21 July 2009

Today, a friend of mine asked me what I thought about Obama’s proposed health care reform platform.

Her question found me at lost for words.  Not that I haven’t thought about health care, and  health care reform.  Believe me, every time I feel a suspicious ache I think about health care.  I have none, you see, and can’t afford any, and so aches and pains are an open question. A not-well-planned for question.

But I don’t really look at actually acquiring health care coverage.  I can’t fork over three or four hundred bucks a month for it – and being 50, I’ve noted that the few among my contemporaries who are buying health insurance are indeed forking over several hundred a month for the privilege of having something like 75% of their potential  medical expenses paid for through insurance.

Now, it’s not that I have no health care coverage.

First of all, there’s workman’s compensation.  For injuries while I’m being a "workman" of course.  Should I be injured on the job, I’m covered, at least up to some sort of cap I haven’t really bothered to investigate.

And then there’s the car insurance.  For a few bucks a month, any (human) body damage endured due to a car wreck is covered.  Good, yet small comfort.  Particularly because there’s yet another cap once I hit some high water mark on medical bills.

So, as long as I’m working or in my car, I’m okay.  Hmmmmm…. So, anyway, back to my friend’s question.

Though I haven’t been tracking every detail of the health care debate, I am not unaware of the changes to health care being proposed by the White House and members of Congress.  I am not unaware of the potential, the great advance this would offer to our society and our financial crisis, and I do not believe that some kind of socialist system will sneak in.  It’s pretty hard to label something as socialist when the plan is to create a competitive market for health care options.  Competition, market… sounds pretty NON socialist to me.

But in my situation, with absolutely no money to spend on health care other than  out-of-pocket, nickel and dime expenses, all I can hope for is that the Obama administration can push things that much farther, getting closer to a time when I can afford basic health care.

I won’t get it during this term, or most likely the next, but eventually all the struggle around something I cannot afford will ripple down to me in some form of cheaper options.

I hope.

We’ll see.