Wednesday, August 13, 2008

our health insurance is insane

(image courtesty of Allstate Tax and Accounting Inc.)

My current health insurance is the best I have ever had--it gives my wife free pre-natal care (the vitamins, the checkups, the tests, you name it)--but it still attempts not to pay bills from my doctors and dentists occationally, although way less than my previous ones. And guess what, my insurance is run by the state government...if this is socialized medicine, count me in.

But still, I will lose this great insurance in a few months when my job ends. That last sentense makes perfect sense to Americans, but no sense to anyone else in rest of the developed world. Think about it, do you loose your car insurance or your homeowner's insurance or your life insurance if you change jobs or get divorced? But health care, for some reason, you do. What would you do to keep your good health care?
In a country where insurance is out of reach for many, it is not uncommon for couples to marry, or even to divorce, at least partly so one spouse can obtain or maintain health coverage.

There is no way to know how often it happens, but lawyers and patient advocacy groups say they see cases regularly.

In a poll conducted this spring by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research group, 7 percent of adults said someone in their household had married in the past year to gain access to insurance. The foundation cautions that the number should not be taken literally, but rather as an intriguing indicator that some Americans “are making major life decisions on the basis of health care concerns.”
I was lucky that my wife's employer offered "domestic partnership" health insurance when we were engaged and I was still in law school. How many people do you know are stuck in a marriage or job they hate because of health insurance? Do you agree with me that it is crazy?

If you do, call Sen. Hatch (or your senators if you don't live in Utah) and tell him to support Sen. Bennett's (and Sen. Wyden's) Healthy Americans Act that would make health care fully portable from job to job and marriage to marriage. Among other things the next president needs to do, our health insurance system (and with it our health insurance) drastically needs to be reformed. Urge your Senators to support and pass this bipartisan method of radically changing the system and saving us all lots of money, time, and headaches.


Alice said...

I'm envious of your health insurance. Our maternity "coverage" doesn't kick in until over $5000, which ironically is about how much it costs to have a baby, even if you forgo the epidural and only stay one day in the hospital.

I guess it would be useful if we had any major complications.

Justin said...

But, Republican blowhards like Sean Hannity continue to say we have the best health care system in the world.

It's a national disgrace that in 2008, any American who is unlucky enough to have a traumatic accident or a diagnosis of a horrible disease can end up in bankruptcy, losing a lifetime of work and savings.

Republican scarewords are going to become less and less effective as more people realize that their alternatives to "Hillarycare" are really only bankruptcy, untreated illness, or death.

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