Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Reflection on Health Care Cost

I hope you all sense the peace I feel with Sabine's stemcell transplant. It has been two years now since we descended upon the world of healthcare -- which prior to that time was our annual physicals!

In this "quiet time," one reflects sometimes on other things. Sabine, for example, was thinking about our health insurance. She did some checking around and noticed that there is a $2 million "cap" on our policy with Group Health Cooperative in Madison. Hmmm, $2 million sounds like a lot of money -- except when you are talking about medical care. The next thing she did was to check out how much we had spent these past two years and it turned out to be about $360,000! Well, that sounds like it should last -- or will it with costs ever increasing. Some more chemotherapy, another stemcell transplant and some hospitalizations and we could be nearing the "cap."

But what I think about is this: what do folks do who weren't lucky enough to work for the government for twenty years like Sabine did? How would we have paid for the cost of her treatment so far without insurance? I suppose we could have divested, sold our home and property, and rented an apartment.

We would still have our retirement income and a roof over our heads. And it would be okay. But how many other folks today don't have insurance or an income? What do they do? Live out of their automobile? At least until it gives out?

So as Congress debates health care along with funding a war I am just a little confused. I am proud of my country and I want it to continue not only to be a country I am proud of but a country in which we all have pride. A great nation takes care of those who live within its borders. Quality healthcare should not be available only to those who can pay for it. A program for universal healthcare in America is simply the moral and ethical thing to do!

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