With the Supreme Court ruling on the Health Care Reform Bill being announced today, I know there will be tons of opinions floating around the web about it. Those that support it who may be agree if it fails, those who do not support it who may be angry if it passes, and those who really have no clue what’s going on. Personally, I would be ecstatic if it passes. Let me tell you why…
It was 2010, Christmas time. Nick and I had driven down from our college town of Rock Hill to my parents’ house in Spartanburg, South Carolina. All was well. Nick had been complaining about some pain in his side for a couple of days, but we didn’t think anything of it.Christmas morning came. We opened gifts and had a yummy breakfast. I noticed that Nick was a little quieter than usual and he confessed around 10 am that his side was hurting pretty badly. He promised to go to the doctor the next day that the office was open and that was that. We got dressed and headed down to Columbia where his family would be coming together for Christmas dinner.
Once we arrived, Nick’s uncle could see just how much pain he was in. He immediately told us to go to the urgent care to see if it was appendicitis. Nick was afraid because after being laid off in May of 2010 from his teaching job, he didn’t have insurance. The health care reform bill, often called “Obamacare,” had been passed, but didn’t go into effect until January 1st, a mere 6 days after this happened. Since he was under 26, he would be allowed to go back on his parents’ insurance plan.
We knew that Nick might be in serious trouble if he was not checked out right away, so we rushed over to the urgent care to get checked out. The wait wasn’t bad, mostly just children who had been injured by their new toys. We were called back and the doctor said, “yes, you mostly likely have appendicitis. We need to send you over to the ER to have a CT scan done.”
After drinking the fluid needed for the scan, he drove over to the ER to wait. And wait, and wait. You’re supposed to have the scan done 45 minutes after you drink the fluid, but we waited about an hour and a half. Finally we were taken back to a room. Nick was put into a hospital gown and taken to have a CT scan done. The ER doctor came in and affirmed that Nick did need to have his appendix taken out. He said that it was almost to the point of bursting, which is life-threatening.
Long story short, after 8 hours in the urgent care/ER/operation/recovery, Nick acquired many medical bills, upwards of $30,000. Being unemployed and uninsured, we were expected to come up with this amount of money to pay off the bills. If only he had been insured under his parents, if only the health care bill had been in effect then….
Many phone calls were made and conversations were had. We were finally about to sort something out. But if something like this bill had been in place earlier, we wouldn’t have wasted months worried about if we’d have enough money for groceries.
I know the bill isn’t perfect. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough. But I know from personal experience the effects that the medical industry can have on a family. When I was in the hospital a few months ago, I acquired quite the hefty bill. Because of my insurance, I only have to pay 1% of it. Amazing.
Please, I urge you: before you make your decisions on things, look at them from the other person’s perspective. It took me a few years to come around to it, but I truly believe with all of my heart that it’s the right decision.
These opinions are completely my own. Although I enjoy debate and discussion, I’d prefer to not do it through comments. If you would like to discuss this issue in more detail, please send me an email using the contact link above.