As I sit and read blogs this morning and as I am contemplating what to write next, my mind is turned invariably toward the American. There is no such thing as American Health Care. It’s a misnomer that means whoever can afford it is guaranteed the finest. If you cannot afford it, you are urged to buy insurance. Since insurance is tied to the workforce, you are also limited by the insurances your company can afford to provide you, which in everyday speak means ‘not much.’ You are also limited by your work hours. My daughter, who works in retail is given between 20 to 39 hours a week to work. She is not salaried, so insurance is contingent on her maintaining 40 hours a week. Clever no? Her employer saves money by not giving every employee the hours they need to bank to provide their own coverage.
On the other hand, I have a salaried position and am paying $600 a month for group insurance after a long, long fight for it. Previously, I was covered under my husband’s insurance through his union. There was no interruption in coverage, in fact there was an overlap of almost a month. Yet, recently my insurance company denied a claim for a bone density scan claiming a preexistent condition. huh? What might that be? I will call them tomorrow, but an issue comes to the fore here. Why is the first inclination of an insurance company, who you pay thousands of dollars to, to deny your claim? I know why… profit. You see the insurance companies are not about health care. They are in this for one reason only, to make money. There is no other reason for insurance companies to exist. Don’t tell me it’s to “regulate” doctors or hospitals or to keep costs down. That’s just bullshit. America’s system is capitalism and that includes health care going to the highest bidder, not because they want their citizens to be healthy, but so that companies can make profits.
I was called back to get a second mammogram due to something they spotted the first time last week. I will call them tomorrow and see if they are going to cover this. If they aren’t, I’m not going. I can’t afford to. The bone density scan costs $350. I now will owe this somehow out of all my other bills and expenses. It sounds measly to some people, but $350 is almost a month’s groceries. It’s almost a car payment for me, or at least the kind of car that I can afford. As I wander the shops and watch everyone buying, buying, buying, I can’t help but wonder, “where do all these people get all this money?” $350 is a drop in the bucket for them. And another mammogram will be upwards of $600 or so. So, I will have to take the risk that what they saw on the first mammogram was a false reading and not go to the second. And I will tell the insurance company this when I call them and if they tell me they will refuse to pay for it. There is no alternative for people like me and millions more who make less than I do a month. Obama’s plan will try to redress this somewhat, but this won’t go into effect until 2014 and even then it will get huge opposition from whoever happens to be in office at the time. The insurance companies will retaliate by raising rates and we will be back to square 0.
So please, please, please, don’t call what we live with now health care. It’s more like health capitalism.