It’s not a big, left-wing conspiracy to say that America’s health insurance system is a failure. We place a huge burden on employers when we ask them to fund our health programs, and we sap the innovation out of the system when we add all sorts of bureaucratic rules and regulations. Who can innovate on top of 2000 pages of by-laws and footnotes?
When we link health insurance to our employers, we send the wrong message to America’s citizens about health insurance: You get what you deserve. Work harder and work for a better employer, and you’ll get better coverage. In reality, that’s not true. How many of us have remained employed with a less-than-awesome company because the health insurance benefits are better than anything else we can find in the marketplace? How many of us have made a choice to link ourselves to an old-fashioned corporation instead of starting our own businesses because we can’t afford private coverage?
My health insurance plan is awesome. It’s phenomenal. Additionally, I’m lucky enough to keep my health insurance for an extended period of time at the employer’s rate before I have to pay the COBRA rates (100% of the plan + 2% administration fee). I feel lucky, but at the same time, I worry about the future of my health insurance coverage.
- As a self-employed writer, I could never find private coverage as good as my current coverage.
- If I re-enter the world of Corporate America, it’s unlikely that I will match the type of coverage that I have at this very moment.
We are the only industrialized country that tells our citizens that mammograms and prostate exams are a privilege, not a right. We blame our citizens when they file bankruptcy due to the crushing burden of medical debt. We tell ourselves that the insurance companies and medical providers have a right to earn a profit — and that it’s un-American to think otherwise.
The healthcare system is a mess, and if you think that you’re unaffected, think again. How much did your medical premiums rise in January 20o7? Can’t we do better than this?