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Is the Nationalization of Health Care Really Needed?

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nationalization of healthcare, obamacare, insursnce, uninsured

As we move closer to the implementation of Obamacare, I’ve been thinking a lot about its implications, whether or not it’s really needed, and what it’s going to mean for my family.

Recently, Dr. Ben Carson spoke in my town. His words were full of the common sense we seem to be lacking in our culture today.

He reminded us that personal health is the most important commodity to every human on the planet. He believes the government takeover of healthcare was calculated. In his opinion, those in power know that once they gain control of something so precious to us, it will be easy to gain control over other aspects of our lives. From the beginning, I have been very uneasy and unhappy with the idea of the government controlling our health care system.

Some supporters of Obamacare have attempted to silence the opposition without a discussion by shaming dissenters and boldly accusing them of being uncompassionate. Truthfully, taking a stand against Obamacare isn’t heartless.

Opposition to this plan doesn’t indicate resistance to helping people who truly need assistance. Some simply believe there’s a better way to institute reform without taking away personal freedom.

As a mother, my children’s future is critically important to me. It’s my responsibility to fight for a better world for them. They deserve the same hard-won constitutional freedoms so many have enjoyed in this country for generations.

So today I’m reposting information I first published back in 2008 after attending a business conference where a man from the non-partisan National Center For Policy Analysis spoke. He enlightened us with the facts about the uninsured in America. 

It seems appropriate to share this information again today. After reading this post, I would love to hear your respectful thoughts from the unique perspective you’ve gained in your life situation.

So here are the facts according to the National Center for Policy Analysis based in Washington, D.C. (www.ncpa.org): 

  • In 2005, more than 84% of U.S. residents were privately insured or enrolled in a government health program. 84%!
  • An additional 10-14 million adults and children qualified for government programs but had never enrolled for those programs.
  • These estimates show that nearly 10% of our population theoretically have access to health care insurance but have chosen to forego it.
  • The remaining 6% make less than $50,000 annually.
  • The uninsured among households earning up to $25,000 has decreased by about 21 percent in the last decade.
  • 19 million of the uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34. The reason for their lack of coverage? Good health. They don’t see the need for health insurance, don’t believe it’s a good value, and choose to pay for incidental expenses out of pocket. 
  • The expansion of Medicaid and CHIP (children’s health insurance program) has increased coverage – yet millions of families who are eligible for these programs choose not to enroll in them. When paid staffers attempt to sign people up for these programs in public hospital emergency rooms, the families refuse to do so. The consensus among these families is that they “do not need or want” the programs and that they don’t want to deal with the “administrative hassles.”
  • Since they receive free health care in hospital emergency rooms when they get sick, many of the uninsured do not sign up for government programs. There is no need to.
  • Federal law prohibits hospitals from turning away patients in need of emergency care so providers rarely refuse treatment for acute conditions. I have found this to be true. On the many visits we have taken to the emergency room with our children, the uninsured fill the chairs waiting their turn for free medical treatment for their sick children.
  • The expansion of free public programs (Medicaid and CHIP) has prompted some people who had health insurance to give up their private coverage to enroll in the public programs available to them.
  • 1/4 of the uninsured are foreign-born. 80% of those are not American citizens. They come from countries where health insurance is not prevalent. It is not a normal part of their culture so they don’t apply for it here in America.
  • Another 17 million live in households with annual incomes above $50,000 and could likely afford health insurance, but choose not to enroll.
  • Over the past 10 years, the fastest growing segment of the uninsured population has been in middle and upper income families. The ranks of the uninsured in households earning $50,000-$75,000 rose 47% while the percentage in households earning above $75,000 rose 117%. According to a study by Hanns Kuttner of the University of Michigan, this escalation was due to the fact that the number of people living in households earning over $50,000 annually had increased substantially. People were making more money!
  • A large percentage of those who are uninsured are typically only uninsured for a short amount of time – 75% of uninsured spells last one year or less. This might be caused by a job loss or change of employment. In this case, qualified families are able to continue group health benefits provided by their company’s group health insurance plan for 18 months under COBRA.

So where’s the real health care crisis?

Realistically, we’ve had our own challenges with health insurance in America. Our system isn’t perfect.

  • In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I initially enjoyed health insurance coverage through the company he worked for. When my husband lost his job and later worked for a man who did not provide health insurance, I worked so that we could receive health insurance through my company.
  • When my husband started his own business, we were responsible for finding and paying for our own health insurance policy in order for me to stay home to raise our children. This was a difficult task considering our son’s health issues: a heart defect, debilitating allergies, and asthma.
  • As we searched for a company who would cover us, we learned about a little-known health insurance pool in our state. This “pool” makes insurance available at an affordable cost to people who cannot access traditional health care policies due to pre-existing medical conditions. It’s also available to those who have to pay extremely high premiums due to serious medical issues.
  • Pre-existing condition exclusions necessitated us funding many medical expenses out-of-pocket.
  • For the past 18 years, we have personally paid the entire monthly health insurance policy premium for our family (expensive!) and extremely high deductibles ($6,000 per year) in order to reduce our monthly premiums.

Even with these challenges, we sincerely appreciate the quality of health care in America. Traveling to a number of other countries, including several third world nations, has revealed the value of what we have here. Although it isn’t perfect, America truly has the best health care system in the world. And yet, our nation wants to sell out.

I am 100% certain that when Obamacare is implemented, people will be surprised and dismayed at the implications it holds for their lives. 

For some reason (and I may be wrong to assume this), I don’t think it’s too late to right the ship. If we don’t feel this is the right direction for our nation, we can stand up and make our voices heard.

If you have deep concerns about nationalized health care, I highly encourage you to contact your representatives in Congress as soon as you finish reading this. Click this link to: 

Find and Contact Your Congressman/woman

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Lisa~

4 Comments

  1. Janice Sallee says:

    Lisa,
    What a great article! I appreciate your insight and giftedness as a writer so much. Your love for God and family always shines through. Thank you for republishing your previous blog post about the healthcare mandate. Those statistics were quite surprising. Thank you also for writing such a beautiful blog for all of us to take to heart as we seek to raise Godly families in an ever changing and challenging world.
    God’s blessings,
    Janice

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