Even though this article was published well over two months ago, it sparked a fire in me.
Here’s the link to the original post:
Reading this article, I was appalled. Granted, a lot of things about our current President are appalling. But, I digress.
How much do you pay every month, or every pay period, for your health insurance? (This is a rhetorical question, of course.)
I think we all WISH it was as little as $12 or $15.
Sadly, it’s not.
Al and I both are incredibly fortunate to have decent/good employer-sponsored health insurance. This means that health insurance is one of the benefits at the companies where we work. But, even though our employers offer it to us, it’s far from a simple process.
At my work, we can choose from several different options. Depending on what we pick, that factors into how much money we pay. For me, I’ve elected to pay for my plan out of every paycheck, and it’s automatically deducted.
Toward the end of the year, the two of us will sit down and re-evaluate the plans that both our companies offer, side-by-side. We will figure out if we will continue to pay for our own individual plans, like we have been, or if one of us will go on the other’s insurance plan since we’re now married. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these strategies. So far, it’s worked out that we’ve paid for two individual plans. We will also have other decisions to make when we plan to grow our family. The short answer: Spouses and children are a tad bit expensive (to put it lightly).
I won’t say how much we pay, but it’s much more than $12 or $15 a month. That’s a pipe dream.
I thought this was an interesting link:
I don’t swear by these numbers, but it certainly gives me a good indication at how much prices have skyrocketed!
And, it’s a bit mind-boggling to think/know that every singe state in our country shows different prices.
Recently, I’ve seen multiple arguments / pleas / thoughts about the U.S. needing to convert to “universal health care” or go to a “single-payer system.”
So, what does this mean?
Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and several countries in Europe, offer their citizens “universal health care,” which basically means that health care is provided to everyone, no questions asked. Also, prices are typically lower / more affordable.
That conglomeration of ideas is certainly enticing to many. However, there are trade-offs.
For the most part, many citizens of these countries pay higher taxes.
Non-emergency approved surgery have significantly longer wait times. Sometimes, patients are waiting for at least six months for some surgeries, if not longer.
“Single-payer health care” is sometimes referred to as “Medicare for all.”
The way I interpret it, is that all citizens of a country pay into one pool. That pool of money is used exclusively for all health care costs. In this instance, health care is considered a right, not a privilege.
As some of the sources I’ve consulted point out, the U.S. already has an established single payer system, meaning Medicare and Medicaid. However, only certain people in the U.S. qualify for these programs, such as people over the age of 65, young children, the blind, and people with certain disabilities. Even so, there are strict rules in place. For example, not all states have expanded Medicaid – Virginia is one of those states. If you make too much money, you don’t qualify. And on and on. It’s immensely confusing, and frustrating.
Here’s a list of resources / articles that I found helpful:
- What is universal coverage? — World Health Organization (WHO)
- What is Single Payer? — Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
- 15 Pros and Cons of Single Payer Health Care — Vittana
- Single payer healthcare: Pluses, minuses, and what is means for you — Harvard Health Publications
- A Very Brief Primer on Single-Payer Health Care — Mother Jones
In short, health care in the U.S. has become increasingly complicated, convoluted, and expensive. I realize that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fixed some things, but it also created other problems. A lot of the big health insurance companies, along with the pharmaceutical companies, are purely driven by greed. They only care about the bottom line, not about the patients that are trying to get health care and medicine that they need.
I certainly don’t have the right answer.
In my research, I’m all for making health care more affordable. Every American should have equal access to health care at all times. But, making that happen is a tough challenge. In my view, if our country can revamp Medicare and Medicaid and make those existing programs into universal health care for America, that would be a step in the right direction.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂