Posted April 19, 2015
Commentary / Health Care + Insurance
Eliminating Those Who Can’t Pay
By Bob Serody
While working in my last job, the company brought in insurance representatives on a yearly basis to make their pitch on health care coverage at reduced rates (or rates that didn’t increase). I was always ready with one question. My hand went up, and the rep called on me to ask my question.
“Do you have coverage for pre-existing conditions?” The rep had a slight smile on her face, while at the same time feeling the hairs on her neck beginning to rise. “Who let this guy in?” she was probably thinking. Finally her mouth opened and she said, “No.” I smiled and sat down.
Denial of coverage for a pre-existing condition can be as serious as a death sentence for those whose conditions are life threatening without treatment.
When I retired early and still had two years left to go before I was eligible for Medicare after Cobra ran out, I experienced what taking out personal insurance was like. My total bills for my wife and me came to $12,000 per year, not to mention the aggravation of spending hours on the phone trying to straighten out overcharges from my insurance company.
I appreciated as never before what other people less fortunate than I were going through with no insurance coverage at all. Affordable Health Care not only insures 9 out of 10 people today, no one has to be concerned with being rejected for preexisting conditions. Yet the Republicans unanimously reject the plan because it comes from President Obama. Of course, the Republicans never seem to offer an alternative. It is ironic that the same type of plan became law in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney. He wasn’t complaining about Affordable Health Care until he changed his tune when running as a presidential candidate.
My wife and I knew an artist who had cancer. He could not afford health insurance. Like many others in his situation, he went to the emergency room for treatment. When he was finally admitted as an inpatient, it was too late. There is a double standard in health care. Treatment is different for those who can afford it and those who cannot.
The Republicans, in their attempt to eliminate all forms of government aid to our less fortunate citizens, are saying essentially that they will have to suffer needlessly and succumb to an early death. For them, this is a way of reducing health care costs. Let those who can’t afford it simply die.
Even programs such as social security are considered a form of entitlement. If it doesn’t benefit private enterprise, Republicans brand it “socialism”. It seems to me that we are moving back to the middle ages, where the cry of “Off with his head!” was a way of life in the days of royalty. The technique is subtler today. Just let the needy and those in poor health die.
Bob Serody is a member of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance