Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prior Conditions

Health care in this country is almost abysmally stupid.

Last year I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Nothing too bad but a little high. Somewhat distressing for a person of my age. Anyway, insurance covered all of it, no big deal.

This summer I did not have insurance.

This fall I am back on the insurance. Same employer, same insurance. I go back to the doctor so he can check me again and get a new prescription.

Now the insurance company has declared this a prior condition and refuses to cover it.

It's not that much money. It's basically an extra $66 every 6 months. It sucks but it doesn't destroy me. And maybe I can figure something out. I've been too angry about it since I found out yesterday to do anything.

But what if I had diabetes? What if I had cancer? Would they not cover me then?

It's just utterly disgusting that we have to go through this indignation and humiliation every time we get sick. Why do we have to be worried constantly about whether our insurance will pay for anything? Why do we have such a wealthy nation and leave not only millions uninsured but millions more with poor insurance that don't help you when you need it?

This is one of so many reasons why I am glad Barack Obama is president. Maybe now, after all these years of talking about national insurance, something can be done. With the obstructionist Daniel Patrick Moynihan long gone from the Senate, maybe, just maybe, there will be the political will to resist the insurance lobby and take America in a new direction.

I'm less than thrilled to know that Max Baucus of Montana is the chair of the relevant committee on health care. He's kind of a weird guy and hardly a shining light within the Democratic caucus. If he doesn't come through on health care issues, we should seek to get rid of him.