Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not Surprised

See, told ya.
My mom called me this morning, jubilant over Obama's win. She didn't know that I didn't vote for him. She said, "But your best friend is black!" Wait a sec...what does my best friend being black have anything to do with who I voted for? I take my vote very seriously. To me, he was not the best candidate, but 52% of Americans apparently disagreed with me. To that, all I can say is, Buckle Up. It's going to be an interesting four years.
Personally, I am most concerned about socialized medicine. I fear it, ya'll. Let me explain why:
As someone who actually works in health insurance, this is not just something I am reading about and then posting my opinion. I have lived, eaten, breathed and slept health insurance for almost the past eight years of my life.
People love the idea of socialized medicine. To be able to go the doctor anytime, without worrying about copays, or deductibles. I understand that. Truly I do. I've had times when I've worried about how I'm going to pay for Bucket's medication. That doesn't mean I want to hand my healthcare over to a government who sees me as a number.
I'm a nerd, so I'm going to explain the difference between Medicare and Medicaid to ya'll.
Medicare is what you see on your paystub every week, a small portion taken out. Probably ten bucks or so, depending on your gross pay. Medicare is eligible to people once they turn 65, or are handicapped, or have renal disease (kidney issues.) You work your entire life, and put money into medicare every week, and you hope that the money is there when you turn 65. Well, did ya'll know that Medicare only covers 80% of your healthcare costs? So you're still responsible for 20% of whatever you need. when you retire, you are still stuck paying for some portion of your care. Either you pay for it in cash, or you have to spring for a supplemental insurance to cover the unpaid portions. Either way, YOU are still paying for healthcare.
Medicaid is different. Medicaid is available to anyone who makes under a certain amount of money. If you are under the age of 21, or pregnant, your care is completely free to you. But if you are over age 21, you have to pay $3 for a hospital visit. I'm not sure how much doctor visits would cost, because I don't work for a doctor.
Medicaid is good for several reasons. One, it gives people a chance to be treated if they are poor. As a girl, my dad skipped out and didn't give a hoot if I was dead or alive. Without medicaid, I would not have had any medical care at all. I was not a sickly child, so I probably went to the doctor once or twice a year. My sister was a lot sicker and was probably there once a month. All on taxpayer dime. Spanks, ya'll.
But Medicaid is bad for many reasons. First, as a patient, you are only allowed to see doctors your primary care doctor (or pcp) recommends. So let's say Little Tommy has an ear infection. And your pcp gives you antibiotics. And after several rounds of treatment, Little Tommy is still having ear issues. So the pcp gives you a referral to the ENT. (ears nose throat.) But this doctor was recently in the news for molesting a patient. And you don't want to see said doctor, but your pcp will not give you a referral to another ENT. So either Little Tommy gets to suffer with his ear infections, or you can go to the questionable ENT.
By choosing socialized medicine, we are basically taking our lives...our health...and saying, "Dear government. I sure love ya. Please take care of me. I'm too busy doing other stuff to pay attention to my doctors and medications, and I want you to control this area in my life. Sincerely, Taxpayer."
A lot of poor elderly folk have Medicare as a primary insurance, and Medicaid as a secondary, so they don't have to pay anything at all. But you really have to be eating cat food poor. Both Mr. R's mom and brother have medicare/medicaid coverage, due to their disabilities. Mr. R's mom has anxiety issues, and Mr. R's brother is a paranoid schizophrenic. They both also receive social security disability benefits. By the way, they pay for nothing. You know who is paying for their medical care? YOU ARE.
This care is not cheap. And now...we're going to try and do this for the entire country? All 360 million of us?
Personally, I cannot see how it can be done without us all going broke. How much money will they be taking out of my paycheck to cover social medicine? How long will it take me to get an appointment? How long will surgery wait times be? Will I be able to get a mammogram? Will I be forced to get flu shots if I don't want them?
Will there still be any copays? Will hospitals and doctor offices fall under government control?
I have lots of questions, and no answers.


Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Thank you for confirming what I knew to be true. There really is no such thing as a free luch. I wish my fellow countrymen knew that.

Sarah R said...

Terry, I was thinking of you when I pasted my "Spongebob for President" sign below. Hahahahaha!
But in all seriousness, no, there is no such thing as a free lunch. "Someone" has to pay for it. My question is, who is that "someone?" I'm sure someone from the Obama camp will say, "The upper class." Well, what exactly is upper class? If you make $99,999, is that middle class, and hitting 6 digits makes you upper class? What is lower class? Is that $50,000 or lower? Or do you just need a doublewide and a rusty truck to qualify?