Politicians are struggling to spin health insurance as one of their platforms. The news media networks, MSN, FOX News all play it up or down, depending on their point of view. While there are many ideas about health care, the fact remains that the struggle for affordable health care in America real, and it is getting worse every year.
One of the biggest myths about health care is that most of those without insurance are illegal immigrants, or are unemployed. This simply isn’t true.
The National Health Care Coalition has found that nearly eighty per cent of the uninsured in America are citizens, and eighty per cent of those come from working class families. During 2006, over 90 percent of the population or nearly five million people, were without any kind of health insurance for at least part of the year. Now that the unemployment figures are higher, that number is also larger.
America is a world leader. Why is nothing being done to guarantee health care to our working families? If you are working just to get by, then you usually make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Staying at home and drawing welfare so that you can have health insurance doesn’t make any sense to most people, and budget problems at the state level is making that harder as well.
Young adults to the age of twenty-four probably don’t give health care a second thought. They are the population group that is most likely to be without a health plan. There are families that earn over $50,000 per year and also don’t have insurance, even when it is offered by their employer, because they just cannot afford the premiums. If a family earning that kind of money cannot afford health insurance, how can a family who earning half of that be expect to pay for a health plan?
The trouble is that being uninsured means that serious illnesses may go undiagnosed or untreated. Even something like the flu can cause complications and even death if left untreated.
Someone without health insurance is more likely to end up hospitalized for an avoidable condition. The cost of that stay will be around $3000. If that person had been seen a doctor, the condition could have been caught and treated before it became a problem. Hospitals treat patients without insurance and it costs nearly $34million dollars every year. That cost is added back to the paying public through higher hospital bills. This increases insurance rates forces more people to go without.
Affordable health insurance in America needs to be talked about not only during election years. We all need to focus on it and fix it now, realistically and fairly. Health insurance should not be a luxury, or an option for a select few. It should be affordable for all.