3 Good reasons we need Health Care Reform
Health care is a very heated debate right now. According to the latest polls, public support for health care is slipping. A CBS poll last month shows support for health care reform dropped from 42 percent in October, to 36 percent in January. Though what is unclear is why the public does not support health care reform. It seems scare tactics do play a role and also the idea of cost. Both of the arguments against health care are the very reason why we need health care reform. Here are 3 good reasons why health care reform is an important issue that needs to pass Congress.
These are real accounts from real people. I have changed their identity, but I assure you these are real. If any of these stories were yours I am sure you would be a strong advocate for health care reform.
1. I was discussing health care with a couple of co-workers of mine about a month ago. One co-worker, Kim, is opposed to health care. When I asked her why all she could say was that she didn’t like the idea of the government having their hands on health care. I asked her if she knew anyone who was really happy with their current health care plan. To this she had no answer. I also tried to explain to her that there are a lot of people out there who cannot get insurance do to pre-existing conditions and that is when my other co-worker, Sarah chimed in.
Sarah’s sister is a self-employed writer. She does not have health insurance, as she cannot find anyone who is willing to insure her. You see, when Sarah’s sister was in college she had an ailment that often caused her to pass out at random times. She was in and out of the hospital numerous times. The doctor’s never figured out what was wrong with her, but it has been many years since her illness returned.
In the insurance world, they call this a “pre-existing condition” which means they do not have to cover her. By not permitting insurance companies to deny coverage due to preexisting conditions, health care reform could and would change this.
2. A couple years ago, I decided to do what thousands of other American’s do every year… I decided to become self-employed. It sounded like a great idea, but I quickly realized it’s a lot of work, and most people do not make much money right out of the gate. That and being self-employed means you have to get your own health insurance.
I did not need full-coverage. Just enough to get me by if something major came up. After researching many options, I decided to go with the insurance my co-workers had. My co-workers were all male. I, however, am a female. This meant that my rates were nearly 3 times more than my male counterparts. They paid around $120 a month for health insurance, while I had to pay around $350. I was not able to opt-out of coverage that would relate to having a baby and this was the source of the cost difference. By not permitting health care to be based on a persons gender, health care reform would change this.
3. The last reason is what is really driving me to write this blog. It was after a long phone call I had with one of my best friends, Jane. Jane operates the HR department for her company of 14. Being the sole HR personnel, she is the one in charge when it comes time to renew the company’s health plan every year. Jane has until March 1 to sign up for her health care plan. While Jane is crunching her numbers, she is constantly reminded the fact that she is possibly suffering from an intestinal disease. Seven of Jane’s co-workers are between the ages of 50 to 60, and two of her co-workers wives are battling breast cancer.
Her company is suffering like most, so the news was extra hard to hear. In March of 2008, her company paid $330 per month per person for health insurance. In March of 2009, that number jumped to $550 per person. And in March of 2010, she has to convince her boss to pay $780 per person for the same coverage. Keep in mind this is per person. If an employee is married with two kids the total cost per month is $3,120.00 or the equivalence of someone’s monthly salary.
Jane’s company is Main Street; these are your average Joes. This is small business, Middle America. Companies like Jane’s have to make the choice between giving their employees health care and losing employees, or dropping health care altogether. This is not right. By capping rate hikes or passing a public option to promote competition, health care reform could and would change this.
Protecting the currently unprotected Americans from greedy insurance companies is exactly why we need health care reform.