Friday, October 09, 2009

Benefitting from Stagnation And Mom's Healthcare Shopping

America cares about the fact that you can get all the healthcare you need as long as you don’t need any.” --Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

Those simple words, out of the myriad that Rep. Alan Grayson stated in his speech calling upon the democrats to stop treating Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s opinion on healthcare like she was the president and had the veto power that goes with it, perked my tired ears up. I had to stop the video and think about that for a second. That point, those words are so true for my parents at this very moment. My step-father is just about to retire early at age 58 and apparently he and my mother are a hot commodity. Over 17 healthcare companies contacted my mother within a two week time frame vying for their “business.” SEVENTEEN companies all pushed and prodded, answered my mother’s slew of informed questions, stated their list of benefits and costs and coverage, all to win over my retiring step-father and his wife in their consumer healthcare needs.

I was kind of appalled to know this and thankful all at the same time. My parents are lucky. They are reasonably healthy and they are still young. Neither of them have major health concerns (other than my mother will need a knee replacement soon and my step-dad has high blood pressure and a history of migraines). What this means for them is that companies will compete to insure them because they are “low risk.” Actually, I see this as the fact that companies are willing to take their money every month because they are banking on them not getting majorly ill. If my parents were to have major preexisting problems this wouldn’t be the case. As it is, I am still scared that one of them could become ill and the company would drop them due to some “technicality” that wasn’t plainly laid out.

My mother simply said to me, “well, I never go to the doctor anyway and your dad doesn’t have any teeth anymore, so we won’t have to worry about much anyway.” I love my mom dearly. I love that she put all these companies on their heels answering her questions. However, it is sad that her mindset as well as thousands of American’s is the fact that they are safe because they do not need healthcare at this very moment. It is almost how we never think that anything bad is going to happen to us. It is how we think that we are invincible. I just want to take my mom up into my arms and hug her and protect her and keep her safe. In reality, that simply doesn’t work. We can never completely prepare for what could or what might happen to us. It is for this very reason that the current healthcare system does not work and a public option is emphatically required.

Like I said before, my wee ears are tired. Tired of hearing this and that about how healthcare reform is good, how it is bad, how a public option should or shouldn’t be offered. I am so weary of it all. This Florida Representative has made many speeches about the healthcare situation and when he speaks, my tiredness turns into wonder and then again anger at the opposition. I wonder how many of their families have been touched by hardship. How many of their families have had to worry if they had enough coverage? How many of their families have had healthcare bills that they couldn’t afford? Finally, I am angry in the realization that the ones hindering progress are the very ones that are benefitting from its stagnation.

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