Friday, November 06, 2009


So I've been sick. Today, I'm marching towards flu symptoms. Oh yay. In the interest of knowledge is power, I went looking on the net for information about early symptoms of H1N1. I know, paranoia at its best. As I was searching, I came across a very informative site which also has a page concerning health insurance coverage and treatment of H1N1. Um, I hadn't even thought of that.

To be honest, I didn't have to. I live in Canada as a permanent resident. I and my family are all receiving publicly funded health care, as does everyone in Canada. And despite the complaints, and failures in the system, by and large it works. And we sure don't have to worry if we're covered before we see a doctor or get a prescription. (Note: we do pay a 10% copay for our prescriptions, but considering pharmaceuticals cost up to 70% less here in the first place, we're not talking about breaking the bank, ever.)

So this website talks about how many insurance companies in the U.S. are not covering treatment of H1N1 once you've got it. Or some that are covering it are charging hefty copays. I don't know about you, but I think that's deplorable. This is a potentially deadly illness. They should not be allowed to NOT COVER people. Not to mention the fact that the best defense we have against the PANDEMIC is to get inoculated or treated. I think of all the people south of us who have lost jobs, or are making less than they can get by on right now. What are they supposed to do if they get sick? Fat cat CEO's sit in their fancy offices with fancy houses and all the money in the bank to pay for treatments whatever the costs. I don't begrudge anyone their wealth earned the right, good old American know-how and gumption way. But profiteering off of people's health and potential death makes me sick.

Now I'd sure like to know why public health options are so 'scary' when private insurance companies (and their lobbyists) are the scariest things I've heard of. And believe me, I've dealt with them. I've had things that were covered by my policy denied just because they try not to pay. You have to fight them to get them to cover even things in your policy. It is a shameful thing that our country being one of the richest, most resource-laden countries, has a problem like this and it continues through ignorance and spin.

I'm not saying there aren't problems with public health coverage. I'm not saying the problems aren't complicated. But dammit, access to proper health care should be considered a RIGHT not a privilege.

P.S. A couple of bloggers out there have been going through some tough stuff, so stop by and give your love will ya?

Suebob at Red Stapler just got laid off.
And Mamatulip at Where am I going and why am I in this handbasket has had H1N1.


Dick said...

I agree with you that it is almost a crime that everyone in the US, or at least those legally here, are not covered for medical expenses. I do have a concern with at least part of the way they are planning to finance what they are now talking about in Congress. For years they have been extolling the Medicare Advantage Plans as the best way to go for Seniors. When I started onto Medicare last year that was the type of plan I selected. Now they are planning to strip away much of the funding they pay into those plans. I am sure the affect on those of us on them is to see lower benefits at a higher personal cost. I guess that is not raising a "tax" on us but it might as well be.

Gordo said...

I wonder what the vultures are charging people for the vaccinations down there? The Feds are paying for ours up here.

The cost to the system of all of that bureaucracy, who's only purpose is to deny claims, is staggering. Get rid of the bureauracy and waste (waste alone is currently estimated a $700 million to $1 billion per year) and the entire new system is paid for and fully funded. Pretty simple, yes?

Gina said...

I agree - I have a friend who has a chronic, debilitating disease and she is suffering while her insurance company pisses around trying to decide whether they will pay for the medicine that will help her suffering. It's insane.

SUEB0B said...

Thanks for the shoutout. Ironically, I was laid off by one of the health insurance giants. I used to sit in these marketing meetings and they would talk about how people didn't trust us and I would be like "WHY SHOULD THEY? We are trying to get their money to do as little for them as possible!" The health insurance system in the US is a big ugly messy mess.

Gordo said...

Suebob, by definition, no for-profit health insurance system can be fair. It's goal is to make money and the only way to do that is to screw over their customers. Warped concept, that and certainly not limited to the US.

Maggie said...

Dick, the legislation makes me suspicious too. Not that I don't want change, but lawmakers have a way of fenagling things and transparency is not one of their better qualities unfortunately.

Gordo, the vaccines are being covered by the Federal gov down there too, which is fortunate, otherwise no one would probably be able to afford it. The scales of madam justice have certainly been leaning the wrong way for a long time when it comes to insurance companies.

Gina, and these stories are out there everywhere. Why in the world is there this fight to get public option? I agree with Gordo, insurance as a 'product' is the most backwards idea and usually corrupt at least morally.

Suebob, you're welcome! I hadn't realized you worked for the enemy. Ha ha. Doesn't it just seem like corporate America has a major disconnect with, oh, the rest of the population?

mamatulip said...

Thanks for the linky love, girl!

I have family and close friends in the US and honestly, sometimes I don't know how they manage. I have a friend whose entire family got H1N1 and they simply could not afford to go get seen. That's completely foreign to me.

Maggie said...

Mamatulip, I wish it were foreign to everybody. Can you imagine a woman not going to the doctor when she's worried about a growth? Or the example you gave? That is so scary. And absolutely wrong wrong wrong.