In the News: Health Care Coverage in America

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/29/2008 12:25 PM   :  63 comments

See More: news, family, health,
The U.S. Census Bureau has released statistics showing a drop in the number of uninsured Americans in 2007. The decrease comes mostly from government-sponsored programs that are covering more children than ever before. But the fact that there are currently 45.7 million uninsured Americans means there is still a lot of work to be done.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance was 15.3 percent in 2007, down from 15.8 percent in 2006. The number of people with health insurance increased from 249.8 million in 2006 to 253.4 million in 2007.

While the number of people with private health insurance did not change significantly between 2006 and 2007, the number of people covered by government health insurance such as Medicaid increased from 80.3 million in 2006 to 83 million in 2007. This shows the importance of government-sponsored health insurance programs to help close the gap and give people the coverage they need.

Some people assume that itís only those in the lowest income brackets or those below the poverty line who donít have health insurance. But thatís just not the case. For example, when my husband and I were first married, I worked for a non-profit organization that had excellent health insurance for me. But for me to add him onto my plan would have ended up costing almost half of my paycheck each week. We couldnít afford that and his employer didnít offer coverage at a reasonable cost. So for a few years, he went without any insurance. And I have friends in similar situations: Their companies donít offer health benefits and they canít afford coverage on their own (which can be REALLY expensive), so they go without.

Can you relate to this situation or do you know of someone in a similar predicament? What do you think can and should be done about the current state of health care coverage in our country?




Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   In the News: The Trouble with School Lunches

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 63
    Because I know that this is a heated topic I will give one example of many many many people I run into working in my field....

    A friend of mine just lost her best friend. Her best friend was the bread winner of the family, worked a great job, had great health insurance, and after her 5 year battle with cancer she had to finally leave her job, losing her insurance. Because she had a "pre-existing "condition"" she could not get private or public insurance (except medicaid which she would have had to wait 2 years for to be eligible at 32 years old). Now she is passed, and her family is stuck with a huge bill. The money she shelled out for her medical bills prior to her death could have covered hers and her families medical insurance expenses for the next 10 years but because of this "pre-existing condition" that made it so she could not work anymore her family is SOL. Its not like someone asks for cancer, or to be hurt on the job (and then lose it and have to pay hundreds of dollars ($500+ out of pocket EACH MONTH) before medicaid or medicare will cover ANYTHING- yes this happens) and paying and paying into a system that isnt there when you need it to be or when you actually can pay into it but they wont cover you just goes to show how much things like this health care reform are needed. Yes there are people who will take advantage, but if we think that that is everyone we forget the exceptions. Many people, including some of us, are or could be the exception. - 7/22/2010   5:37:45 PM
  • 62
    The United States spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation and yet we have shorter life span and so many people with no insurance. I have relatives in Canada and while there is sometimes a wait for a non-urgent procedure they are very thankful for their system. Canadian employers have an advantage over American employers since they are not expected to provide medical coverage for their employees. - 4/18/2009   8:13:31 PM
  • 61
    My husband and I both work jobs with reasonably-priced group insurance, thankfully. A few years ago, though, I was working long-term contract jobs and had no insurance through my employer. I lived in Massachusetts at the time and was able to buy into a group plan as an individual thanks to their health care legislation. The year before that, I lived in Virginia and was unable to get any affordable insurance because my BMI was in the "overweight" range (don't even get me started on BMI!).

    However, my dad is currently uninsured because he is a contract employee, and that scares me since he is almost 60 and a diabetic. His medications cost a fortune every month.

    My mom is on Medicare even though she is only 52 because she is disabled. However, there is a gap in Medicare coverage, which means after a certain amount, the next few thousand dollars of treatment have to be paid out of pocket before the Medicare coverage kicks in again. My mom has multiple medical problems and takes multiple medications, so she reaches the gap pretty quickly. While I am so, SO grateful that she has some sort of coverage, I know it is a huge struggle for my parents to pay for my dad's medications and for my mom's care once she hits the gap in Medicare coverage. Sometimes they can't and family and others help out.

    It really bothers me that it is such a struggle for so many people in the U.S. to just get basic medical care. The ER's are overutilized because the uninsured and the underinsured know that they will get some sort of care if they go there. People wait until they're very sick before going to the doctor because they know it will cost a fortune. Does this strike anyone else as a bad way of doing things? - 4/15/2009   12:27:51 PM
  • 60
    I am the only employee for a psychiatrist and two psychologists. I am the only employee. In addition, I do transcription from home part-time in the evenings. There is no group health insurance and the cost of private health insurance at my age (58) with a previous history of depression and currently taking antidepressant medication would cost 3/4 of my take home pay. I have had no insurance for 8 years now, which means I have had substandard medical care for 8 years. Just how many regular office visits and screenings do you think you can afford to have when you have to pay out of pocket? Fortunately, I have been lucky and have only had a couple of bouts of bronchitis, for which I was able to get treatment at a CVS Minute Clinic. I buy my antidepressant medication from Canada, where it is much more affordable. Like others here, I'm just hanging on until I'm old enough to qualify for Medicare. - 3/17/2009   12:17:57 PM
  • 59
    I am almost 62 and lost my job last September. I could not afford Cobra, at the time, and even though I've checked on all types of health coverage, I could not afford any of them on unemployment. I'm hoping to be able to get my Cobra coverage through President Obama's "Cobra Second Chance Enrollment" where the employer pays 65%, I would pay 35% and the government gives incentives to the employer. I'm hoping to hear something positive about this, maybe today. - 3/16/2009   8:18:23 AM
  • 58
    During my married years I had health insurance through the military Tri-Care program which was great at that time. That coverage was terminated upon my divorce and what a shock to have to pay for private insurance. Due to a chronic condition that could result in hospitalization at any time, health insurance is a must. In order to keep the monthly premiums within my budget I have a very high deductible. I'm looking forward to turning 65 and getting in on the Medicare Program which will ease the financial crunch a little. I think a national healthcare program set up similar to the Champus/Tri-care program and included prescriptions, dental, vision and hearing aids might be a good idea if there was a way to implement it without a huge increase in taxes. - 3/14/2009   1:07:12 PM
  • 57
    I have done home health care for the past 17 years, and yet our work gives us no medical coverage. Even if it were available, I doubt that I could afford it. I have to pay cost for all medical out of pocket, and that's scares me. - 2/27/2009   8:05:21 PM
  • 56
    Being from Canada, whenever I read about stuff like this it makes me so thankful that we have free universal health care. It may not be the best system, but I can have peace of mind just knowing a doctor's visit won't cost me a fortune. - 12/11/2008   11:47:02 AM
  • STRAWBERRY*MOON
    55
    I've worked for myself since 1987 and have always paid for my own medical insurance. Sure, it is pricey and I had to give up some luxuries, but it gives me peace of mind. Without it I would have been a walking time bomb--even if I stayed healthy, a serious accident that was no one's "fault" could have ruined me financially and caused me to lose my condo. I have acquaintances who go without insurance who can "afford" it; the premiums just take too large a chunck away from their discrestionary income.

    Of course, I am especially empathetic to those who truly can't afford health insurance. - 11/10/2008   1:27:14 PM
  • CSR2388
    54
    I have insurance through my company, but the cost for dependents is really high. I felt that I had to add him, though, because it is even more costly for him to get insurance through his employer. - 10/29/2008   9:04:41 AM
  • 53
    My husband and I do not have health insurance. Neither of our employer's offer insurance to us. Luckily my kids are able to be covered through our state children's insurance program. As a family, we make too much to qualify for the state adult insurance program but because our state does not want any child to be uninsured, we pay a reduced premium for the kids only. Unfortunately, as adults we make too much to be considered in the state adult basic program but not enough to purchase our own from an insurance co. The premiums are way too high. It's annoying because I do have some health problems and I've had to put my medical bills onto credit cards just so I can have procedures done. I really need to go to the dr. again but I want to pay off the medical bills that I have currently before incurring new ones. - 10/17/2008   3:20:28 PM
  • HALVEY37
    52
    Insurance companies are in it for the money. Car, house, any of it. You pay but you rarely get back and if they do pay your rates go up. Even health, you get sick you're more of a liability. I could go on and on too. No easy answer that's for sure. I vote for more alternative medicine like acupuncture/massage/exercise classes/nutrition classes. Education is key. And stop charging extra for the dang epidural! A man must have made that one up. - 10/14/2008   10:20:39 PM
  • DJCBECK
    51
    Hey ya'll click on the link below and get involved tell your stories etc. etc.
    you may have seen TV commercial for American Medical Association
    Register to join the AMA in making a difference.
    http://www.voicefortheuninsured.org

    We need to let our voices be heard join and make it happen every person counts!
    Peace, Darlene - 10/10/2008   9:34:12 AM
  • 50
    I have never wanted to see government run healthcare in this country, but I also know what it's like to be uninsured with chronic health problems. For 14 years I owned a small business, and we provided health insurance for our employees by going through a trade association plan. The insurance was our biggest expense, and it was eventually what caused us to sell the business and get out from under it. The costs went up every year, and the coverage went down. It wasn't fair to make the employees pay for their insurance, but we couldn't afford to keep it up, either. It was extremely frustrating for us as business owners! When we sold our business, the new owner said he would provide insurance for all our employees. But guess what he did. He laid off all our employees and then nobody had insurance (or a job!).
    Fortunately for me, I was in the army way back in my younger years, and now I can use my VA health benefits. They aren't the best in the world, but I have coverage for my chronic problems, and I can get medicine at a reasonable cost.
    I don't know what the answer is to the healthcare crisis. Insurance for people who really need it is unaffordable, and government run health care is sometimes not the best quality. The entire system is in serious need of an overhaul. - 10/1/2008   9:54:22 AM
  • 49
    I interviewed for a job last week and was told that if hired I could buy insurance through my employer, but that it would probably cost more than I'd be making. Thankfully I can stay on my parents' for another year because I'm a student but after that? I don't know. - 9/21/2008   10:32:22 PM
  • 48
    I would like to see more options in employer health-care. We didn't have kids, so I didn't need pregnancy coverage. Neither of us participated in dangerous activities, so we could have handled a high deductible policy. We didn't need regular medications until we were in our 50's, but paid for them for 30 years prior.
    I don't trust the single-payer solution. Look at the woes in Canada for a preview.
    - 9/3/2008   7:38:27 PM
  • 47
    I don't trust our government to effectively manage socialized medicine, but I think a lot of Americans misunderstand the Canadian healthcare system. My best friend from college is a Canadian, and none of her family have ever traveled to the US to get "better healthcare."

    Canadians have a different way of doing it, like England and Spain -- in lots of countries, pharmacists can prescribe medicine, so you don't need to go to a primary care physician if you have a bladder infection or something. You get the meds directly from the pharmacists/chemists.

    American insurance companies are crazy -- my own insurance will not cover a mammogram, BUT they'll pay for it if you need chemo. They'll pay for VIAGRA but not birth control (thank you, religious right, for that one.) - 9/3/2008   9:53:24 AM
  • 46
    Unfortunately, the government can't fix all our problems.
    Don't forget that if health care coverage goes up taxes will too.
    We get hit one way or another.
    One thing I will say, we don't want socialized medicine like Canada has. It doesn't work... that's why many Canadians come here to get better health care.
    - 9/2/2008   11:51:13 AM
  • 45
    Wow. I know I complain a lot about the way the government runs my country (the UK), but reading this article and all these comments has really made me realise I take the National Health Service for granted. Yes, it could be much improved, but I just cannot get over the injustice that the American system creates. Never before have I really appreciated the fact that I will never have to worry about not affording the most basic of health care. - 9/2/2008   7:12:04 AM
  • BBTHOM1
    44
    NOT EVERYONE AS A JOB or can afford insurance-my brother is without a job-If he was able to work he would get a job. Also, when someone gets in the 57 + age bracket most employers won't hire someone. We know because my hubbie plant closed (he had work there for 34 years/colbra insurance available high price tho) took him 3 years to get a FULL time job and it was 2 1/2 hrs away from our home. My brother needs an operations that will cost $60,000..00 +. He tried to get help-no luck -said it was for women & children. He is not old enough for medicare. So he suffers with pain weekly waiting till he turns 65 in 3 years. Social Security disability-no luck either. I've seen older people trying to get a new medicine filled and when they find out the cost-leave without medicines. They are having to do without. I'm on medicare-I just got a bill-medicare paid about 10% of the hospital/doctor bill of 1 day/outpatient which total over $19,000.00 and they say I owe over $1,600.00 even with another policy besides medicare insurance. Our health care coverage could be better for our folks over 55 and the ones living on social security. Whats the saying...The rich gets richer and the poor .....gets poorer. But we live in the USA. We are a proud group of people. - 9/2/2008   12:42:23 AM
  • 43
    I have a number of preexisting conditions, and since turning 23 was without insurance. I am now 24 and have been without treatment for many of my health problems such as ADHD, Fibromyalgia, and Hepatitis C. Because of my preexisting health conditions, insurance carriers would not offer me even minimal coverage for any reasonable price.

    Finally, I moved back in with my parents and got coverage through a county agency, but they will not cover any treatment for my Hepatitis C. I also have to go through a lot of red tape just to see a doctor or get a prescription. And, now because of California's inability to sign a budget, my medical benifits may be significantly cut. So, I may be back to where I was before, without insurance. .......

    Sry about the rant, but for the time being there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it. Hopefully soon, a well thought-out and reasonable solution can be found and implemented to help those of us who can't afford good coverage. - 9/1/2008   2:33:30 PM
  • 42
    Wow, just the THOUGHT of government controlled healthcare sends shivers down my spine. Look at public schools. What a disaster. Look at medicade and medicare--so much fraud and abuse that the government can't keep up with it. Once one scheme is discovered three more take its place. And for goodness sake look at social security! That system is doomed to failure but the politicians are more worried about getting re-elected than about doing anything to actually fix the problem. And we should hand the our medical care system to that lot? I think NOT. Government run healthcare is not the answer. One of the reasons healthcare is so expensive is because of the whole insurance system. Reimbursements go down in an effort to save the government and the insurance companies money so what happens to the price of treatment and co-pays, they go UP. WE foot the bill. Then the doctors offices have to hire an entire workforce to work with the insurance agencies and the federal government. You don't think those costs get tacked right onto your bill. You bet your behind they do. The existing bureaucracy is part of the problem. Adding MORE bureaucracy won't help. - 9/1/2008   11:48:01 AM
  • 41
    I happen to agree with COSMOGNOME, GILLS62CA, AUSSIECAT. My nephew lives in Canada and my daughter in England and both are getting and have received in the past excellent health care in their respective current resident countries and that includes major surgeries without problems. Who was it that said that America was a nation of whiners? Maybe he was right. The majority seem to be getting great health care in Australia, England, and Canada. Maybe some people would complain no matter the quality of treatment they receive or where they receive it, but clearly it is a problem here.

    My nephew and daughter are appalled at the lack of care we receive here that we have to pay for. We are retired now but were small business owners working way more than standard hours who could not afford insurance. This system is not working for those who make too much to get government help, and really don't want government help, but not enough to pay for health insurance or health care when needed. Trouble is that this is a growing sector of our population.
    - 9/1/2008   2:05:59 AM
  • 40
    right now we are one of the "middle class" self employed, to rich for medcaid to poor to pay for insurance!! I just had to go to the doc to get stiches (only 2 mind you) and they charged me 650.00 for a 2 minute proceedure!! It is simply outragous. The insurance we could "almost" afford wouldn't kick in any help till we paid the 5000 copay. We are 2 healthy people and for now we have NO choice but to go without... Its really the insurance companies and all the sueing that has our health industry so screwed up so hmmm what CAN we do. - 8/31/2008   8:11:17 PM
  • 1LBDOWN
    39
    Hi Melinky,
    Having just been through socialist healthcare in Europe (which thank God saved my life, but was nowhere near American standards), I agree with you. I think there is an issue with cost of care moreso than paying for it individually.

    Yes, the price tag is outrageous and the likelihood that someone with a serious illness could afford to pay is low/nil. On the other hand, having experienced what it's like when your government pays for your healthcare, I can safely say that I never want to see that day in my own country. - 8/31/2008   3:17:16 PM
  • MELINKY
    38
    I find it so fascinating that people find it the governments responsibility to take care of us. I'm probably a lone thinker in this arena, but why is it that we cannot be responsible for ourselves?
    Gone are the days we can pay the doctor with a chicken and so yes it's very expensive to have medical/dental insurance. It's more expensive not to. It's a tangled web we've gotten ourselves into. - 8/31/2008   12:10:57 PM
  • 37
    Our great country should be ashamed when it comes to healthcare. I have a son and wife who both are self-employed and work very hard to make a living, BUT can't afford healthcare coverage. It is a real worry to me because one illness will wipe them out financially. - 8/31/2008   11:53:24 AM
  • 36
    MY SON IS 23 AND HAS BEEN AN JUVENILLE DIABETIC SINCE THE AGE OF NINE. HE QUIT ONE JOB AND WENT TO ANOTHER, BUT SINCE THEY DIDN'T ACTUALLY HIRE HIM , HE COULDN'T GET THEIR INSURANCE. HE WAS CONSIDERED A TEMP. EMPLOYEE. THAT STARTED THE NIGHTMARE. THE NEXT JOB, HE COULDN'T GET INSURANCE RIGHT AWAY . ONCE HE COULD, IT WILL COVER ANYTHING NOT RELATED TO HIS DIABETES. THAT MEANS HE STILL CAN'T SEE A DOCTOR FOR HIS DIABETES. HE HAS TO BUY GENERIC INSULIN (WHICH IS NOT A PROBLEM) FORM WALMART, COZ THEY SELL IT WITHOUT A PERSCRIPTION. I KNOW TO MOST THAT SOUNDS BAD. BUT IF YOU ARE A DIABETIC WHO CANNOT GET MEDICAL TREATMENT THAT YOU NEED IT IS A LIFE SAVER. IT WOULD ONLY TAKE ONE DAY FOR HIM TO GO INTO A COMA FROM NOT HAVING INSULIN. HE NOW HAS INSURANCE ,BUT THE INSURANCE STILL DOES NOT COVER HIS DIABETES. IT IS A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION AND HE HAS TO WAIT A YEAR FOR IT TO COVER. ALL BECAUSE OF A LAPSE IN COVERAGE. OUR INSURANCE SYSTEM NEEDS AN OVERHAUL. PRE- EXISTING CONDITIONS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO EVEN BE A PART OF THE VOCABULARY. - 8/31/2008   11:52:49 AM
  • DIANAGW
    35
    There is a problem with health care in the US when working people can't get the coverage they need and those on welfare are getting all the help they want. I don't think socialized healthcare will work either. Everyone blames the president for these problems when it is really our congressmen and senators who need to take responsibility for helping their constitutents. Let's put the blame where it belongs and start there instead of the top where it doesn't belong. - 8/31/2008   11:34:58 AM
  • 34
    i work in the health field as an RN. i dont have much to do with who has insurance and who doesnt with my patients, but now and then the patients do talk about it. one such patient was a contributing member of society with a full time job. he found out he had liver cancer, yet his health insurance company denied his treatment costs. he had to quit his job and go on state insurance in order to get the treatment to save his life. how is that right??
    as for me....working in the health care field isnt as helpful as one would think. i pay a hefty portion of my coverage, and still find it hard to make the co-pays. i hear day after day of retirees having their health care coverage cut or discontinued all together. something must be done. - 8/31/2008   11:18:28 AM
  • 33
    I lived in Ontario for seven years during the 90's and THOROUGHLY enjoyed the benefits of OHIP. Unless things have radically changed since then, I have to say that system worked all the way from catastrophic care for my daughter to annual visits. Previously to this, I was a young married college student who couldn't afford ANY insurance. We had to gamble, literally betting that we'd have fewer doctor bills than insurance premiums. Someone's getting rich and my suspicion it's the STOCKHOLDERS of the private companies. You can complain about government inefficiency but any efficiency found in the for-profit sector is immediately siphoned off to shareholders. Just my opinion, of course. - 8/31/2008   10:46:28 AM
  • 32
    The Health Care crisis is what is really driving my vote in this year's election. The thing is we can not keep going in the same direction that we are.. If we continue the institutions put in place to help us today are not going to be here in the future.. Things like health insurance should be a top priority in our government's decisions because ultimately if there are less people with it, you have less people wanting to support you.. It is our nations epidemic and I do not think that the government is taking it as seriously as it needs to be.. it's not about a get rich quick thing anymore, this is dealing with people's lives. I wonder if there is a way that we could file a lawsuit against the government for not catering to our needs.. Lol.. But seriously this is a grave tragedy, and it is increasingly getting worse.. - 8/31/2008   9:32:40 AM
  • 31
    We all need health care like our Federal employees get other than the Soldiers.
    What our senators and Reps get. Our soldiers get an HMO with many strings. I know my son is a soldier and some say it can be difficult to get help on complex matters. My dad was a vet and only had to get to a VA hospital - all was paid for and all sorts of treatments. My son was in a car accident. He has a card. Since he is still on our insurance- we took him for treatment on our insurance. It was easier and less waiting. Every one should use their vote to vote for the best person and their health care policy. I know who that would be for me. Health care is an economic issue. I worry about what my kids will be able to afford. No one is better than anyone else and health care should be a right not a privledge to only those who can afford it. - 8/31/2008   8:56:23 AM
  • 30
    I think until we stop making health care a porfitable bussiness we will never win the wars. How do we let our health become a for profit bussiness. It's a shame.

    Kitt - 8/31/2008   8:26:57 AM
  • 29
    I do have insurance - but only because I pay for it myself - that is why I work - my health insurance costs me just over $12000 per year - yikes! But, I have MS and am glad that I am able to keep the insurance I have - the problem is, that I can't shop around for different rates because of the MS. If this plan ever discontinues a prescription coverage though, I will have to seriously reevaluate things - my meds would cost nearly $20000 a year without the insurance. Our country has really screwed up the whole health care industry and insurance industry. We have to do something different - let's see what happens after the election. - 8/31/2008   1:25:42 AM
  • 28
    I have always had medical insurance because it is necessary.
    - 8/31/2008   12:48:06 AM
  • 27
    I can only say I agree whole heartedly with so many of you. It always saddens me to learn that people go without health insurance because they fall through the given guidelines or cracks issed by insurance companies. I had been refused insurance because of an existing health problem and it wasn't until I was married, that I was able to have this luxury. I do know that after I married I had to work quite hard to pay off over $15,000 in presciption charges that I had accrued at a pharmacy. People never know when they could be injured or become ill and all it takes is once. Hopefully soon we will all be protected by a system that treats all with dignity and respect by providing the proper health care needed. - 8/30/2008   9:51:47 PM
  • 26
    Unfortunately, Health Coverage isn't the issue! Its Provider regualtion. Amazing how they can call it "health coverage" with little or no support to help keep you that way! Not to mention they start penalizing you & companys when the employees or members start to actually use it! - 8/30/2008   6:04:17 PM
  • 25
    We have health insurance but what it covers is getting worse and worse--and more of a nightmare--and lets not even talk about prescription med coverage--but my son, age 28 , has none and what is worse, he has no dental coverage and he needs over $6000 worth of work done in his mouth--he is really suffering--he made less than 25000 last year and with housing market in slump, he is getting less hours (he is a roofer) and now has to find new place to live as his roommate is getting married. I am not sure which is worse--doctors, prescriptions or dentists--but the news is all bad about all 3. - 8/30/2008   2:17:41 PM
  • 24
    We need single payer health care. That means Medicare for ALL. End for-profit health care in America. Health care is a right of every citizen, not a privilege for those who have money. Unfortunately, neither presidential candidate is advocating single payer health care. - 8/30/2008   12:13:14 PM
  • 23
    As of this year I no longer have medical coverage due to my husband's job no longer carrying the spouse nor the children. My husband found insurance for the children but, to cover me it is so expensive that I'm not insured right now. I'm trying to find some affordable insurance for myself.I even went so far as to see about health insurance with the state. Once applied they told me that medical insurance for me no longer exists. So once again,no insurance for myself. My husband hours were cut to 32 hours or less a week, so how could we afford the insurance. Barely covering the bills that's coming so fast that you don't know which ones to pay.So right now we're working with a hope and a prayer..... (smiling to keep from crying)........................... - 8/30/2008   12:03:53 PM
  • XOIYACREATIONS7
    22
    i dont have insurance because of a few reasons. i dont work and i am not married yet. and the state wont let me have insurance because i'm not under 18, i'm not pregnant, and i'm not a senior citizen. my 18 month old has insurance through the state but i dont. i think everyone should have insurance no matter what age or medical condition is. we all need to be healthy. i dont remember what state but there's one where it is manditory to have health insurance, and if you cant afford it the state has to provide or your employer has to provide it for you. i think all the states should do this. - 8/30/2008   10:46:45 AM
  • 21
    I am on disability right now for a couple things, but once i get married to my fiancee i lose that insurance due to how much he makes. The problem is, he really doesn't bring home much, he pays child support to his ex wife and the insurance his company offers would take the rest of his checks and then some that he would have to pay out of pocket somehow. He just recently signed up for Badgercare here in wisconsin because he is court ordered to have health insurance for the children. but he has not heard one word about it for over a month. as it stands right now we have had to pay out of pocket for his youngest to get shots so she could attend school and he has had to make a few visits to the ER and now has to see an orthopedic doc. with no insurance nobody is willing to see him right now so he is stuck with the pain until he has insurance. it's horrible the way health insurance is in this country and how slow the government insurance is at processing applications, especially when the insurance is needed yesterday. whoever gets into office this year, i hope that they can do something to improve this problem for everyone, not just low income either. there are lots of people that make good money, but as stated by some, the premiums and co-pays are out of this world. - 8/30/2008   1:09:35 AM
  • IMAGIN8
    20
    I've lived in Germany for 4 years, and have had a taste of private health care (Germany has both private and public). I got quite a shock at how bad private insurance is - fighting with insurance companies to get money back, inflated medical bills because doctors know they can get away with billing more and order expensive unnecessary tests (they don't have to fight with the insurance company, you do!), huge premiums that get more expensive every time you get ill and as you get older -- awful. Simply awful. I'm canadian and I don't think I appreciated how crucial it is that private insurance companies be banished from the business of health care until this experience. Fortunately I'm back on the public system in Germany, and will NEVER complain, or listen to canadian whiner complain, about public insurance again. The alternative is shocking, and I feel badly for americans for their system. Health care is a fundamental human right for everyone, regardless of how old you are, how sick you are, how much or little money you have. - 8/30/2008   12:47:36 AM
  • 19
    I am currently 100% disabled, and have Medicare as my primary insurance, and Medicaid as my secondary. I am one of the "lucky" ones where health care is concerned. I do not understand why, in the "richest country in the world" we don't have a minimum standard of health care, similar to the standard that I "enjoy." At least if a treatment is medically necessary, I can probably get it done, eventually! - 8/29/2008   11:18:21 PM
  • 18
    After having excellent health insurance during the years my husband was working a large company....when I had to quit working and so did he, so he could be my "caretaker", we went without any health coverage until I reached 65...it is expensive and a little scary...I became my own doctor for about 3 years...we didn't qualify for the Oregon Health Plan. - 8/29/2008   10:56:35 PM
  • 17
    Probably the reason for the drop is because more people qualify for state and federal fund health care because they are unemployed. - 8/29/2008   10:49:28 PM
  • 16
    I worked for a large medical system where I had fantastic health care - medical, major medical, prescription, long-term care, optical and dental, initially, in 2000, for no premiums and low co-pays. Then the premiums appeared and began to grow, and the co-pays started creeping up. Then I lost my job, and now I have had no medical insurance for two years. I do not qualify for medicaid because I have more than $2,000 in retirement savings! I only take two prescription medications, but they are close to $90 every month. My small financial cushion is rapidly disappearing, and I may end up homeless. Something has to CHANGE! - 8/29/2008   10:39:03 PM
  • 15
    Health insurance for children is important and great that it is out there but what good does it do for a child to have health insurance with a parent that doesn't and becomes ill and is not able to care for them. Something has to change! - 8/29/2008   7:29:15 PM
  • 14
    I'm still working, because my husband (co-owner of a small company) & I wouldn't have insurance without it. We are insured thru my job with the school system, but it takes a good chunk out of my pay. I have a friend who can barely make ends meet because her medication cost is so high. Another friend had to go back to work after retiring, just to make ends meet. Golden Age?? HAH! - 8/29/2008   5:33:43 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by November 5! Get a FREE Personalized Plan