This one is not going to be a rant against pharmaceuticals. Nor will it be call for compassion. Nor will it be an indictment against the stupidity of the public option.
When I listen to people argue about this, they are usually people who have their own perfectly fine health plans. Their employers provide them. They’ve never seen the inside of a public clinic. They have low co-pays for everything. They may have high premiums, but their health is genuinely in good hands.
I’m an educated person. I work about 50 hours a week in a non-manual job. I take care of my health both by diet and exercise.
Yet, I’m sitting here dialing an 800 number for independent health insurance so I can pay my monthly premium–on my credit card. I know full-well that I cannot afford this coverage. I also know that the first $5,000 of care I’m going to receive is also going to go on that credit card because it won’t be covered until I run through that deductible. So, over the course of my year, I’m going to spend $6,752 out-of-pocket–or on the grace of Visa–to give myself health insurance.
I tried to use my employer-provided health insurance but I ended up in a clinic where the doctor I was assigned to had left for greener pastures, the smell of vomit in the waiting room was so intense that my face turned green, and the 19-year-old technicians told me flatly that if I were to see a doctor I would not be able to have any lab work done or prescriptions written.
Considering that I am now entering my second stint in graduate school and I work pretty damn hard, I just wanted to put this out there. The health insurance problem is not a problem of the “poor” folks on welfare or the unemployed or the host of other categories I hear people making up to justify their desire to maintain the status quo.