Monday, June 15, 2009

The Little I Know About Healthcare

I don’t know all the details about the health care debate going on right now. I only know a little about health care based on real life situations.

I know that when I got laid off and received my COBRA statement in the mail I was floored by the cost of one employee policy. When I saw how much that insurance was and multiplied it by 1000 employees, it totally made sense why companies try to hire temps and part time workers instead of full time employees. Trying to pay for health care packages has to cripple a company if there aren’t great profits coming in.

If you have a family of four and have everyone covered under your package, even if you got a 5% raise each year the increase in your deductions would eliminate it. That’s why families find loopholes to put the kids on the government plan and hope they don’t get sick themselves. The other choice for the employer is to change the package to a cheaper one that is easy on them and the employees but when you do that you end up with a plan that doesn’t pay for anything above two aspirin or the closest doctor on the plan is 50 miles away.

I know that if you have three kids and all of them get sick with the same illness that can cripple your household budget if they have to go to the pediatrician. When you add up the co-pays for each visit, plus the cost of prescriptions (because pediatricians love writing prescriptions) and factor in the return visit for one or two of them, that’s about 200 dollars minimum coming out of your household budget. The backwards part is this scenario describes what happens to be a person who works everyday and pays for insurance. I know when I am sitting in the clinic about to drop my gas and lunch money on an ear infection I wish I had a Medicaid card.

Even though everything I just talked about happens to millions of people everyday no matter what ideology they believe in, some folks feel more patriotic because they pay for these benefit packages that are draining them and the country they work for and don’t complain about it. There are too many people getting sick and can’t afford it or whose company is suffering trying to keep up with the cost of their benefits. I think the public option might be the way to go even if it’s just to give the HMO’s a reason to compromise on their prices. If we don’t do that, then they have to get some kind of tax break or something to get them to bring some of those prices down. If we don’t do anything at all we might as well get used to more layoffs and an increase in home remedies.


K. said...

For someone who claims not to know much about heath care, you sure write eloquently about it. I'm for a public option for the simple reason that I plain don't trust insurance companies.

K. said...

BTW, thanks for turning me on to Mel Waiters.

Bella Noire said...

I think you've hit the complication right on the head.Health care is necessary but the costs really screw everyone over. I will push the idea that it is big businesses' fault. For example, I need glasses, it does not cost 80 to 300 dollars for wire and plastic frames and my lenses, as jacked up as my eyes are, do not and should not cost 280 to 415 to make (no shit these are the quotes I got for frames and lenses). I understand the necessity of profit but the costs are still out of control. My job covers the exam but not the glasses. Considering the cost that they must stomach, I understand why but 600 dollars is a quarter or more of my monthly check. Yep MONTHLY, not biweekly. So those glasses that I need to work are the cost of rent. How the hell are they going to provide an exam to tell me I need better vision but not help pay? I understand that both sides are getting screwed but damn I will still look at my job sideways since coverage is apart of their commitment to me as a full time employee and presently, I'm not feeling that covered. We can't do a "no buy" movement with prescriptions or many of the other medical instruments that we need so we are definitely being abused by these companies. There needs to be some type of push back but if that happens people will shout socialism.

Premium T. said...

When my cobra coverage from my late husband ended 3 years ago, I applied for private insurance and was turned down because of (they said) my "poor health". Ironically, I am in excellent health, all things considered. I was referred to a special state plan that cost $800 a month -- for just me. I appealed the decision, with a letter from my doctor, and won the privilege of paying for my own insurance. But what really is disturbing here is if I truly was in poor health. My only option would be the $800/month.

My apologies for ranting on like this, but your post got me going!

Not So Old Soldier said...

I know I'm late on this, but I've been unconnected for a few weeks. I've been experiencing the insurance/ prescription/ employer/ doctor/ specialist drama for 7 months. I am fully insured, gainfully employed, and broke as hell because I'm sick. And because my company is one of those who opted for the cheaper plan. So I know the struggle very up close personally now. I don't care who cries socialism, people need another option or they are going to have to hire more people at the bankruptcy court.

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