Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hillary Health Care

My friend, Long Live the Village Green has a post about Hillary's new health care plan. Like most of us she is still trying to figure it out because many things aren't spelled out:
At lunch I checked my Faithless (Atheist and Agnostic) Group email and found a posting from one of our members about Hillary Clinton's newly revealed health plan. He was outraged. In his words, "This isn't universal health care, this is mandatory health insurance. Health insurance is not health care. Millions of people who have insurance aren't getting the health care they require because the insurance companies decide what gets covered. And this nation values the private sanctity of the insurance companies more than health care."

I'm on that same list and share those concerns but supposedly part of her plan is government subsidies to the insurance companies to make sure the cost of insurance is reasonable. Also she has the option of joining Medicare, which I think must be either free or low cost, but she doesn't say. There is something about insurance payments always being a percentage of your income.

Hillary may not have the best plan but any step to universal health care in this country is a good one. And for those who think the government can only be terrible with these things I have to point out my wife Darcy. Diagnosed with a fatal lung disease 14 years ago and needing a transplant, she had to go on Medicare. She was part of an online group of people waiting for lungs and the stories of all of them were terrible. Every single time those with private insurance were initially turned down for the transplant. Some would just give up at that point and die, others would fight and most of the time would finally get approval, but a fight with your insurance company is the last thing someone with a fatal illness should have the face.

But Darcy was the only one who didn't have any problems, because she had Medicare - government insurance. Those who think private insurance will work better than the government has never had to put their insurance to the test.

After the transplant there are tons of very expensive drugs one has to take, totaling around $5,000 per month, far beyond what any working person can afford. Once again, Darcy had no problem but those with private insurance got messed with every step of the way. One had her insurance company sold to an HMO who only allowed a limit of $250 a month for meds. She's dead now.

This is the concern of the writer above, it is still private insurance and they will still try to get out of having to pay for anything expensive. There has a to be a way around that.

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