Thursday, August 6, 2009

Health Care Stories: Dallas, TX

Scott shares his concerns over Congress's rush to pass health care reform and what we have to do to reform our own health care.

I agree that health care in the United States is in desperate need of reform. I am bothered by the speed of which it is trying to be shoved down our throats. HR 3200 is over 1,100 pages long. I’ve only had the time to read the parts that keep popping up in emails.

To be clear, we are paying for healthcare for the destitute, homeless and downright lazy and thoughtless Americans anyway. We are paying for all of the unpaid medical bills in the form of higher medical bills. Something HAS to change.

On the other hand, as expensive as health care is, it is not entirely unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans in this county.

I was a bartender/college student in the early 90s, and I carried Blue Cross/Blue Shield Complete Care for 99 dollars a month.

I could spend that in hours at another bar, and it was 75 percent of what I made on a good night. And yes, I paid taxes on all of that.

About five years ago, for various reasons, I had to spend 8 months as an independent contractor working for the company that I do now. As such, I had to provide my own health insurance, out of pocket, for both myself and my daughter. I paid around $130 a month for Fortis. It wasn’t great, but I received a significant discount on doctor’s visits and prescriptions. It did not cover pre-existing conditions.

A significant bonus was that it had a 10 million-dollar lifetime ceiling. Most providers have a 2 million-dollar ceiling. Lose a limb or get cancer and see how important that is.

Another point of fact is that the average American spends between $300 to $600 a month in entertainment expenses. This does not include tobacco, alcohol, pets, or illegal drugs. The statistics vary greatly, depending on where they were collected.

My point is that in spite of the needed changes, there is affordable heath care for most Americans. What needs to change as well, are our priorities. Cable, Netflix, smokes, booze, Twinkees, etc.

It’s a two-way street.

We also need to change our eating habits and lifestyles. Prevention and education needs to be a large part of that bill. And from what I’ve read, it’s just not there.

We are the fattest and most diabetic nation in the world. In fact, we are one of the few nations that can afford to have bulimia and other eating disorders. We are that wealthy of a nation, that we can classify these as diseases. When was the last time the UN had to dispatch a team to Africa or Central America to cover a bulimia outbreak?

Yes, there needs to be health care reform. But first we need to have a prolonged discussion about the shape and form of this thing and how we are going to pay for it. We don’t need to rush it through to satisfy a political agenda. More importantly, we need to change the way we live and eat. And both need to be part of the same discussion.

We cannot have health care reform, if we, as a nation, don’t commit to stop creating a lot of the problems that require healthcare reform.

If we don’t, the snake will be eating its own tail for generations to come.

Dallas, Texas


Shani said...

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Complete Care was anything but complete, alas (I worked for them in the early 90s).

ScottDFW said...


I understand that you may know some things first hand, however, I had to spend a week in the hospital getting tested for what turned out to be kidney stones. Where it not for Blue Cross/Blue Sheid Complete Care, I would have been paying for that week well into this decade.

My ultimate point though was that inspite of having a limited income and excesive life style, I still maanged to find affordable healthcare, on my own. Bbecause I made it a priority.

Thanks for your input, but the plan took very good care of me.