Taking health care reform personally…Part I

I have always been an advocate for health care reform.  I believe that the health care system in the US is seriously flawed and it is imperative that something has to be done about it.  I watch the news and see our lawmakers debate on this issue, and I have always agreed with those who are giving their very best to do what is best for the country.  But when an issue directly affects you, when it suddenly invades your life, then it becomes personal.  And this is what is happening to me right now. 

There are times in the last decade or so where I had to sacrifice having health insurance because of cost.  I qualified for medicaid for a while.  But now that my income has increased a little bit so I became unqualified for it.  CUNY has recently jumped on board with NYSHIP, so I was relieved that I don’t have to worry about qualifying for medicaid and I can feel somewhat ‘healthy’ again.

I try to live a healthy lifestyle.  I exercise regularly.  I watch what I eat.  I don’t smoke.  I don’t drink excessively, only in social occasions.  Now, you would think that the insurance companies would want you to maintain your health.  After all, it would be much cheaper to cover healthy people and it would be very smart to keep them healthy.  The standard routine for any healthy people to do would be to go to a routine physical checkup at least every year.  And that is what I did recently, thinking that this is exactly what the insurance companies want you to do.

I went to my doctor in at the end of August for a full physical, thinking that blood and urine work are all standard procedures.  Can anybody imagine having a physical without any of these diagnostics?  A couple weeks later, I received a letter saying that my expenses are not covered by the insurance company, and we are only allowed $60 every two years for a routine check up!  Who in their right mind would go to a physical for $60?  The only thing that would get you is to talk to your doctor for 2 minutes, and that’s the whole $60 there.  Of course, my physical did not cost $60.  In fact, it costed over $3000 and now the insurance company have told me that I basically have to come up with that much money to pay for it.

At this point, I am outraged.  There are so many things wrong with this picture that I cannot even start to list all of them.  This should never EVER happen to anybody! I feel violated.  I feel dirty.  How can a human being do something like this to another human being and feel good about it, just so you can scrounge all the money you can get and satisfy your greed?  This is one of the things where the government SHOULD step in and make sure that this does not happen to its citizens.  For those of you out there who think that health care reform is not necessary in this country should lock yourselves in a box or live in a cave in the Himalayas until you grow yourself a soul.  It is the government’s job to protect its citizens, and that includes taking care of the health of the people.  And I agree with what Obama says, that we have “the moral responsibility that we have toward our fellow citizens” to reform health care in this country.

At this point, I am trying to understand those who do not agree with these ideals.  I am going to guess that people who are afraid of ‘expanding welfare’ are also afraid of taxes and what they call ‘a big government’.  They use excuses like big government=no freedom.  Or capitalism= freedom.  If this is the case, that is just plain bullshit.  They are afraid of government run programs like welfare because they basically don’t want to give up any of their ‘hard-earned’ income for someone struggling just to get by.  They probably blame these people themselves, thinking that the poor basically ‘put themselves in that position’.  I would go back to these people who have this mentality and ask them, where their incomes come from?  Where do they get their money?  Does it just come to them because they made it themselves?  Was it just because of their hard work and this and this alone got them their money?  Of course not.  When people make money, that money has to come from SOMEONE else.  Billionaires are billionaires because non-billionaires have bought their products.  Everytime I buy a toothpaste, a computer, paper, or whatever else, I am giving my money to someone else.  I have to admit that whenever I spend, this is somewhat something that makes me feel better, knowing that my cab fare will go to a family who might need the money more or that extra tip that I gave to my server might help her buy those books for her kids.  Who knows.  The point is that money that comes to you has to come from someone else.


Anyway, enough of the rambling.  But this will be continued as I go through the hoops on my little NYSHIP predicament.  Until next time…