Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is it class warfare after all?

I hate to even ask this, I really do. But, after looking back over my journey for the past 14 years, just passed this mark on New Year's Eve, I have to answer a resounding yes. Is it class warfare after all?  What class warfare you are asking by now?

Medical class warfare I scream! And what is even more disappointing to me, I can't seem to see a resolve to it all...not at all.

Let me explain a bit further of where I am coming from with all of this. My son, now thirty, has a half way decent job and a typical middle class salary with it. And yes, I know that even keeping employment right now is a God send. He also has insurance for health care. Unfortunately he also seems to have inherited some of my autoimmune genes as well. He has been diagnosed with sjogrens recently. Now having insurance one would think that one could go to the needed doctors, receive the needed prescriptions (copays expected) so that one could continue to stay gainfully employed and hopefully give back to society as well.

Well, that just isn't the case. I would scan in the document he unearthed in his health care plan but I am afraid that may cause too many problems but I do have a copy of it. Apparently they have an exclusionary list of ailments that are not covered. This has nothing to do with pre-existing conditions and excludes all insured on this plan. Now, when did all of this happen? I am not talking pre-existing conditions but refusal to pay for any care for over 36 diseases or conditions. Some included on the Uninsurable Conditions list are:

Alzheimer's disease
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Acoustic Neuroma
Collagen diseae
congential heart defects
congestive heart failure
Chrohn's disease
Hep B and C
muscular dystrophy
polycystic kidney disease
rheumatic heart disease
sjogren's syndrome
tay-sachs disease

Wait, I am not yet done. And now add something called Ratable Risks. According to this document "the following medical conditions are uninsurable for specified time frames and ratable risks thereafter. Whether they fall into an uninsurable or ratable category may depend on time frames, severity of conditions, treatment, stability, and prognosis. This is not an all-inclusive list but a reference of many conditions of questionable insurability. Some listed conditions may require a rating that exceeds our risk tolerance, and coverage will be denied indefinitely."

Some on the list include (63 conditions total listed):

addison's disease
ankylosing spondylitis
anorexia nervosa
atrial fibrillation
chronic fatigue syndrome
colitis (ulcerative)
diabetes mellitus
multiple sclerosis
obstructive sleep apnea
parkinson's disease
peripheral vascular disease
rheumatoid arthritis

Yes, this is indeed class warfare! If one has lots of money, one can pay cash for their doctors, medications, etc. or even buy insurance at a very high premium to cover these conditions but if one has this insurance(and I am afraid almost any insurance of late), is middle class or lower class, one can't afford to get sick at all!

I was wrongly under the assumption that insurance in this country should cover something but it behooves me, or anyone reading these lists, to exact what precisely they are covering at all.

I welcome a discussion on this as although I don't want to get political on my blog, I am starting to realize that perhaps at some point we need to get political. I for one value human life and I will clearly state that I do believe we should provide healthcare for all and for all conditions. How do we resolve the insurance issues, cost of prescriptions, and medical care currently ravaging not just our economy but humans as well? If we don't stand up for healthcare coverage for all, many will die in this country (and many have already died). We need to ask ourselves precisely what values we hold dearly. Do we believe that life and health are a cost that should be shared by all? Do we believe that it is the individuals responsibility to acquire their own treatments, even if this ultimately leads to their own death due to lack of money? This is truly the bottom line and yet I have not heard this mentioned on the national news media in these terms.

How much are we willing to pay for a "healthy" life?

And more importantly, how do we as individuals begin to make the changes we believe are so desperately needed in this country?