Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get the duct tape!!

My head IS exploding! I can't believe the stuff I'm reading, hearing, seeing in America today. People who believe that letting the government "require individuals to purchase their own health insurance" or pay extra in taxes and be placed with or without their consent on a public care option. What happened to freedom of choice???? (for a party that is all about choice this seems a bit totalitarian to me) Oh and btw that quote is directly from our President's press conference last night.
What about free enterprise and the American dream? Hard work, personal responsibility, and learning from failure. So many of America's greatest success stories come out of a multitude of failures. Milton Hershey, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, R.H. Macy. All failed multipule times before they finally succeeded to sweeten our lives, change our world, bring us light, and give us joy. All were products of a time when people actually belived in personal responsibility, hard work, creative thought, and giving it your all.

What happened to that? When did our country become a country of handouts, bailouts, and rescues? When did we stop taking care of our own problems instead of demanding that the government fix the predicament we got ourselves into?
I am saddened that the America of my youth is gone, that the America of my children's future looks like a place where the governement will own every dime they make and every dime their children make to pay back all of this debt. I'm saddened that instead of building a better tomorrow we are borrowing that prosperity for our own selfish greed today.
I sit here in my little townhouse that we barely fit in as a family, happy that we have our 1 car, happy to have a full pantry, and thrilled that my husband still has his job. Knowing we just barely make ends meet and keep this quaint little life of our rolling along. And then I see this dark cloud on the horizon that is filled with exponentially higher taxes and wonder what will give in my little world first. Which child will have to go without school pictures next year, can those jeans my oldest is wearing be patched to be handed down to my 2nd born? Can I learn to cut my husband's and children's hair myself? How many more miles can we make it on the nearly bald tires?

Sounds selfish, probably is, but I really don't care right now about the state of healthcare. I care a hell of a lot more about the state of our bank account and the past due notices that could start arriving if we have to pay out any more in taxes. I am happy with my health coverage thank you. I won't complain, because we are just fine with what we have. I have no problem with taking care of others and making sure they have a place to see a doctor, but I don't think the current solution will even come close to fixing the problem.

Why is it that a stay at home house wife can see the root of the problem? Over inflated lawsuit rewards. The sue happy public that blames doctors for everything that is wrong with them rather than taking, oh wait here's that phrase again, personal responsibility! Lack of support for preventative care, alternative care (thanks FDA), and choice in care. Out of control, unfair pricing that charges one amount for the insured and a totally different one for the uninsured. Or one price at the hospital for a certain medication and a totally different one at the pharmacy. No lie after I got the bills from my surgery in March I was livid to see that the hospital charged me over $600 of the oxicodone I received while I was there for 3 days. The same medication that I got a 3 week supply of from the pharmacy for $5 (actual out of pocket cost because we were into our deductible at that point). Herein lies the problem folks.

As for those millions supposed uninsured Americans. There are a good many of them who are uninsured by choice. There are many who don't take advantage of what IS available because no one has given them the information that it IS available for them or their children. And some don't care. Wouldn't go to a doctor even if it was completely paid for. And honestly I don't think health insurance is really the answer.

A friend of mine pointed out something really interesting to me and I would pose the same question to you. Would you pay $150 a doctors visit for well child checks if you had to pay for it out of your pocket or would you go to a different doctor (all qualifications being equal) who only charged $75? Would you pay $3 a pill for a name brand drug or would you choose the $0.75 per pill genaric? Would you go to the ER for a mild fever if you had to pay for the visit or would you take some Tylenol, drink a lot of fluids, and get some rest (pretty much all the ER doc will tell you to do)? For me I would make the choice that provided the most value to my family. If I had two options with the only difference being price, I would choose the lower price. If everyone did that the market itself would keep the costs of healthcare down. The reason the market doesn't work is because the consumers themselves are NOT paying for their purchases out of their own pockets. We cut coupons for cereal, buy in bulk, and wait for sales in all other areas of our consumer spending EXCEPT in healthcare. Why? Because insurance companies out to make money off the healthy in order to pay for the sick only charge us a flat rate that doesn't really change that much no matter what our consumption of the product is. This system doesn't allow for free market corrections in price and quality. It is a false sense of security and now we are paying the price.

So here I sit, worried, confused, feeling lied to and betrayed by a governement whose jobs we provided, but that has forgotten that the trade off is that they are supposed to listen to us.

All I can do is hope that some or a lot of people with loud enough voices can do something to stop the downward spiral I see, before it is too late and we have traded away our liberties, privacy, and rights for the false security of government run healthcare, government owned private enterprise, and government mandated insurance for everyone that costs more than it is worth.

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