Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh know I have an opinion...

So, if you read regularly, you know I have an opinion on just about everything and you know that I'm an open book, so most everything is up for discussion and debate. I love a good debate. I can't help myself when I read some Facebook posts about the new healthcare bill that was passed Sunday night. Lord help if you are a conservative and post something about the bill. You get jumped on pretty quickly for "not drinking the kool-aid" so to speak. I can't help myself when people write things like, "you should look up the word socialism in the dictionary" and basically tell you why it's so great and grand. They say things like, " so i guess the next time you decide to go to the store you wouldn't dare use our socialized roads. and i am sure your kids are not going to socialized schools. and you wouldn't think of calling our socialized police dept. or fire dept. but most of all you wouldn't dare have our troops using socialized health care so you would i am sure support the ending of the v.a. and of course you would not have the elderly involved with socialism so lets take there medicare and ssi away."

Ugh, seriously. When I look at the government Medicare system, is that what kind of system I want for me and my family? No and I want to have the choice to chose otherwise. I don't want someone telling me that if I don't carrying private health insurance, that I will be taxed at a higher rate. I will not argue with the fact that there is a need for Health care REFORM. So many people get wrapped up in the terminology. Health care REFORM and Health Insurance are two totally different things. Our government could do us all a favor and work on the health care system. You know I'm an open book so I'll share our personal story.

Daddy Brown and I have always been covered under my health insurance policy when I worked outside the home. As a small business owner, and the fact that Daddy Brown and Pops are the only two that work in their business, it was never feasible for them to carry a group policy. When I worked full-time, we had access to a robust PPO plan that paid for just about everything at a low cost to me. Not a low cost to my employer, but a low cost to me. We never gave a second thought to what tests or procedures were offered to us. It was health care and we had health insurance to cover it. Once I decided to go part-time, we put Daddy Brown and Big Brownie on their own individual policy as the company still covered me at 100% as a part-time employee and I was pregnant with Little Brownie. We paid a little more than $400 to cover them under this individual PPO plan.

Now, Daddy Brown hasn't had any asthma issues in MANY years and takes an OTC allergy medicine to control the symptoms of allergies. The insurance company put an exclusion rider on him for his entire life. So when he had an upper respiratory infection that the doctor also diagnosed as a sinus infection, the claim was not paid and the prescription medications were not covered. Big Brownie had 2 ear infections in his 1st year of life and they excluded him from ANY ear related expenses for his entire life. That meant when he had his hearing test at the age of 2, they would not cover it because of the exclusion rider.

These were things we were willing to live with because we don't really go to the doctor that much. We are a very healthy and young family. When I decided to quit work after having Little Brownie, I was on COBRA while we processed my application for me and Little Brownie to be added to Daddy Brown's policy. Thanks to Obama's ARRA policy, I paid about $100 a month for my continuing coverage. This meant we were spending more than $500 a month in health insurance for a family of 4. When I sent in my application to be added to Daddy Brown's policy within days of having Little Brownie, I was denied for being overweight. I still have the letter stating that I was too overweight to be covered. I had just given birth less than 2 weeks prior to my denial, however, because I had applied while I still had my "baby weight", I was denied. I will add, I have NO medical problems. I take NO medications, and yet, I was denied because I was a risky individual. I remained on my COBRA coverage for several months while taking off my baby weight.

For those who have known me for a while, I'm a bigger girl. I'm not morbidly obese, but I'm going to be a bigger framed female. I will never fit in the standard my BMI suggests. It just isn't going to happen. I reapplied last November to Daddy Brown's policy. This time, I was accepted as a participant, but because I wasn't at their ideal weight for my height, our monthly premium would go from $400 to $800 a month. Again, I have no pre-existing conditions, I'm simply overweight.

The reason I go into such detail is this...we obviously couldn't afford to pay $800+ a month in health insurance when we are all healthy. We don't have any medical problems and we rarely got to the doctor. We couldn't justify paying $800 a month for insurance we don't really use. Having 2 little ones, it was a scary thought of not having insurance at all. We made a choice, because we have a choice. We chose to seek out other options. We found a high deductible plan with a low month premium that will cover us at 100% after we reach our annual deductible. It has a small preventive care benefit to cover my annual OB appointment and the kids wellness check-ups. If something catastrophic happens, we will pay the first $10,000 of the medical bills and then the rest will be covered by our plan up to $25 million dollars. We now pay a little more than $200 a month for this coverage and the money we were spending in additional premiums, are put into a Health savings account. This will allow us to use tax deductible dollars from our HSA to pay for any medical expenses from doctors visits to Tylenol. Some would see this as not a great option, but it certainly is a viable option for us.

Each American should question this new health care bill. What does it mean to me? Rather than just fixing the health care system, they are trying to fix all Americans and Small Business Owners. I agree with some of the things in the bill. For instance, the pre-existing conditions. Certainly I agree with the fact that we should not have had riders put on Daddy Brown and Big Brownie when those were not even ongoing pre-existing conditions. I agree that a health insurance company should NOT be able to drop your coverage if you do get sick. Um, what's the purpose of paying monthly premiums if in the end, they cancel your policy if you get really sick and need coverage. Those are the types of issues that I consider Health care REFORM to the health care system.

In our personal story, we could have chosen not to have coverage at all. That was an option available to us. We didn't have the government saying...your choice is...carry private insurance through one of our government organized plans, or we will be happy to assess you with a higher tax rate come April 15th.
Seriously, is that how you plan on covering the American people? Does that seem constitutional? It seems like the government is taking my right to choose. Who are the first people to holler if a woman doesn't have the choice to have an abortion? Don't misread my question, because I am pro-life. But these same people who are pro-choice and will sue anyone who would even think about taking a woman right away are so willing to give over your right to what is best for you and your health care.

Ugh, I really could go on and I'd be shocked to know that anyone has continued to read this post to the end. But if you did get to this point, no matter what side of the aisle you stand on, make sure that side is representing you. Make sure that when you vote for your leaders, that you research what they are really about. Be vocal with your leaders, not just on something big like health care reform, but about all the little things that get passed and agreed upon behind closed doors to make all these big bills happen. Well, I'm officially coming down off my soapbox now. The best part about being an American, is being FREE and being able to chose what is best for you and your family. That's what this country was founded on and I pray everyday, that is what this country will continue to be about!


Sophie said...

I read all of your post!

peggybrown64 said...

Me too! I read it all and might I add find myself in complete agreement! You said it well.