you might have noticed that there's a huge debate going on in washington and the united states about health care legislation. president obama is trying to pass health care reform so that every american has some form of insurance/care. republicans recently cited a poll that '60% of americans are happy with their insurance coverage'.
perhaps the 60% who don't actually ever get sick or are already dead? here's my story:
in 1996 my mother went to her hmo complaining about persistent bronchitis and breathing problems. my mother had quit smoking, but she had been a heavy, 2 pack a day, smoker for over 30 years.
the doctor gave her some antibiotics. no x-rays, no tests, just antibiotics. a month later my mother still had persistent respiratory problems. the doctor gave her more antibiotics. no xrays, no tests. a month later (3 months now) my mother still had persistent respiratory problems. finally her insurance company/hmo allowed her to have xrays. when they looked at the xrays they saw that she had advanced lung cancer.
why didn't they give tests or xrays to her the first time she came in? a woman who'd been smoking 2 packs a day for over 30 years? because, according to her insurance company/hmo, the tests and xrays were too expensive.
6 months later my mother was dead from metastasized lung cancer. lung cancer that would've been more effectively treated if it had been detected when she first went to the doctor complaining of persistent respiratory problems. and republicans are trying to tell me that a majority of americans are happy with their insurance companies or their hmo's? there are millions and millions of stories similar to my mothers. people being denied health care, even when insured, for the simple reason that health care is expensive, and that insurance companies and hmo's are more profitable when the provide less care. employees at hmo's and insurance companies are actually given bonuses for denying health care to people.
america needs health care reform. tens of millions of americans have no insurance, and the people who do have insurance are routinely denied coverage when they're ill.
the republicans are in the pocket of the insurance companies, they're on the wrong side of this debate, and i strongly believe that they need to support health care and insurance reform.