Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health care reform will help our economy

I wish there was a stastistic for how many people have stayed at jobs longer than they wanted to because they needed health insurance.

If health insurance becomes a non factor in someone’s decision to stay at a job, think of what this could do to our economy. Jobs could open up to people who really want them, and Americans could start taking the risks that our grandparents felt that they could take and what I think made this country so great: start a new business, invent an incredible device that will change the world, go back to school part time to earn a higher degree to change careers, or work at a small not for profit because that’s what you are good at.

Health insurance based on employer coverage is essentially anti-American. We are under the tyranny of a dictator and therefore unable to achieve the American dream.

I currently pay for my own health care. My employer subsidizes it but I pay an insane amount of money for insurance. Why? Because when I left my last job, I was denied health insurance. So now, I pay for COBRA. Go ahead, say it. “You are on COBRA, that’s so expensive!”

Yep, I do. And do you know what I don’t do much of anymore, buy stuff. I don’t really buy clothes because something looks cute, or go to a concert because I like the band, or buy my friends’ babies little outfits. My non essential spending has decreased significantly. Oh and I have a t.v. from 1994.

Almost all of my extra money is going towards health insurance. I’m not poor. I'm not suffering. I just try not to live in (much) debt, therefore I limit my spending. But I'm part of that statistic as to why our economy isn't growing: people aren't buying enough of anything.

I’m not complaining. It’s a personal choice. I could live without it, I guess. Play Russian Roulette. But I’ve chosen not to. I have other friends who don’t have health insurance or friends who do, but won’t go to a doctor for fear of being diagnosed with something that will prevent them from receiving coverage in the future.

Sadly, my COBRA expires on December 31. So I will apply to the state for insurance (which I will pay for), if, and only if, the state is still running the program. Or I guess I could leave my job that I love and start doing something I’m not as good at so that I can have insurance.

(For my friends in Israel and Canada who are reading this, I KNOW! Can you believe this? I KNOW. You totally don’t have to waste any of your energy on this. I KNOW! It’s insane. No, no, I’m not coming to live with you. Thanks for the offer.)

Or Congress could pass that health care reform bill before December 31 and then I don’t have to risk being a statistic that no one cares about.

And you can quit your crappy job and go to culinary school or work on that invention that you know will make you a million dollars.

My friends can go to the doctor to get a physical.

And then maybe, we can get this economy going again. Not on the backs of big firms on wall street that end up needing government bail outs, but on the backs of Americans who, if they don’t have to worry about going bankrupt over healthcare costs, are some of the most creative and innovative people in the world.

Or we can maintain the status quo.

I guess it’s up to the boys and girls with great health insurance coverage in Congress.


Dirk said...

The status quo blows, doesn't it? I think we should all write to our congressmen and first of all demand an end to all the absurd malpractice cases and exhorbitant jury awards. I can tell you that as long as providing health care involves a lottery like malpractice risk, costs will remain very high. Just try suing your doctor or hospital in Canada or Israel (good luck).

Dirk1. said...

More non-White-House-approved news (Canadian health care: Not all that).

Good Shabbes.