Wednesday, May 18, 2011
At dinner with a group of silicon valley executives a few nights ago, the only woman (as usual) and, as the conversation progresses, I learn the only Democrat at the table.
A debate on health care ensues. Obama-care, can Mitt Romney get elected because he is tainted with the same brush etc. Someone at the table (not me) says it is a crime that 55 million people in the US do not have health insurance.
And one of the gentlemen says "Of course everyone has health insurance - it's called the emergency room".
Well, I am ashamed to say, I jumped down his throat. And said ...
"That's insane. In my case I have had strokes, and without anti-coagulants would probably have another stroke because I have a bad gene. My preventative medical costs are $450 once a year for my visit with the neurologist and $249 a month for my medication. So $3,438 a year if my insurance chose to consider my condition pre-existing.
In your worldview, were I unable to afford the preventative care, my "insurance" would be wait for my next stroke, go to emergency as I am having a stroke - maybe become paralyzed or lose critical function (or die which I admit would be cheaper) - certainly stay in hospital for a week or two - run a large number of very expensive tests - shoot me up with expensive anti-cogulants to try to disperse the clot and then use medicare to pay for ongoing therapy and recovery. I went through that process twice already when we did not know what was the underlying cause and it is very, very, very expensive. I was one of the lucky ones that I did have good health insurance at the time
Do you seriously believe what you just said?"
Yup. Feisty on that issue clearly.