Sunday, July 26, 2009

What Are You Afraid Of?

My family has pretty good health insurance. My husband works for a company that pays for 80% of the premium on a plan with a $1,000 deductible. They also fund a health spending account that covers the deductible after it reaches $250 per person. It is transparent to us and we're guaranteed not to spend more than $250 a year. It's a sweet deal.

I have a friend that works for a company that pays 100% of his family's insurance. A month ago, they got a memo that the company was switching to the 1-800-SAFEAUTO of health insurance on Friday. This letter came on a Wednesday.

Quick checking left the family uncomfortable with the new plan. They opted for the company's in-lieu pay and set out to find their own insurance. This is where you really get to see how screwed up the system is.

First, some members of the family take medication for a chronic condition. Highmark won't insure them. Health Assurance is a pretty good plan, but your in-lieu pay is not enough to cover it. A low deductible plan is coming out of your pocket.

And so we have this great nation-wide debate about universal health care. Coming off of an administration that couldn't write enough checks to finance a war that had nothing to do with terrorism, I think this is a no-brainer. The country needs health care cost containment and universal coverage. Make it happen.

It's frustrating to think that the "Joe the Plumber" philosophy is so pervasive in this country that it could prevent a plan from passing. Are you really afraid of paying high taxes when you finally land that $250K dream job? Really? It could be the pessimist in me, but I think by the time my household pulls in six figures everyone else will be earning in the millions. We'll still be in the tax bracket with poor folks.

Does it scare you to think that the government is going to pay for abortions? Suddenly, everyone will go have one. Gosh, it's just so easy to go have an abortion. Condom companies will go out of business. It always comes back to this tired argument. Try raising a daughter that has enough self-respect to do the right thing in the first place. Put your outrage into a productive place and be a community that loves enough to nurture someone through a tough decision with an unwanted child.

Or if you want, make abortion and fertility treatments illegal. Both are playing God.

Other arguments about waiting for a specialist and quality of care can be super scary too. I'll have to schedule my annual gynecologist appointment six, maybe seven months in advance. Oh wait - I already do.

So give me my health care already. Take a burden off of a small business owner and give people security in a system that works. The only real thing to fear is being kicked off of your company plan before a bill passes.