I posted this article from Cure magazine on whaddaconcept’s Facebook page, but I think it’s important enough that it should be posted here as well. I am not trying to take sides, but I am trying to explain how crucial it is for EVERYONE to get health care … not access to health care, but actual health care. All access means is that it is available. Even if it’s available, it’s worthless if it’s too expensive to buy.
I shake my head every time I hear someone say, or see someone write, that they shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s health care. Listen clearly, YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S HEALTH CARE. Just like any other insurance, you are, basically, paying to insure you are okay if something happens. You may be healthy now, so you ask yourself, “Why should I have to get health insurance?” I was healthy — never been admitted to the hospital, never broke a bone, no chronic issues, no medications, relatively young — until I was in my mid to late 40’s. In a matter of eight years, I was diagnosed with psoriasis, diabetes, Stage IV cancer, psoriatic arthritis, hypothyroidism (thanks to a tumor), liver disease, and even had my gallbladder removed! Yes, the shit hit the fan.
Luckily for me, I had insurance covered by my employer, AKA my brother, but it was not cheap. Between out-of-pocket, deductibles, co-pays (chemo co-pays are not the same as office visits … for me, they were about 10 times more than the average co-pay to visit my primary care physician) the costs were still debilitating, but I could get treatment and afford my medication. Then, as I got sicker, I became a part-time employee and immediately lost my health insurance. I had a choice, Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) or Medicaid. I thank God and President Obama that not only was there options for me, but insurance companies couldn’t deny me coverage. Can you begin to imagine what would have happened prior to the Affordable Care Act? Before anyone says that it’s not your problem, just remember … there but for the Grace of God go I (or, in this case, you). Illness can, and does, happen to anyone.
Is coverage expensive? Yes! Are you paying for me? No! Are obligations equitable? No, but neither is life. Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. Some of us will be unlucky and get sick. Some of us will be lucky and only have to make payments for insurance we will never need. All of us, I hope and pray, will be fortunate enough to always have a safety net if it’s needed.