Thursday, 3 September 2009

Apples and Oranges

Two arguments against Health Care that just don't cut it (in response to some stuff I read on Facebook comments this morning):

1. Health insurance should work like car insurance - we pay for all the routine stuff, and the insurance kicks in for all the major expenses.

Why this doesn't work: Who decides what is "routine"? Is a once-a-month checkup routine? Or only once every six months? What if I find a breast lump - would it be "routine" for me to go to the doctor's to get it checked out? What if I end up getting charged for four or five "routine" visits in a month's time? That could rack up some serious debt.

2. People who have health care debt are just not fiscally responsible (i.e., they spend their money on cable, cell phones, clothes, eating out, etc.)

Why this doesn't work: Health care expenses are usually on a completely different scale from that of our normal living expenses (and I'm including mortgage/rent in this equation). Having done some research on that oh-so-routine procedure that half of us will likely go through at some point in our lives (no, I don't mean hip replacement), pregnancy and childbirth is one hell of an expensive operation. Even if you do it at home, even if you get a midwife and have no complications, it can cost in the region of $1500-$4000. If you do it in a hospital (or if complications necessitate that you do it in a hospital), it will run around $6000 (though, according to actual people's testimony, it usually ends up costing more like $10,000-$20,000). If your fetus for some reason needs a c-section, or if you need an epidural, or if you need a little snipping of your perineum, those are extra expenses, and cost extra! In short, it would likely cost me more money than I make in a year to give birth to a child in a hospital right now.

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