This Article is About
health care
The Issue With Health Care
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

The Issue With Health Care

I am perturbed and frightened. Absolutely beyond a doubt freaked-out. The reason is a matter of something that seems so simple and so absolutely vital, but is being treated with gross inadequacy. The issue that I am talking about is health care. And the medium that I am talking about it is the 2012 Presidential Election. I know that there are other heavy issues like the economy and lost jobs, deficit, foreign issues and social issues like abortion and marriage that are high attention grabbers for most voters. But, the deal is pretty simple, health care matters most. It matters more than any other issue, period.

Health care is the chief issue that needs to be discussed and remedied (see even fixing health care means a little help doctoring it back to health). It isn’t working right in this country, and all one needs to know about our health system is by watching the 2012 Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics and seeing what we do not have. Great Britain has a universal health care and they are so proud of it that they made sure to show-and-tell the world about it. We only need to watch the majority of European TV to see how prominent universal health care is, and how amazingly fluid it works.

But, those are socialist countries. Those are nations that have very high tax rates and you cannot become rich too easily there. Wait; is that even true, the part about not becoming rich there? I am not so sure. Now, this is not an essay about European, or other industrialized, nations and their governmental platforms, that is simply a cross-reference, a sort of “what are the neighbors doing?” type of go-about. We do need to look for some sort of way to save health care in America, so a start outside of ourselves may be critical. It is entirely true that someone who is ill, especially one that does not fully understand the illness, cannot heal him/herself.

The issue in American health care is one of extremely high premiums, and worse an inability to even get health coverage so that you can get health care. See, coverage is different than health care. Health care is the all-encompassing deal of insurance, doctors, hospitals, etc. Basically, health care is that when you are ill or something breaks, you can and are able to get it fixed. Health coverage is being able to find insurance and have a plan that covers you.

President Obama (and that doesn’t mean I am telling you to vote for him, just saying) made it a bit easier for persons to find coverage, or at least stay on an insurance plan by raising the age of dependency in regards to health care to age 26. If mom and dad can afford to pay for insurance or son or daughter can afford to chip-in, then health coverage can stay in effect.

There are so many problems that this is going to be tough to tackle all of them, but let’s get a little muddy and dirty and go after a few. One issue with health care right now is in regards to coverage; the issue being that of pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions are defined as being (and you can feel free to look any of this information up online or in a text book, or anywhere else, it is all basic knowledge) a condition that occurred (or often times stated as developed, began, etc.) before a program of health (wellness, care, etc.) benefits (plans) came into effect. How sexy is that? That sentence basically means that a pre-existing condition is a medical issue that you have that has occurred before you started an insurance plan of your own. That is very sexy, oh wait, I am sorry, I meant scary. Yes, the word I am looking for is absolutely horrifically scary.

It is scary because we as humans (and industrialized Americans) face unique dangers that can cause a well planned, well maintained, well succeeding life, to pull an Ozzie Osbourne and go “off of the rails on a crazy train.” It really does not matter how much a person plans and strives when it comes to illness. Physical and mental illness can strike anyone at any time.

We are all susceptible to cancer, pneumonia, flu, migraines, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, osteoporosis, bipolar (which I happen to suffer from, but I will get back to that one in a minute), Alzheimer’s, liver disease, kidney failure, and a host of others. Anyone can get sick and injured at any point in time (“even the best laid plans of mice and men…”). So it is amazingly important to stay as healthy as possible. To eat right, work out, live a non-sedentary lifestyle and to see your doctor for routine check-ups.

Now, for many Americans and the number is growing daily, it is becoming more difficult and more costly to see a doctor (and let’s not even talk about seeing a dentist!). Costs of seeing a doctor without insurance are astronomically improbable of being made to work at income levels where people cannot afford insurance. What that means is if a family of four who has a household income of $20,000, how are they going to pay for doctor’s appointments for all four when they cannot even afford health insurance or even basic standard of living expenses(unless they are somehow fortunate enough to have a full time employment position that has health coverage ((for the whole family)) as a benefit.) T

hey, the majority of the time, cannot afford health coverage, so routine check-ups and visits to the doctor become costly and the family goes without. They end up doing what Chris Rock used to talk about: take some “’tussin” (Robitussin) for the cold, or pour some on the broken arm and hope they both go away. That is a joking satire of the situation, but for many American families, home remedies are the only way to cost-effectively help someone that is sick or injured.

Already we see that a lot of people are in direr straights when it comes to health coverage. Some are able to afford it, some are not (all should be able to have it!). The plot thickens, like the fog of apathy that surrounds this issue, when we look at health care with a pre-existing condition (I told we would get back to it). Pre-existing conditions make it extremely difficult and insanely costly to have medical insurance. And if your PEC is bad enough, you will be denied coverage outright. It won’t matter that you are in desperate need of a lifesaving treatment, that your cancer was in remission for eight years and now is back, or anything else. If an insurance company assesses (like Ben Stiller in Along Came Polly sitting at his desk plugging your life into a computer and birthing out a risk portfolio) deems that you are too high a risk of needing costly care, they can deny you coverage.

That, in a privatized market, is somehow acceptable. And by Mitt Romney’s plan (again not saying who to vote for, just raising concrete facts) for health care, the states will have control of regulating the privatization of insurance. What happens to poor states like Alabama? Well, it is money that the state government does not have to pay when it comes to health care for its citizens. Private companies will provide insurance, and the economy will create competition (much the same way the railroads, and airlines, and cable companies, and gas companies did). That competition will keep prices low, and the states can regulate to make sure everything is being held to correct standards. Ever hear of lobbying a state congressman or senator in a poor state? It works wonders.

What is being driven at here is a simple set-up for the knock-down about PECs. If you have a pre-existing condition, you are going to be screwed if Obamacare stays the same, or if Romney’s plan (or well, the conservative plan) is able to be invoked. There will be no affordable coverage for you. Romney states on his website that you will be able to receive a sort of “waiver” for Obamacare until 2014 (when Obama’s plan is really set to go into effect). But, after that Obamacare is gone. And, when it comes to having the most affordable and best health care for Americans, Obamacare is a closer step towards that end, so anything else is taking a step back. Sorry, but that is true.

I have a PEC. I was diagnosed as being bipolar when I was ten years old (it was called manic-depressive). I have struggled all of my life to function through tasks that others do with ease. I have struggled to live like others seem to do so easily, and I have fought long battles with my illness and suffered with my family and friends, but the majority of the time I have suffered alone.

It took me 21 years to come to terms with my illness (most never, for any illness, get that luxury, if they don’t come to terms and receive proper help right away, they will die, be absolutely miserable, or die absolutely miserably). My illness is one that allows me to function very well, and to be as much of a part of society as is possible. I pay taxes, I just finished graduate school and attained my second degree there, I am active in my community and church and I do right by my family and neighbors as much as possible. I have an illness that allows me a chance for help. Most people are never this lucky and fortunate. Most will not know how to handle their illness, or will be too sick from it, to fully comprehend the totality of damage it is inflicting on them. Most will die.

That sounds pretty macabre right? Well, it is gruesome, and it is the truth. What is worst of all this is that insurance companies instead of feeling empathy for people, who are sick and hurting, decide to turn the other cheek (the one that is affixed to their bottoms) and snub people. They can deny coverage because they are a for-profit business and good business can sometimes mean bad news for people. Currently, this happens quite a lot. All you have to do is plug in all the pre-existing conditions you might have.

Do you smoke? Do you drink? Does your family have a risk of heart disease? Does anyone in your family have a history of cancer (or anything else)? Have you ever been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition? What is the state of your health currently? Those, and many others, are the questions that become roadblocks. And if you think you can be crafty and cheat by lying about your medical history: Do not! You will get caught in the end. Most insurance companies, even though HIPAA exists, will know all your medical history. Should a point arise that you need medical coverage, you could find yourself being denied and paying the medical bills on your own for lying.

Now there are government facilitated PEC plans that exist. You can go to the U.S. government health care page and plug in your information. You will find your state and then will find out how much it costs, generally, for coverage by your age bracket. If you are over the age of 55 (and just an fyi, one in four people are said to develop a mental illness and most will see the on-sets before the age of 55) you will pay a much higher price for insurance (but I guess that is one of the only things that is universal about our health plans: the older you get the less anyone cares for you and about you).

I tried the government PEC and actually met the stipulations of not having insurance for 6 months (probably that time duration is used to make sure people couldn’t buy COBRA insurance, or something akin to it, instead). However, at the time, I was so dead broke (still am) that I could not afford the insurance. Luckily, as a meager graduate student, I was offered insurance through my university. But, that will go the way of the Dodo come this January. I hope to be able to afford a PEC by then. And to make matters worse, a prescription medication that I take costs $700.99 for 30 pills and there is no generic or substitute allowed in the U.S. until 2015. Right now, my insurance covers most of it, and through a funding program, the rest is covered down to $37.00 (still a lot) for me to pay. Combine this with two other medications and the cost is getting up there (imagine being a diabetic…). But, with the government PEC plan, I will have to pay much more out-of-pocket. Well, I can either pay and receive my medication that allows me to be productive and good-standing in society, or I can decide to not take my meds and risk going AWOL and de facto insane.

The choice is obvious, I will stick to the lesser, yet more expensive, of two evils. It just sucks that I, through no fault of my own, I was born this way, will have to choose between two evils and not receive any help, or at least an unlocking of the door by my government and fellow Americans.

What also sucks is that no one seems to really think about how fragile their lives are. No one is closely examining the impact health has on their day-to-day lives. Without being healthy nothing else matters. If I do not do the things necessary to treat my mental illness, I will not have a chance to take care of everything else in my life. If a person does not treat their cancer, they will not be alive to worry about other issues. Think about it, if tomorrow you were to be diagnosed with a life changing, debilitating, permanent illness what would you do after the initial shock wore off? I hope you would drop everything else, and get into self-preservation mode and look to save your life and find a way to live the best with a poorly dealt hand as possible. To do this, you would have to look at doctors and hospitals and treatment plans and weigh out costs for everything (which is exactly the problem with American health care!). You would have to factor in economics into saving your life! How horrible is that?

See, the most basic of human necessities includes saving one’s own ass (sorry for the a-bomb). You have to be alive to care about anything else. It is kind of the way it works on earth. So, everything else becomes moot. If I don’t treat my illness I have no idea what might happen, but I know that worrying about myself, my economics, my government, etc. will not be among the things I will be doing. I will either be running around this country like a rock star, or will curled up in a ball ready to cry at all moments. That is my illness. Your illness might be different. No matter what though, ask yourself this: “If I get sick, will it matter how I care, or even vote, about social issues like abortion (and that in no way at all has anything to do with abortion)?” And ask, “If I am preparing to die, will it matter to me what the unemployment rate is?” I can’t speak for you, but come on, really? If I were to be diagnosed tomorrow with another illness, my first thought would be how it will affect me and how I will manage it and how I will live and pay for treatment. I will not worry about the Presidential Election, the holidays, or making sure that everyone gets health care. I will care only about making sure I don’t die.

After I am able to secure myself and make sure that I won’t die, I will look to take care to prevent any more illnesses and treat the one(s) I have now. From there, once things are secure, I can focus on family and friends and then on issues and life. That is how I would honestly operate under circumstances like I described. What about you?

All that I am saying in all of this is that the essay that I have written is longer than Romney’s plan on health care on his website or anywhere else, and is longer than Obama’s plan as he states for the public (though Obamacare is over 2,000 pages long, which I say good, that probably only covers the potential illnesses Americans could get). I am sorry if this is long-winded, but I am just glad that I have wind in my sails and an ability to write.

Besides, this is the most critical issue of my time, and hopefully yours. Without a sound, mind, and body, a person can still be useful, powerful (think FDR) and resourceful, but they are also limited to what they have around them for help. Right now, we have so many barriers to entry within health care that many cannot receive help. The irony right now is the boy that could grow up to cure cancer is somewhere out there without insurance and is dying of cancer. For shame on all of us. Please learn about this issue, educate yourself and make a truly informed decision on November 5th. I am praying for all of us.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Rotavirus Vaccine Has Proven Health Care Cost Savings Benefits
Rotavirus, for those who do not know, is a very common pathogen, one that is easily contracted and passed around. It most commonly causes minor illnesses but can be dangerous to children under the age of five because it increases their risk of dehydration. In 1998, a rotavirus vaccine was…
By: Dan Hombart in  News and Society   Sep 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Fighting the Stigma Surrounding Big Pharma
When people think ‘big pharma’, they think ‘big money’ – and they’re not wrong. Egypt’s central bank just allocated $120 million to the importation of medical supplies for citizens due to recent shortages. Capital Crop Merchant banking recently invested $8.4 million to an Albanian pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. An additional £20…
By: Jeff Nevil in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   May 28, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Some Useful Tipes For Buying Valuable Salt Spray Chamber
When there is a requirement check or valuate a selected product and/or coating for the resistance to corrosion a test technique known as salt spray testing is usually used. It is a well-liked and price effective corrosion testing method. The testing takes place in an self-enclosed temperature controlled chamber wherever…
By: Oracleequipments in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   May 17, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Get Cheapest Cost Hip Replacement Surgery at Fortis Hospital Mumbai In India With Endless Benefits
Pain in hips due to a number of reasons are common ailments, which one can often hear from all the age group of people particularly from the older ones. Though one can find a number of non-surgical options to resolve these issues but when these treatment fail to work then…
By: Lena rivera in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   May 17, 2016  
0
  Likes: 1

New Trends In Fertility Treatment Abroad – Praga Medica
According to research, one out of eight couples in America has fertility problems. Sadly, most couples tend to wait it out, which is not doing them any favors. The longer the wait, the lower the chances of getting pregnant. Thanks to research in fertility treatments, success rates have greatly improved.…
By: David Fiala in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 27, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

What Do You Know About Female Hair Transplant?
When it comes to hair transplants, men's transplants are more common than the women's are. This is perhaps because hair loss is more common in men than in women. Hair loss in a woman in many of our societies is an unattractive feature as opposed to baldness in a man.…
By: Sundas Qasim in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 26, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

What Do You Know About Female Hair Transplant?
When it comes to hair transplants, men's transplants are more common than the women's are. This is perhaps because hair loss is more common in men than in women. Hair loss in a woman in many of our societies is an unattractive feature as opposed to baldness in a man.…
By: Sundas Qasim in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 26, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

6 Steps Of Revalidation For Locum Doctors
Medical appraisal is a basis of GMC revalidation. It is conducted annually in which a meeting takes place between the appraised doctor and the appraiser who is usually a colleague trained as an appraiser. The medical appraisal process has three stages. Inputs for appraisal The confidential discussion of appraisal Outputs…
By: molanparker in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 15, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How Long Do Freeze Dried Vegetables Last?
Freeze drying is one of the processes of preservation where the food is kept at low temperature till it solidifies and then subjected to high vacuum that removes ice by sublimation. This is done to prevent the food from spoiling and damage, giving it a longer lifespan, around 25 to…
By: motherearthproduct in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 12, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

The Importance Of Healthcare Logistics
Changing political conditions, as well as an increasing pressure of rising costs in the healthcare sector, has made a steady alignment necessary in this field. Economical and efficient services in healthcare logistics, which can adjust the things flexibly, can provide essential advancement in the fields of medicine, research and care…
By: Jeff Nevil in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 11, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

The Clinical Trial Of the Future
As a means to possibly save thousands of lives, clinical trials are important. However, the means and resources with which these trials are conducted is stagnating in comparison to other equally essential areas of the healthcare industry. Clinical trials are meant to establish the effectiveness of pharmaceutical products, enlisting specific…
By: Jeff Nevil in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Apr 06, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Top 5 Health And Fitness Apps for Androi
Android brings a drastic change to life. Now, you can access a number of incredible apps right after a successful download. One of the greatest options is to downloadhealth and fitness apps. Nowadays, people are more concern about health and fitness issues. They want to learn more about health and…
By: annylisa in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Mar 30, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Save Money on Expensive Haircuts
Everybody wants to take care of their hair. It is just that most people don’t think it is something they can afford. Hair treatments by most people’s account are considered a luxury and not a necessity when in fact it is. When you don’t have your hair cut regularly, it…
By: AndersonHamilton09 in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Mar 29, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Benefits Of IVF Fertility Treatment Abroad In Czech Republic
According to statistics, one in eight couples may have trouble getting pregnant. It is no wonder the demand for IVF fertility treatment abroad has been on the rise. But the trouble with IVF treatment—especially in countries like the US and the UK—is that it’s expensive and inaccessible. And even if…
By: David Fiala in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Mar 24, 2016  
0
  Likes: 1

Genetics And Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease: A chronic progressive neurological disease chiefly of later life that is linked to decreased dopamine production in the substantia nigra. There are many symptoms which affect the patient very seriously and creates much problem in daily life. Genetics: Genetics is a study of heredity, or how the characteristics…
By: Jim Halpin in  Health and Fitness  >  Healthcare Systems   Mar 17, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1553    Report this Article