Healthcare Hissy Fits

Is anyone else bothered by the temper tantrums corporate leaders are having over being asked to provide health insurance options to their employees?

I watched this clip and read this article and it seems that many of our (ahem, very wealthy) CEO's are anticipating (though not yet experiencing) economic catastrophe, and are making a few proactive choices. Like symbolically firing people. And cutting full time workers to part time to avoid the requirement. And they have the audacity to get on tv and offer patronizing apologies to their workers.

So, yeah, here's some liberal bias showing, but Jon Stewart makes a good point.

However, I just got my copy of Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker Palmer and I'm trying to have more civil conversations about health care. Parker says you should have humility to be a good citizen and defines it as: 
...accepting the fact that my truth is always partial and may not be true at all- so I need to listen with openness and respect, especially to "the other," as much as I need to speak my own voice with clarity and conviction.
So here's my truth. I spend a lot of time worrying about health care. Mainly about how I'm going to pay the premium if it goes up a lot next year. Crossing my fingers that this won't be a year that we max out our deductible, because high deductible plans with HSA's only work when you can actually afford your $5,000 deductible. Wondering each time I go to the doctor or midwife if the recommended screening is really necessary. Cringing when I open an EOB because nobody can tell you in advance how much an ultrasound or a blood draw is going to cost.

In the last few months, I have declined recommended medical treatment or screenings because of the cost. So has M. I'm not telling you that so you feel sorry for us. It's a calculated risk to ignore what your doctor tells you, and in the cases in which we did, the risks were low. I just think Americans need to start being more honest when we talk about how we manage our health care.

As I get older, I worry more. It was so cheap to buy insurance when I was 25. Every time I shop for a new policy now I'm inching up in the age brackets.

And I think I have it good. When I look around me, I am reminded that many of my neighbors don't earn as much, have pre-existing conditions, or lack the time or daytime availability to do the extensive amount of research, reviewing of fine print, and phone calls to manage your own health insurance and health care. Just try figuring out the difference between out of pocket maximum and meeting your deductible. (They are not the same. Except when they are.)

So that's my truth, or at least a part of it. I think it would be swell to have a single payer system in our country. Medicare for everyone. Get the uninsured and poor out of the ERs. Funnel some money away from pharmaceutical companies and put some more serious efforts into healing the preventable diseases that plague our nation with food and exercise. Rethink how we do things. Take care of our neighbors who have more significant medical needs, by making sure they have guaranteed access. Not because it's fair, but because it's just the right thing to do.

Yes, I'm willing to accept that my taxes would have to increase to make this possible.

So, this is an invitation to hear your truth. If you are someone who thinks insurance belongs in the private sector, I would love to hear from you. If you have some compelling reasons about why a medicare-like system that gives everyone health insurance coverage is a bad thing, please explain.

But let's leave death panel rants and other inflammatory and inaccurate sound bytes out of it. Tell me your truth. How it would impact you and your neighbors. What your experience with health care and health insurance has been like.

1 comment:

k said...

Today I read about CCAC's decision to reduce the hours of their adjunct faculty, in order to avoid having to give them health insurance benefits.

You can read the article here: here

Perhaps the law should be that all employees, no matter how few hours they work, should have access to an employer sponsored health care plan.

In this case, we're not talking about a greedy corporate CEO like John Schnatter of Papa John's. CCAC is a public institution that is facing a funding cuts itself.

In my mind this creates even more support for a single payer or Medicare like system.