Sunday, August 16, 2009
This summer, my experiences have given me much time to think about this entire healthcare debate and this whole idea of people with insurance vs. people without insurance. I feel like I straddle this line. I do have health insurance which has paid the bulk of my bills but the insurance I have is costly and has not covered the things needed most, those being simple preventative screenings that might have saved me from surgery and bills totaling in excess of $100,000.
I am so offended by the comments of the right wing "tea-baggers" who talk about "death panels" and call our president a Nazi because they speak from a position of being a "have" vs. a "have not." These are the people with cushy healthcare plans who refuse to sacrifice any portion of what they have in order to let those who have not obtain a little. For all of their yelling about preserving the rights of "real Americans" and capitalists, they are showing themselves to be greedy, selfish and totally self serving.
Healthcare should be a fundamental right for all. If you are arrested, the government guarantees you the right to see a lawyer, why not a guaranteed right to see a doctor?
I consider myself a capitalist. My life has been filled with financial ups and downs. I believe in America as the land of opportunity, but this whole idea of healthcare being tied to employment is just ridiculous. When I went out to start my own business, I applied for health insurance on my own and was met head on by the current system which took every opportunity to smack me down and deny me access. I was finally able to purchase insurance with government assistance. The New Mexico High Risk Insurance pool came to the rescue but the only options I had were expensive plans with high deductibles. I took it knowing it was better than being uninsured.
What I'm asking for out of healthcare reform is something more affordable that does not care about pre-existing conditions. Something that will pay for routine screenings and would not punish me for being diabetic when I haven't been diabetic for 6 years. The kind of healthcare that people refer to as socialized medicine. But I don't mind that term because I know that we've had socialized medicine for years in the form of Medicare. Ask these angry people who yell about socialized medicine if they want to repeal Medicare and they think you're crazy. The lack of information in this debate is astounding.
And though I'm in favor of this socialized form of healthcare, I still consider myself a capitalist. If I weren't a capitalist, would I get up at 5:00 on a Saturday morning to make a few bucks selling my product at the farmer's market? There are a lot of entrepreneurial people out there who aren't starting their own businesses because they are afraid of losing the health insurance tied to their jobs. Get the costs down and make it accessible and it will help the economy overall. That's the message I want to get out there.