With idiotic tweets from the president, net neutrality, mass shootings, a pedophile senator in Alabama, a newly minted tax burden for the lower-middle class on the horizon and every male who has ever been in the public eye admitting to some form of sexual harassment, it is easy to forget that health care is still on life support in this country.
The list of symptoms ailing our nation’s health insurance fiasco is a potent mix of policy failures, political one-upmanship and good old fashioned greed. The cost of treatment for a litany of ailments remains sky high. Companies are paying less and less into their employees’ health plans, meaning workers will have to forfeit more cash per paycheck if they wish to keep their insurance.
Conversely, many small, family-run businesses can’t even afford to offer heath care to their employees. Obtaining crucial pharmaceuticals could very well bankrupt the uninsured. And those who wish to insure a spouse or their family will likely have to give up luxury items like food and electricity in order to meet the ever-rising payment demands of the likes of Oxford, Emblem, Healthfirst and the soon-to-be deceased CareConnect.
How did we get to a point in this country where only the financially well-off are in a position to have satisfactory health insurance? When did the general working public surrender their right to access quality health care? When did we become OK with illnesses bankrupting the economic backbone of America?
Maybe we aren’t OK with it, but guess what, it is happening. Before our eyes health insurance has mutated into fantasy for a broadening swath of the citizenry. Individuals are forced to make the hard decision to opt out of health insurance and instead pay out of pocket at the med station when sickness arises. A fine option, until a more devastating disease creeps into one’s life.
But who has time to think of health insurance, what with the overwhelming onslaught of our American news cycle? It’s enough to make one check into an ER and be forced into debt.