Thursday, October 14, 2004

Presidential candidates debate

Watching the Presidential candidates debate last night from Arizona I was particularly focused on the topic of health care and health insurance.


I was somewhat surprised to watch both candidates so blatantly 'lie by omission' about the most significant reason for escalating costs. I guess it’s a close election and the sick could tip the balance so why upset them and their families?


Among all age groups, the 20% of people with the most serious health problems account for 80% of total U.S health-care costs.


Living with Multiple Sclerosis the above fact NEVER escapes us. Chronic illnesses such as MS are health care cost nightmares. No person or family could afford the lifetime health care costs of a chronic illness like MS. Currently popular and highly advertised MS medications cost an average of $1,000/month with a patient paying a small copay while insurance pays the lion’s share. How many could continue ‘maintenance’ meds if forced to pay out of pocket?


Health insurance is unfairly balanced on the backs of the healthy.


Auto insurance rewards safe drivers with low premiums and penalizes bad drivers with high premiums. Were health insurance structured that same way people with chronic illnesses or health problems could not afford insurance renewal.


Yet because it is balanced on the backs of the healthy, millions go without health insurance at all because it is unaffordable to so many families who if insurance were fairly structured much like auto insurance could easily afford it.


Minus the personal insight the following two articles from National Multiple Sclerosis Society better elaborate in detail the problems of health insurance and chronic illness specifically MS:


         Health Insurance: Availability and Price

“…As the costs of health care continue to increase, people with chronic illnesses run the risk that adequate health care coverage will be priced beyond their reach…”


     2004 Advocacy Efforts—Health Insurance and Medicaid

“…There is little doubt that healthcare is in a crisis in our country—Americans spend an ever-growing portion of their paychecks on health care; many companies are dropping medical coverage entirely or trimming their benefit packages…”

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