I live in the state with the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation. I also live in the state where a high number of local politicians wanted and celebrated the failure of the Obamacare roll out. One of our state’s top national leaders against Obama care is Mr. Ted Cruz, whose parents once lived in Canada where they had access to “socialized” Canadian health care. Yes, I am talking about one of the richest, highest job and oil producing states in the nation. We also rank very low on health care and public education, but who cares as long as we create jobs right?
Well, nothing changes people’s minds faster than what affects their pocketbook. In the case of health care access, it can be a huge catalyst for changing how people feel or will feel about Obamacare.
Right now, the website is still not working perfectly. The roll out has been undoubtedly a failure. The president has had to apologize, not only for that but also for saying things that didn’t turn out to be true. This is something that seems unprecedented. The fact is, obamacare is in critical condition and in the next few months and years, we will find out if it will be cured or killed for good.
What I believe has been truly missing in the health care debate is another viable solution to denial of health coverage to those with pre existing conditions, mental health parity, the high cost of certain procedures, the focus on treatment vs. prevention, medical fraud and
the overall health state of our nation. Even if Obamacare works, more than 40 million might remain uninsured. Those who are earning less than the poverty level will be eligible for neither Medicaid nor subsidies; so much of the law still remains a mystery.
What we do know is that insurance companies, hospitals, health institutions and the pharmaceutical industry employ millions of Americans. They are a big part of our economy and they have powerful lobbyists. They are doing just fine with the system the way it is but many are not, and it is a very complicated issue to resolve with any law frankly. But here are my questions that politicians hardly ever answer.
What happens if we keep things the way they are? The costs of health care will eventually destroy our economy. We can’t be on this path forever. No country can thrive when it spends 17.9 percent of gross national product on health care. Something has to give. What happens with the millions who don’t have insurance? Do we truly think the private health care system will take care of them, when their purpose is to make profits? What about those with mental illnesses? Do we really believe they don’t suffer from physical illnesses so they should not be covered (even though mental illnesses are physical illnesses? Then there are those people like me, who have a pre existing conditions (I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009) and my choice after losing my job due to layoffs, was to pay 750 dollars a month. That without a job.
We are the richest nation in the world, but also the least healthy of all industrialized nations. We focus on treatment because it pays better than prevention. Too many of us are obese, sick and tired.
The system is broken, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit millions who want to keep it as it is.
We may have the best medicine in the world but at a very high cost we as a nation can’t seem to afford. The past few years have been contentious for those for and against Obamacare. The problem is that the focus has been more on politics, money, lobbyists, and the law than on the people it affects and the problem itself and that is that there are millions of Americans who can not afford healthcare and that it is destroying our economy. I don’t believe the solution offered was the best but I am tired of the criticism without offering solutions. People literally spend time screaming at each other, while regular Americans suffer, live in fear, worry, lose all their savings, and some their dignity because they can’t pay.
This is going to take time to sort itself out. In the mean time there is a lot we as Americans can do. We must learn to take care of our health by preventing disease. That means we must learn what is in our food, which in the end is the best medicine. We must exercise daily and we must make sure we keep our wellness appointments, which help us prevent disease. We must learn to pay for a greater share or our health expenses so we become more careful about our choices. Last but not least we must become more informed about the truth and understand we all have to give up something to get something. Nothing is for free. We need to play a role in our own healing.
After months without insurance, I finally signed up for a plan through the website and by phone because I could not complete it on the website. Everyone was very kind and then after I signed up, I got a call from the insurance company, which felt like the FBI was investigating me. They knew everything about my healthcare. That didn’t surprise me. Health insurance companies are concerned they will get only sick people. The ones they abandoned because they were not healthy enough for them to make a profit.
Here is what I would like to see with Obamacare. There is real competition between insurance companies so the prices come down. Americans begin to take more responsibility for their health and get discounts for keeping their weight down, refrain from smoking and too much drinking and eating the wrong foods. Everyone gets insured, but they are required to keep their prevention appointments. The focus is on prevention, not treatments or drugs. Finally, we as Americans care for each other as if we were also the uninsured, mentally ill, jobless or homeless. Then we would care about what happens to most people and not just ourselves.