Health care is the issue of the day and nobody sums up where the lines are drawn better than dday over at Digby's place. Here's the quote from the GOP congressman dday is referring to-
REP. ZACH WAMP: Listen, health care is a privilege. […]
Health care is a privilege?
I subscribe to the best plan the Fortune 500 company I work for provides. My premiums are astronomical but I've always felt this isn't an area where I want to skimp.
Despite my premium plan the deductibles are killing me. I've got an 80/20 setup towards the deductible and then nothing after I hit $1000 for myself or $2500 for my family. I guess this is pretty standard.
When my 12-year old son took that hit to the knee playing football at the end of last year I had to pay about $100 bucks out of pocket for the intial co-pays for the doctor visit then X-ray directly next door. I then had pay $200 for follow-up within the next few weeks including minor physical therapy. Then his doctor insisted on an MRI. My portion of responsibility for that was $500 dollars.
I can't even imagine what this would have cost had he actually torn his ACL and needed surgery.
Since injuries are a constant risk of sports we're seriously reviewing the financial risk having all three of our kids play sports expose us to. Youth sports must also be a privilege.
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and now sleep with a cpap machine glued to my face. Yesterday, I went in for a follow-up and my machine is so old they have to do another sleep study to see what settings it needs. As I made the appointment I asked office scheduler what the study would cost under my insurance. The study itself is an outrageous $2000 so my out-of-pocket will be $400 dollars. By way of comparison I spent $15 dollars on my first sleep study.
I'm not sure I can afford this new study. $400 bucks is a lot of cash and I have other bills. Apparently sleep, a healthier heart and better productivity during the day is also a privlege for those with excess cash.
I'm well aware that my financial and health care challenges are miniscule next to what other Americans face. To many of Americans- being cancer free or getting the meds to slow the progress of MS or Aids and the rising costs of same are their own lucky privlege. These Americans would probably gladly change place with me and my medical bills given the choice.
The for-profit private health care system in this broken. As the president said today it's choking the economy to death. It's beyond obtuse to argue otherwise. It's ridiculous to accuse those of us who already pay too much of our ever shrinking income of being spoiled children. It's willful ignorance.