Internicane Katrina – New York, USA – Insured (parents)
“Our system is structured for profit, and subsequently, the people who need the most help have the least resources.”
Healthcare is pretty much the only topic where I’ll admit to being very privileged and a little bit ignorant. I’m a second-year college student whose parents are both employed—I’ve always had health insurance but never knew what exactly it meant, perhaps because my parents found it easier to take the responsibility themselves, or perhaps because they didn’t trust me to properly interact with the Aetna Phone Robot that couldn’t pronounce my name right.
“I know that this issue is going to be very real in three years when I graduate into a jobless economy and need to find a way to cover my ass.”
Even though it’s nice not to have to worry about any ridiculous nonsense like 20% insurance rate increases or making payments in time, I know that this issue is going to be very real in three years when I, along with the other members of my generation, graduate into a jobless economy and need to find a way to cover our asses.
Even though I personally haven’t had negative experiences with my health insurance (besides the given of absurd bureaucratic procedures), a summer of working as a medical transcriptionist exposed me to an endless amount of stories about patients unable to attain necessary medication because their insurance just didn’t cover it. Or insurance companies who denied patients coverage because they had too many medical problems. Our system is structured for profit, and subsequently, the people who need the most help have the least resources.
And yeah, I know it’s too much to ask to follow Canada’s lead toward universal healthcare (sorry Hillary!), but I’m going to call for public option at the least. Not only is public option necessary for reform, it’s also what we deserve; health care is not a privilege, it’s a right. People’s lives and health should not be run like business statistics. Our lives are not for profit.
“Like everything else, Healthcare is an industry.”
I’m basically in the same situation as Tess, except I’ve never been in a near death situation and my current plan covers vision and dental.
There are major issues with our current healthcare system, but, as with everything else in our country, they can’t be resolved by quick fixes. We have to implement both long term and short term solutions and strategies that create a solid infrastructure for the industry.
Because, like everything else, healthcare IS AN INDUSTRY… one that is already so controlled by government regulations and unfortunate monopolies (I’m pro-monopolies in some cases, but not ones that destroy the competition via certain means) that the only real way to ensure it lasts in the long run is to start from scratch (which will never happen). And before we can even begin to offer affordable healthcare for everyone, we first have to define what is necessary and counts as a “need” when it comes to healthcare. Going to stop now.
Natalie – New York, USA – Barely Insured
“Once, I saw a doctor for 73 seconds and was billed $300.”
I currently have COBRA coverage—which is what you get when you leave an employer. It is fine, and certainly better than what I had before: it pays for one doctor visit a year; it also discounts some of my other visits. If I get hit by a bus, though, and rake in the hospital bills, then I am really covered! It’s more like an indemnity plan than anything else.
Before this, I bought health insurance on the private market… I paid a ridiculous amount to have the most minimal coverage ever. Blergh. The most ridiculous health care cost I’ve ever covered myself was $850 for three labs. Fun! Also, once, I saw a doctor for 73 seconds and was billed $300.
“In two months time, when I arrive in America, I will for the first time in my life be uninsured with no access to healthcare, after growing up without ever having to worry about it.’
In the past few weeks, Brits have started following the health insurance reform debate in the US. Not because it’s such an interesting topic, but rather because Republicans have been trashing the National Health Service (NHS) for being a prime example of socialists gone mad, creating enormous bureaucracies with long waiting times, rationing care to only the “productive”, and ultimately pulling the plug on old folks. It’s all lies, of course, but I have a more personal reason to follow what’s going on: I will soon be moving from London to New York and I am not happy with how the debate is unfolding.
In two months time, when I arrive in America, I will for the first time in my life be uninsured with no access to healthcare, after growing up without ever having to worry about it. To me this is so foreign, so absurd, so obviously wrong, I still can’t wrap my head around it.
Should I fall ill in Britain I will get care. No one asks for money. Ever. Everyone can have it and everyone gets the same. No fear of denial of care, or rescission. No life-time capsout-of-pockets. or No paper work, no arguing with insurance companies, or fear of losing coverage should I become unemployed. None of it. If I have a health problem, I go to a doctor and get treatment, no questions asked.
Since the introduction of the NHS 60 years ago, no one in Britain has ever been denied care because they couldn’t pay for it. In the US, 22,000. In the UK, no one has ever gone broke from healthcare costs. In the US, 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses. Even more incredible, of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.
Next time his house is on fire, I want him to picture the fire brigade insisting the fire was caused by a pre-existing condition.
At a recent town hall meeting of some Republican member of Congress, a guy stood up and said, “The reason our country is so strong is because we stand up and earn what we’re entitled to.” Fair enough, if only it made any sense. Next time his house is on fire, I want him to picture the fire brigade insisting the fire was caused by a pre-existing condition. Next time he runs out of breath while swimming, I want him to picture to the Coast Guard telling him they are not his insurance company’s preferred provider. Next time he calls 911, I want him to picture the police asking him for his credit card details before they send someone out.
Maybe then he can imagine how foreign, how absurd, and how obviously wrong it appears to me that in America, you do not have a right to healthcare.
Tinkerbell – New York, USA – Uninsured
Hello Autostraddle this is Tinkerbell. As you may or may not know I have been diagnosed with being ‘too thin.’ However you can never be too rich or too thin. This weekend Riese and Alex took me to the shopping mall on Long Island. There were sights and sounds like Kung Pao chicken, Hollister and teenage girls much skinnier than me.
We went to Build-a-Bear and found it full of humans with empty bear carcasses standing in a long line. Riese & Alex asked a nice fat woman if I could be stuffed at Build-a-Bear and she said yes, and also it did not matter that I was not born in Build-a-Bear. And ALSO she said the cost would be free! Riese & Alex barely believed their ears.
However because it was the last day of a “special” and the last week of “summer,” the store was too busy for my neck. I was told to return next week when the schoolchildren will be strapped to their desks doing multiplication exercises and sticking crayons into their noses and at that time I could get more attention lavished upon my beauty & re-stuffing.
In conclusion I now have a few more days to convince Riese & Alex, the Health Nazis, that I do not need care. Littlefoot agrees that I don’t need health care because he is a dinosaur who has miraculously lived on past the dinasourlithic era despite the extinctions of his peers.
However it is nice to know that if I cannot avoid re-stuffing, my care will be free simply because of The Goodness of Humankind and because Build-a-Bear makes enough money from the bear builders that they can afford to fix me for free.
In conclusion health care should be like the shopping mall in Long Island. Lots of choices and for those of us who are unemployed or who are stuffed dogs with one eye falling out, there should be some free care that is both lovely & helpful, offered to me because they can and, therefore, simply should.