Health care has been on my mind a lot for the past several days and it really hit home when I watched a bit of the debate last night and heard McCain and Obama speak on the issue.
See, I have a confession to make, I am a college educated, middle class person with no health insurance which makes the fact that I might be facing some health issues pretty damn scary in our current climate. Back when the spousal unit and I lived in Chicago and had traditional jobs, almost 7 years ago we had good employer sponsored heath coverage, at that time our cost was minimum and the care was excellent. However things changed when we moved to Maine and started down the road to self employment, we bought our own coverage but the only thing we could reasonably afford was a high deductible policy because Maine is a screwy state when it comes to health insurance. (long story short, because insurers here can’t turn down folks all but 2 companies pretty much pulled out the state so the only real company providing coverage is Anthem and it ain’t cheap)
Now the high deductible policy wasn’t too bad up until last year when our income nosedived and in order to meet our mortgage and other critical expenses we had to let the insurance go. We hadn’t planned to be a year without health insurance but I had no idea that I wouldn’t land another gig soon, instead ending up going the self employment route myself which means our income has peaks and valleys coupled with the fact that expenses like heating our house and food costs have soared.
Reality is there are millions of Americans out there like us and most of the time we don’t share our story, since who wants to admit to not having health insurance especially when you are a respectable member of society. Instead we hide that fact but no more, perhaps more folks like me will speak up which is how I will now get back to the presidential candidates plans on health care.
Truthfully we are a point that if it were up to me we would have some form of universal coverage yet I know right now its not going to happen. Now McCain wants to offer a credit so folks can buy the coverage they want, problem is and I guess when a man has 7-8 homes he has no basis in reality but true family coverage in my state on the current open market would cost me $13,000 a year, yes $13,000 a year!! That means that funky ass $5000 credit I heard mention of wouldn’t do jack aside from the fact that how would I afford the monthly premium until I get my tax credit? See, these folks don’t know what real life is like, if you are just keeping the food on the table and the bills paid an extra $1000 a month ain’t easy to come by.
Now Obama wants to make it that all children must be covered which I agree should happen but unless he raises the income requirements so that more middle families can get their kids covered the by the SCHIP program, it means imsurance is still gonna be hard to come by for my darlings.
Guess my problem is the policymakers and folks with ideas are just too damn removed from reality, I know my Obama started off broke but at times I do feel its clear that its a been a while since my boy had to sit and do the bill shuffle. You know who can I put off now to pay later.
Folks, when did we stop caring about one another? Or did we ever really care about each other? Health care should be a basic fucking right, as someone staring down health problems its a scary thought to think if my problem is not as small as I am hoping I could die because I am too fucking rich to get state coverage and too poor to afford a plan. All that said, I am biting the bullet and hoping to get coverage that starts next month (of course a definitive diagnosis if its a major issue could be bad because then there is that pesky pre-existing clause but we will cross that bridge when we get there), have no idea how to pay for the premiums but I have gotten good with the juggling act so I will just have to juggle a few more balls.
I think its also important to remember that the economic tides are changing so fast in this country that the distance between middle class and comfortable and middle class and scraping is really not that far of a drive these days. In fact it might only be a 5 minute walk to middle class and scrapping…