Sunday, August 20, 2006

My thoughts on Health Care

You want to know why I support universal health care. It's sitting, well crawling, on the bed next to me right now trying desperetly to grab the cat's tail. My son, Jon Jr. or Jack as we prefer to call him.

Another reason is the pain in my left hand. I have a non-cancerous glomus tumour in my pinkie finger I am having removed in about a month. I had one in my middle right finger for five years before having it removed in January. These are not fun things. You cannot put pressure on your finger tip and they like the cold as much as Bush likes the truth. I could do nothing about them as I had no health insurance.

The surgery to remove them cost me a total of $150 dollars, all of which were my doctor's fees. I paid nothing for the surgery bcause the company I work for, Sprint, has a good health care plan. If I had had to pay it out of pocket, I would have been out around four grand. My wife and I could not have afforded that.

We were six months pregnant before I got coverage. We paid around 1500 dollars for doctor's visits (at the health clinic over by Melrose), lab fees, and an ultrasound before this. Afterwards, we paid 400 dollars for everything including his five day stay (slight jaundice), her c-section, and other assorted crap. My point?

Having insurance makes up for a lot of things. My son's well baby visits, birth control, my insurance, doctor's fees, and prescription drugs have all been covered by my employer's health care plan. I am one of the lucky ones. Mr. Holt is as well. He thankfully can rely on his wefe's coverage. Steffens has his job. But what about the rest of us. Pesky, Auto, Winter, the Maynard brothers (yes I know you're not) and Brassmask I don't know well enough. But I know that it is something that goes through the head of a lot of people.

I wonder how many people in Alabama, West Virginia, Georgia, hell, pick a state pray every day that they don't get sick, their children don't get sick, or someone close to them doesn't get sick. I wonder how many of them get mad at their job for not offering helath care. I bet many of them believe that the US has the best health care on Earth (it does if you got some insurance). I wonder if they think that the federal government can pick up the majority if not all of the cost like France, Sweden, the UK, and Japan. I wonder how many of them would think that Nixon proposed a single payer government run health care plan that was his big policy intiative for his second term.

Finally, I wonder if they would get mad if you told them that it would only cost them at most around 20-30 bucks a week, and the only thing preventing it from going into effect is the work of private insurance companies who scream that the government is more inefficient (its not), would raise prices (actually lower dramatically), and reduce quality of care (actually raise it). Remember, a good part of Memphis has Third World infant mortality rates. How many of these children would be saved if their mothers could afford the care to get what they need. Medicaid does a good bit, but it does no where near enough. And don't forget about the rest of us, those who don't qualify for assistance, but still don't make a lot. Society is a group contract, we are judged by how we treat the least fortunate among us.


At 10:57 PM, Blogger Richmond said...

Hubert Humphrey, RFK, and the prophet Amos would be proud of you, I think. Well spoken, passionate without the all-too-often screaming that passes for discourse in the Atwater-Rove world.


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