Henny Penny, The Health Care Sky is Falling!!

The quarterback felt he was running against the clock. The team manager wanted a completed pass in the first quarter.  His teammates weren’t quite on board.  Some of them wouldn’t stand where they were supposed to stand.


He went back for the pass, but the receiver wasn’t there. Luckily, the pass was incomplete; they didn’t lose the ball to the other team.  Some team members were complaining about the condition of the ball itself – that it was too much like the football from last season.


Like hypercritical football fans after a new quarterback has fumbled the ball, political fans are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ouster. They’ve note, magnanimously that he initially wanted to pass on the job.  But no one else was willing to step up to the plate.


What confuses average Americans about all this is the difference between health insurance and health care. To someone like myself, health insurance has always meant coverage by my employer.  There was a deductible (usually about $1,000) that I had to pay before the insurance company, engaged by employer, kicked in.  Good.  Great.  Okay.


Essentially, the health insurance I expected was for hospitalization and catastrophic illness. I was making good money – I could handle the sneezes, sniffles and sore throats, the sprained ankle I got for jumping over a police barrier (it’s not what it sounds like) and other minor maladies (there weren’t many).  Oh, and I was able to pay for my own female health care, thank you very much.


Somewhere along the line, though, the demarcation between insurance and health care got muddled. I only wanted enough insurance so that if I had to have surgery (and recently, I came close to that point but dodged the bullet), I wouldn’t lose my home or my retirement savings.


Instead, Obamacare offered us the whole smorgasbord of health care, which came with a hefty price tag, much higher than I ever would have had to pay myself. By the time it was enacted, I was unemployed and no longer eligible for Obamacare.  Medicaid wanted to know too much information about my mother’s and older brother’s income.  I refused to tell them.


It should be enough that I have a bank balance of $200 with no income at all, since the newspaper for which I was doing freelance photography downsized all its photographers. I’d love to sign up for a low-cost health care plan, that just covers the basics mentioned above – hospitalization and catastrophic illness.


We don’t need or want a “health care” plan. We want a “health insurance plan.”  I don’t want the government – or a private insurer – or a prospective employer – paying for all my health needs.  I don’t need the government to purchase the Heather’s Tummy Tamers that aide my IBS condition.  I don’t need them to purchase Immodium or pain reliever or mouthwash.


It would be nice if someone would hire me so I could pay for these things myself. But aside from that, I’m glad the Freedom Caucus stood up to the weak bill that Speaker Ryan presented and had to pull from the vote.


Because he pulled it from consideration before it could be voted on, real affordable health care insurance for Americans that doesn’t involve government interference in our personal lives, supporting welfare families who want the government to buy their cold medicine for them (isn’t that what Medicaid is for), purchasing contraception methods for young women who can certainly afford to buy those items themselves, and doesn’t rob us of our future savings.


We’re not exactly sure what was in this bill, just as we weren’t sure what was in the Obamacare bill (now we know). But the less it looks like Obamacare, the better for us.  You can’t very well say, “We’re going to repeal Obamacare” and then hand America the Son of Obamacare.


Tomorrow is another day. Don’t try to cover so much.  Don’t make the bill so complicated.  Go back to the drawing board.  It’s okay to talk to insurance companies, who have a fiscal responsibility to keep costs down, but also talk to doctors who don’t hold with the AMA, and patients of all ages.


You might also want to look into exactly why medical costs are so high, beyond the fact that we have a large, aging Baby Boomer population. My doc says it’s all the expensive equipment.  He also says hospitals have too much power.  He also says that patients have a tendency to run to the doctor for every little ache and pain, which also drives up insurance costs.


One time I visited him because I felt like I had a fever. He was a bit annoyed with me for coming in for what he figured was just a cold (I was pretty health up until that point) until he took my temperature and saw that it was 104 degrees.


Let us hope Congress has the good sense to wade through the sheafs of paper and eliminate everything that doesn’t involve a serious injury, illness, or condition (i.e., appendicitis).


It’s really quite simple. Maybe their law degrees are getting in the way of straightening out health care.  Or maybe it’s politics and all the state health department bureaucrats who would be out of work if a health care bill is passed that allows insurance companies to sell health insurance across state lines.


As long as a federal government health department doesn’t take their place, that sounds like a great plan.


Meanwhile, take a valium and call me on Monday if your anxiety still persists.






Published in: on March 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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