Great views on healthcare. My mother has Fibromyalgia, my husband has sleep apnea and severe allergies, my sister has severe allergies... if we had to go private or be approved, we would not be able to afford health care, and in 2011 my mother will officially not be covered by her ex anymore -- and she will not be able to get coverage for the expensive medications and doctors that she must see. We need some change, now. I don't care who gives it to us. We need it immediately.

Kim @ said...

Oh, Issa. I am SO sorry to read this. I can sympathize with what you are going through, though. I work for a very small company with four reg employees and two on medicare supplement and what we pay for health insurance? Let's just say I am afraid if won't be around for us much longer if we don't find a way to make it cost less. It's astounding the bills and also THE CLIMB IN PRICE. Just a year ago this time it was almost half the price it is now for six employees. SIX. And now some of our employees have a lesser insurance and two are only on a supplemental for medicare. It's crap.

No parent doesn't want health care for their kid. Anyone who would treat somebody like shit for that is in need of better drugs than you and I are getting. Or possibly they need some "Kim is tired of your horse shit and has decided to create a website and call it "hate them dot com". We're just living in a time where its almost impossible to afford. Which is why we have children in an emergency room for an ear infection. We talk about third world countries with these issues and yet we have it happening right here at home. This is why I said let's bring it ALL home until we get this bullshit under control. Like I said in my blah post, I wouldn't be giving to the Salvation Army if my car was being towed out of my front yard for non payment. Until we can fix here we don't have time or funds to fix ANYWHERE else, dammit!!! And it shouldn't take a friggin stock market fall to show this to our gubment and we dah peeps.

Something most definitely has to be done, though. It's bullshit that they are getting away with allergies, asthma and mental health being a "pre-existing condition". One would think those things would be a given. It's not like you guys are drinking two gallons of vodka a day and have ruined your liver or something. Those seem like pretty normal and even maintenance type conditions. What crap!! And now that I think about it? I was in the middle of a pregnancy, which is most def a pre-existing cond, and I was able to switch insurance. I will check with our insurance guy today. Maybe he can give me some direction to point you guys in.

Awesome post, lady. I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through. And I hope there is an end in sight for you all soon.

anymommy said...

Really well said, Issa. I'm sorry you are dealing with this stress. We need reform. The pre-existing condition clauses need to be banned. You said it better than I could.

J from Ireland said...

Hi, not long reading your blog but I had to comment. It is outrageous the amount you are paying per month for healthcare. It is absolutly frightening how much insurance is over there. I would rather the waiting lists for surgeries, specialist appointments, etc. over here than the worry of trying to come up the money to have insurance. I love all things American but this.
Cheers, J.

Mrs. Dymund said...

So very very offensive (the system, of course, not your post). People with pre-existing conditions are the ones who need easy access to health care so they don't get sicker. I am so sorry for this kind of stress, and also pretty darn glad to be Canadian.

Like j from Ireland, I'll take the waiting lists. I live in Saskatchewan, and my husband has to wait two months to have a benign cyst removed and my daughter has to wait one month for a completely non-urgent MRI. I could get frustrated about that, BUT, when my friend had pancreatic cancer, he got surgery quickly and stayed in hospital for a few weeks, when I needed a D&C after a miscarriage I waited 30 minutes and for all these services we pay $0.

Kristin said...

I thought children had to be covered? How is this not true???

That is just wrong!

Our portion for health insurance, btw, is $1,200 a month... disgusting.

Valarie said...

Interesting to know.