Friday, December 15, 2006

Time To Wake Up

My Mom and Dad are retired and receive retiree health care coverage through my Mom's former employer. Each December they are sent a package of information about coverage for the next year and the applicable premiums. Because my Dad is on Medicare, this year they were faced with some choices. They could either continue the current coverage for both my Mom and Dad or my Dad could join a Medicare Advantage Plan. My Dad sent me the information package which was 50 pages. I looked it over and really could not figure out what was the better deal. Joining the Medicare Advantage Plan would mean cheaper monthly premiums. My Mom's former employer would pick up the entire cost of my Dad's coverage. The skeptic in me wondered why. I subscribe to the old saying that you cannot get something for nothing. The big question is whether it would it actually cost them less per year for medical care? There are so many variables to be considered such as choice of doctors, type of drugs used, type of care needed that it seems impossible for for the average person to figure it out. Why aren't the forms and information in plain English instead of medical-legal mumbo jumbo? Why should our senior citizens be put through such stress at a time in their lives when medical care and health insurance, unfortunately, take on increasing importance as the years go by.

Don't even get me started on the fact there are tens of millions of people who do not even have health coverage. This should be unacceptable to us as a country. When are we going to wake up and say that health care is a basic human need that everyone should have fulfilled and that health care policy should not be driven by the greed of big business. In the long run we are not saving money by letting people without health insurance get sick. I think it is like the old Midas Muffler commercials: you can pay me now or pay me later.

New Democratic Congress: Are you listening?

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