The Government, Health Care and a Story

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I think most people agree that America needs Health Care Reform.  I said REFORM, not a complete takeover.  We do need something to keep the Insurance companies from declining everything, some tort reform, and maybe the ability to purchase insurance out of state.  We’ve heard all the ideas and I certainly don’t have any of the answers.  But handing it all over to the Government would be like handing over the Road Runner to Wylie Coyote.

America offers you the ability to excel and make as much money as you can.  You’ll have to bust your ass, but the sky is the limit.  On the other hand if you’re lazy and don’t even want to work at Mc Donald’s then that is your right as well. Most other nations have followed the socialist rule of keeping all their people equal.  They limit free market and capitalism and the Government provides what they think the people need.  In general there is no large group of poor or rich people.  This is part of what pulls down our overall health as a nation, we have a large percentage of poor people.  So the figures with America showing up last in health care do not take into account our emergency care, our technology, and our doctor’s and hospital’s abilities to perform a plethora of cutting edge treatments. Why do you think the wealthy leaders of the other nations come here for important procedures?

But what the heck do I know?  I’ll give you a little story below about what I know first hand.

Throughout my years of raising a family of five, I did whatever it took to keep everybody healthy and pay the bills.  I’ve gone without health care, I’ve used Medicaid, I’ve used our State’s Health Insurance program for children, and I’ve paid high premiums for private health insurance.  There are programs in every sate to provide you with some type of Health Insurance.  They’re not perfect and they’re not a long term solution, but I knew that and I didn’t take advantage of the system.  I was always busting my ass to improve our situation.  I went from installing radio’s in cars to managing the whole store.  I even quit my job out of the blue one day to go back to college.  I took care of the house and the kids while my wife worked for minimum wage.  It wasn’t easy, but I was never satisfied with living off the Government and barely getting by.  I didn’t expect any help from the Government and didn’t feel good about myself when I had to use some of the Government programs.  After my second try at college was successful I have increased my income 125% in the past ten years.  This is what America is about.

Now you might say something like: But you didn’t mention any major health issues, and that would have changed everything.  Well I’ll give a few examples.  About 7 years ago my wife became very sick with a neurological disorder.  She had difficulty walking, talking, holding things, and even thinking clearly.  We went to local doctor’s and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, all to get an accurate diagnosis and some type of treatment that would help.  One treatment (that was not covered by insurance) entailed me giving her painful shots in the abdomen every day.  And each dose was $175.00.  I dealt with the insurance company almost every day and until last year I was still dealing with bills from five, six and seven years ago. Also during this same time our daughter was diagnosed Bi-Polar and was in and out of three different hospitals in two cities.  This situation is way too long to explain, but this was during a time when insurance companies didn’t like paying anything for mental health situations.  I can tell you that this process was very difficult and expensive.  I did have health insurance through my employer so that was obviously helpful.  But after a few years of non-covered expenses and out of pocket maximums, the bills were outrageous.

Never during these times did I think about the Government helping me, or bailing me out.  It was my responsibility and mine only.  Did I expect them to give us money because she couldn’t work for two years?  NO! Would things have been better if the entire system was being run by the Government?  Would they have paid the $175.00 per dose for my wife’s treatment?  Hell NO! The Government would NOT have allowed some of the treatments that saved my wife’s life.

You probably think I should be an advocate for free Government health care, but I don’t want the Government any bigger or any more intrusive than it already is.  I believe in the free market and capitalism and that the Government can not provide us with Utopia.