Sunday, December 23, 2007

Healthcare Reform

I wish that people who talk about healthcare reform would quit equating "universal health insurance" with "universal healthcare." They are not the same thing at all.

Did you know that of all the people who went bankrupt due to medical expenses last year, one-third had health insurance?

Does the term “reasonable and usual” mean anything to you? Or “preapproval req'd” (but not obtained), or “pre-existing condition”? These are terms that insurance companies use to avoid paying for medical treatment. Having insurance does not mean having full access to healthcare.

Three years ago I underwent some severe health problems and, even with an excellent and very costly health insurance policy provided by my wife’s employer and deducted in part from her pay, the cost out of pocket for the year was more than $10,000 for medical expenses not paid by insurance.

And what are all of the Democratic presidential candidates offering as healthcare reform? Universal health insurance. While each plan has ways to help people pay for the insurance, not one of those plans will prevent those health insurance corporations from finding ways to deny payment for medical treatment needed by the insured.

These reforms do not assure universal healthcare. What they do assure is increased profits for the corporations who are a major part of the problem in our healthcare system today, increased profits for the corporations who are major financial contributors to the Democratic presidential candidates.

Business as usual in Washington, DC.

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