Health Insurance And Reform: Separating Fact From Fiction
With health care reform on the top of almost everyone's mind in recent years
, it can be incredibly difficult to discern fact from fiction when it comes to health insurance. While it is clear that reform is necessary, any legislation and related opinions must be based in solid facts, rather than fictional ideas.
We don't really need health care reform. Our health care system offers free care to anyone who can't afford it.
There are currently at least 9 million children without health insurance nationally. Note that this does not include the millions of adults that are lacking health insurance. Without health insurance, few children receive the necessary care that they so desperately need. Regular check-ups are essential to ensure development is on track and screen for any childhood diseases. In addition, inoculations are often required to attend school. Though schools certainly do their best to keep track of students that drop out due to lack of proper shot records, there are still plenty that slip through the cracks.
Even citizens with health insurance are finding it more difficult to afford. Premiums are rising annually, resulting in many employers completely cutting their benefit of offering health insurance. Insured individuals are seeing higher co-pays, increased deductibles, and reduced coverage of treatment and medication. In addition, many plans are scaling down the number of physicians and hospitals they consider in-network, making it more difficult to find care that is covered by insurance.
If health care and health insurance costs continue to skyrocket, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health coverage every day. With health insurance costing a family of four more than $12,000 annually on average, families are having to cut back not only on insurance, but on the quality of care that they receive.
All proposed health care reform bills will add at least a trillion dollars to the national deficit.
Most proposed and passed legislation accounts for the cost of health care reform in a variety of ways, to make it essentially budget neutral over the course of time. Current legislation plans to completely pay for the reform in ten years.
While there will be an initial cost, consider the cost of inaction. Our population is gradually becoming more ill as modern lifestyle takes its toll. The current generation of children is the first in modern history that is expected to have a shorter lifespan, on average, than their parents. People are literally dying because they cannot afford health care. At least half of all bankruptcies are due to outstanding medical debt.
Though it may seem far-fetched, the nation's health care system (or lack there-of) has the potential to not only keep the economy from recovering, but to make it worse- much worse. Companies can no longer afford to offer health care to employees, resulting in more sick employees. Illness and other medical issues obviously affect productivity, making it obvious that while current legislation may not be the best answer, it's better than no answer at all.
by: Casey Trillbar
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