One point I’ve been making on this shitty little blog since 2009 is Obamacare/Romneycare, while it does some good things for some people, still doesn’t get at the affordability problem. Between co-pays and deductibles, many people can’t afford the healthcare they need–hardly surprising in a country where 41% of households couldn’t afford a $400 emergency. Even in wealthy states like Massachusetts, this is a problem. Which brings us to this disturbing story from the Great State of Missouri (boldface mine):
Every time one of Heidi Hendrix’s four kids has a health issue, she has to work out an agonizing equation.
“A lot of times I have to decide, is it really important enough for us to see a doctor?” Hendrix said. “Because for us, it sometimes comes down to, ‘Do I spend $200 for him to see a foot doctor or do I use that $200 to buy groceries?’ ”
Hendrix is a stay-at-home mom in Independence. Her husband is a plumber and the family has health insurance through him. It’s a union job, so the insurance is actually pretty good, she said. But with a $5,000 deductible, the family has had medical bills that it just can’t pay all at once and has had medical providers turn them over to collections agencies…
But for most Kansas City residents, it’s relatively routine medical bills that put them in collections, not five-figure debts for things like surgeries or extended hospitalizations.
To be clear, I don’t mean to pile on Hendrix’ problems. But for the love of the Intelligent Designer, a $5,000 deductible is not good insurance. Maybe a $500 deductible is. But this is essentially catastrophic, five-or-six figure debt avoidance insurance. In no meaningful sense, especially if you have kids, can this be thought of as healthcare insurance. If you have to decide whether or not to see a doctor when a child is injured, that is not good insurance.
I realize the ‘Resistance’ is going Full Metal ‘Russians Are Coming’ (and Il Trumpe’s Russian ties are bad), but let’s not lose sight of the goals here.