Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something to consider

I don't usually get political on this blog, but how could any reasonable person ignore the fact that there is a huge debate going on in this country about reforming our health care system?

I'm not going to lecture you, but what I strongly advise everyone to do is to learn as much as you can about health care issues. And don't just listen to the media, or the politicians, or to the people who are part of organized advocacy on one side or another.

Listen to real people. If you're wondering what the system is like in other countries - go listen to people who've had experience in those countries. If you've got great insurance and you're worried about changes that may affect your privileges - go listen to people who have less than you. If you have no insurance, or an inadequate policy - go listen to people who've found something that works for them.

One way you can find out other people's stories is by reading a blog called "Tome of the Unknown Writer", published by Bill Campbell, from Washington D.C. Bill posts health care stories from people who send them in to him. The stories come from people all over the U.S. and all over the world.

Go read stories about real families and their experiences. Don't let yourself be manipulated by politicians, organizations that have something to lose or gain, or the media. It's not about ideology - it's what works for real people. Make your own decisions.

He published my story. If you write him, I bet he'll publish yours.


cactus petunia said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I read your story, and have had a similar experience. I was self-employed, but had insurance when my 11 year old son contracted a rare syndrome called Kawasaki disease, which affects about 19 out of 100,000 children in the US. He was a rare case, as most kids who contract it are of asian descent and under 5 years old. Thanks to my insurance, we paid $2500 out of pocket. The total cost of his treatment? $20,000 for his hospitalization alone. We were lucky, because we could afford (at the time) to pay for the premiums.

God forbid one of us should get sick now, when we can't afford the cost of good insurance.

We must ALL consider what is the best choice for EVERYONE...and let our government know what we want and need.

Gilly said...

Mt Niece's little boy had Kawasaki disease when he was quite small. It was a long time before it was diagnosed, as it is so rare. But we all live in the UK (being British!) and Caroline took Ed back and forth to the Dr., Ed ended up in hsopital for a while, and she paid not one single penny. She didn't have to have insurance, we have what is so wrongly and rudely called "socialised medicine" but is really what is is called, a National Health Service.

Yes, there are waiting lists for Hospital treatment. But if you are in an accident and have to to to A&E (Accident and Emergency) you are seen quickly if your injury is life thereatening - you may have to wait a while if it is nothing too bad! - and no one asks you for money, or asks whether you have insurance. You are just treated in a professional and completely competant manner.

Best place to have an accident is the UK!

There is quite a lot wrong with the NHS - beaurocracy rears its ugly head; some people exploit it, but you can always get an appointment at your GP, you can always get an X-ray if its needed, and all treatment, tests etc. are free.

You will hear horror stories, of course. Every system has its horror stories, no system is perfect. People will use and misuse the system for their own ends. You get that anywhere.

But I, and all of my friends and relations have found the NHS to be there when they needed it, and it costs us nothing. Well, only from our taxes, but I am happy to pay in that way.

Better than bleeding on a trolley being asked if you have insurance!!

kcinnova said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I commented over on the site as well.

None of us who have good insurance should ignore the plight of those without. I've been there and I'm more than lucky that nothing catastrophic occurred during that time. My husband insisted that we wait to have children until he went active duty with the military. The birth of our first baby and medical care for both of us that first week probably cost $18,000. Our out-of-pocket expense? $35. I've been a believer in health care/insurance reform ever since.