1. Haven’t been denied coverage
2. Haven’t paid your own premiums
3. Haven’t watched your premiums go up as much as 45% per year
4. Haven’t had a sick child
5. Haven’t experienced a serious injury
6. Haven’t gone bankrupt trying to payoff medical bills.
I am an American citizen who strongly believes our nation is in dire need of health care and health insurance reform. I realize it’s what our government is trying to accomplish. It’s been a messy—even UGLY—process, but the debate in itself, has demonstrated the true nature of a democracy.
I may not like every aspect of the bill President Obama has just signed into law; however, I believe it’s the first step in getting on the track to reform. Let’s stop fighting and name-calling and deal with it, shall we?
When it comes to why I feel we need health care reform, my opinion is based on the following:
I am a small business owner. It’s a sole-proprietorship, where we pay for our own medical insurance. We do not have a dental plan. This means each time we go for a cleaning or a crown, we pay full pop (Did you know crowns can cost as much as a thousand dollars apiece these days?) Fortunately, we are a healthy family. Most of our doctor visits are preventative in nature. We keep our appointments, issue our co-pays and go back to living healthy / lucky lives.
Two years ago, however, my child had an accident and broke her arm. It required surgery. At the time Blue Cross/Blue Shield—a reputable insurance company—covered us. As customers of BCBS, each October, the month I officially aged, I received a letter informing me our premium was going up. Then again in December, the month of my husband’s birthday, a second letter came announcing yet another increase. Since we weren’t getting any younger, there was no end or cap in sight.
Now, this may not seem like a lot to people with a lot of money—those people who make $200,000 per year or who have homes valued at $700,000 (i.e. those facing taxes proposed by this bill/law)—but to people who work just as hard in less lucrative professions and who pay rent rather than own a home—or who’ve already paid out $6,000 in insurance premiums, which have only covered part of maybe four annual checkups . . . it’s a big financial burden.
We paid our bills and then shopped for new insurance. With the new company and the new underwriting, our premiums were cut in half; however, we soon learned that they paid for, well, nothing. Then when our birthdays rolled around, the premium went up 45%. So, we found yet another company and are currently keeping our fingers crossed that this one will be a good one . . . at least until the birthday letters come.
It also represents the first time in a long time that Congress has actually accomplished SOMETHING other than just perpetuating ugly and unproductive partisan politics.