Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Healthcare Reform

Okay, I have kept my mouth shut about health care knowing that this is a hot topic and you are either on one side of the fence or the other. And I don't want to alienate anyone or piss anyone off (remember, true traits of a Libra at work here), but I have my opinions. And my facts.

First off, I had someone tell me today that it sucks that the uninsured can't get health care, which kills me because they can. I worked for a non-profit health system in both Virginia and North Carolina for over 8 years. And guess what? Due to their non-profit status, they did not and could not turn away the uninsured. Millions, billions of dollars were spent treating those patients right along side those patients with great health insurance, even the Cadillac of insurance coverage.

My company pays 100% of my health care insurance, but the coverage for my family more money than we thought we could get, so we shopped around. And we went with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (which is by the way, non-profit) and pay about $500 a month for great coverage, even with Audrey's pre-existing asthma and allergy issues. Outrageous? Nope. Have we ever had issues getting into the doctor's offices that are in or out of network? Nope.

I don't like how the insurance companies are made out to be the bad guys, because to me, they aren't. Obama even said in his address in Raleigh a few months ago that companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield don't even cover mammograms, when they have been covering them for years.

My question in all this, will a federally run system really be more efficient and more effective than the private insurance companies? Will 5 years down the road the bar get lowered so that more and more private insurance policies are taxed, because that's how this will get paid for, right?

My thing with politics has always been be educated. Don't just take a Democrat's or Republic's word, know your source, listen and learn. Don't be the guy on the sideline who just says "Hell Ya!" to everything in a speech. Digest it, do your research. Find out the profit margins on private insurance companies and tell me they are or are not "rolling in dough". Find out if the states who are already suffering will have to chip in some money into this federal plan. Research your own health coverage, shop around if you can.

Off my soapbox, I promise pictures and something a little less controversial tomorrow!


Martha said...

thanks for your perspective.

I am grateful to have good benefits through my job (and Trevor's) but there are a lot of self employed/unemployed/under employed people in my family right now. I don't know the details of where they have shopped around but I do know they're paying a lot for really minimal coverage.

I think we could benefit from some changes, such as something that gets more young healthy people into the risk pool and less of a connection between employment and insurance. When I was at risk of being laid off last year one of my big fears was losing my insurance coverage (at the time Trevor was working for a contractor and his company didn't offer insurance, but they did offer an allowance to go out and buy it.) We couldn't have afforded COBRA.

I don't remember the details (because my brain doesn't work that way) but I did hear a piece on NPR months ago that demonstrated how small the profit margins for health insurance companies are by explaining that even if you took away all of the profit you'd only save something like pennies on the dollar. We obviously need to find some savings in our system--since we spend so much more than everybody else but do not have the best health outcomes in the world--but apparently it is not the money-grabbing insurance companies.

Myself I am on the fence, but I'm grateful for people like you who express your perspective without the vitriol we're seeing in so many places so I can eventually make a decision based on reason and not emotional appeals.

longest comment ever. :)

Jennifer said...

We'll have to have the great debate at Thanksgiving! :)