Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Very, Very Broken

Our new insurance kicked in this week.

Let me start by saying that as someone who has spent the past 5 months pregnant and uninsured, I am very grateful to have insurance now.

But the system is broken. I've posted a few times about the odd laws in my state as well as what many of the insurance companies are doing to protect themselves from the impending reform. But seriously, we have a major problem in this country.

More than a political issue, this is a common sense issue for me. This morning at bible study I was talking with a friend who said, "I used to go to the doctor whenever I felt I needed it. Because of my new insurance, I have to think twice about whether to get a recommended test, etc." How sad that medical decisions are made based upon finances and not health.

I had to make one of those decisions myself. I am currently taking blood thinners. I am currently on an inferior drug because I can't afford "the good stuff." I patiently waited for my insurance to become active so I could finally get the medicine my doctor and myself, prefer I take.

Well, the deductible on my PPO is so astronomically high, that I still can't afford the superior medication. As a consequence, I will have to stay on this inferior medicine for as long as I can. In doing so there is a fair amount of risk to me, as it has the potential to severely damage your platelets. The first quote I got for my magic elixir was $2,000/month. With my new insurance, it is $800/month.

Not gonna happen.

I still have to pay my doctor a delivery fee prior to my delivery (screw you, global billing!), on top of the hospital fees. My savings is quickly dwindling, and frankly, I am one of the few people I know who even has a savings account. And let me promise you, mine is very modest.

I feel the current health care reform is too flawed to work. But it was a much-needed start to an issue that effects millions of people. I have been on both sides of the fence: insured and uninsured. I can say with complete honesty that I have wondered which was the lesser of the evils. That is not a good thought to have racing through your mind.

I would be lying if I said I had the solution(s). But what I do know is that we must all take a vested interest in this issue. If you have the time, please write to your local congressman with your suggestions. I'm sure most congressman don't take the time to read every letter they get but I believe a worthy letter might garner the attention of an intern, and in turn the actual talking head. Write a blog, send a letter to the Editor of your favorite newspaper. Whatever it takes, please, do something.  In my heart of hearts I don't believe you can afford not to!

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