I’m concerned about healthcare in our country. Deeply concerned. The facts are that over 45 million Americans do not have access to health insurance and most of those people (80%) are part of working families. America spends more per person on healthcare than European countries with universal coverage and yet we leave millions of our citizens in the dust. We are subject to an incredibly inefficient system motivated by profits rather than the health of our citizens. I’m married to a physician and hear regularly his concerns about patients who fall between the cracks and don’t have insurance, and therefore can’t get the care they need.
But neither the impersonal facts nor my husband’s daily experience are what really upset me this week. What made this reality of inequity and lack of access hit home was when a good friend confided in me that she and her toddler son were denied health insurance. She recently quit her full-time job to stay home with her son but was denied coverage when she went to buy insurance through a well-known healthcare system. The reason? She had kidney stones last year. And why would an insurance company deny coverage for a healthy 18-month old? Because he has had ear infections! What toddler hasn’t had ear infections?
My friend was finally able to find insurance through a more expensive plan but many people are not so lucky. Her experience demonstrates that none of us are truly safe in our country’s healthcare system. It is beyond faulty, it is intolerable. I believe healthcare is a right of every American, not just for those who are lucky enough to have employers who provide it.
My plea to you, my blog readers, is to please make healthcare a part of your decision-making in the presidential election. I’m unabashedly an Obama supporter but you can make up your own mind. Look closely at both candidate’s plans and see which one you like best. Even if you and your family have quality, affordable healthcare, remember under our current system that may not always be the case. Our current system is a disaster and clearly unjust.
Who do you think has the better healthcare plan? How important is healthcare as you make your decision for president?