About a week ago I developed a rash; it looked a bit like hives. I thought I would wait it out. The rash continued to spread; I still had no fever. I thought I would wait it out a bit. Welcome to the life of the uninsured; a life where putting off the doctor in the hopes of things going away is common place.
I finally broke down and went to the doctor today– I have a diagnosis; it is not gross, life threatening, or dangerous. I have a diagnosis because I am lucky enough to be able to independently afford a doctor’s visit for a minor condition and I am surrounded by people who would help me out if I was not.
47,000,000 other Americans are also without health care. Many of them do not have the financial stability or the financial backing to get them to the doctor. A lot of them would have waited longer than I did. A lot of them would have agonized more. Many of them are currently hoping to wait out diagnosis that are gross, life threatening and dangerous. Many of them make their health infinitely worse by holding off. What is America going to do about it?
John McCain’s plan to “fix” health care scares me. He wants to take health care out of the hands of employers, thus everyone would be on individual plans. His $5000 tax credit goes directly to the insurance companies and it is taxed. That means you actually end the year with less money. Also, there are no previsions that keep companies from dropping your policy if you get sick, if you have a pre-existing condition, or any other reason. Therefore, good affordable health care is NOT guaranteed.
I agree that the US system is messed up– but really, I beleive that McCains plan goes in the wrong direction. I have worked in health care; I have worked in hospital admissions and financial services; I have looked at the plan– I believe that it would create more uninsured, not less.
If we really want fundametal change in the US health system, we need to start looking at France and Canada. We should be learning from our neighbors, other developed nations that are managing to provide a strong health network for their citizens. We shoudl be looking and we should be taking notes.