Monday, February 15, 2010


I've done my fair share of debating about the health care legislation now stalled in Congress. I have no idea what the chances of its passing is. But being the father of a daughter with type 1 diabetes - a preexisting condition that will follow her all her life - I know she will be uninsureable under our current system. She (and I) will have to find refuge under government subsidized employer based insurance. Which means I must find big employers and hope that employer based insurance remains in tact for years to come.

I'm not totally confident that this is my only option. I need to look into it. Type 1 diabetes has a pretty strong community and I'm guessing I will always find ways to make sure she has access to insulin no matter what happens.

But, this system we have is arbitrary, random, inefficient, and insane. The Senate bill goes a long ways to making it less insane and provides some serious steps forward to finding greater efficiencies.

There are fairly serious conservative proposals out there, but if you delve deeper into the more serious proposals that actually make attempts to provide coverage for everyone - they really are not a big departure from the Senate bill.

Detractors claim that the Senate bill is a government takeover. Really? That implies the government isn't already all over our health care system. It is. The bill just makes its involvement a little more obvious, and in doing so, has a greater chance in extending its subsidies more equitably.

Anyway, here's a little anecdote about how insane our current health care system works. In this story, a man has a preexisting condition created from childhood abuse and as a result is literally denied coverage from the single-payer system. He's lucky because he qualified for medicaid, but he has to make sure he stays qualified for medicaid - which means basically, no chance at building up assets for retirement, children's education, or other concerns.

Faces of American Health Care, Part Three: Shane Hutte's Bittersweet Blessing from austin considine on Vimeo.

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