I am fairly certain that not a single one of the Republicans who voted to repeal health care has a chronic health condition. Otherwise, they would have had to deal with the health insurance system and that would have provided all the evidence they needed to realize the system needs a major overhaul. The current reform is only baby steps in the direction of getting this industry under control.
I depend on health insurance to help me manage my Crohn’s disease. I am one step away from financial ruin without health insurance. The medicines that I have to take to remain a productive member of society cost almost 30% more than our mortgage if I had to pay cash. And yet even with health insurance, I’m estimating that almost 10% of our household income this year goes towards the costs associated with buying health insurance, paying for medicine, and paying for medical services. And that’s really the cost if I stay relatively healthy and don’t have any disease flares.
And what do I get for those costs? Well, I get some financial peace of mind that only 10% of our income goes to health costs because it could easily be worse. But I also get a health insurance company that dictates which doctors I can see. Insurance is dictating that I can’t see any of the doctors I’ve been seeing for the past seven years of managing a chronic illness. Not a single one. I have to start from scratch. It seems like if I pay a premium price to buy something, I should have some say in what I get in return. Isn’t that the American way?
Worse for me is the fear of the unknown. Sure, I can find a new doctor. But I’m leaving behind a 3-inch binder full of medical history. I’m leaving behind the peace of mind that there’s someone who knows what works & doesn’t work for me. Someone who can provide some comfort after a night where I couldn’t sleep because I was in so much pain.
This has been a devastating blow to me. I’m angry at how powerless I feel in the situation. I’m annoyed with everyone’s helpful ideas of what I should do. Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing I can do, and there’s nothing the health insurance company will do for one person. My options are to choose between my doctors and my job.