I am a “middle class” mom struggling to afford healthcare. Both my husband and I are employed, with average salaries. We are lucky enough to have employer-based health insurance, but find it virtually useless due to the high deductibles and co-pays attached. We know firsthand that having health insurance does not mean that we have healthcare. In our experience, health insurance is designed in a way that actually prevents people from using it – like a legalized extortion scheme. We pay our insurer a monstrous $9,500 annually for conditional, partial coverage, effective only after we pay an additional $3,500 in deductibles. This is for a family of three.
Due to costs, my husband and I both regularly forego preventative care and postpone seeing a doctor. On rare occasions when an office visit is necessary, we typically spend hours calling the insurance company for estimates and information about coverage.
This is not how healthcare should work. Our story is not unique. Millions of Americans are uninsured and in much worse situations. Every other civilized country has figured out how to care for all of its citizens. The U.S. healthcare system excludes tens of millions of people based on cost.
Healthcare should not be tied to employment, deductibles, and co-pays. We are at a tipping point. The current for-profit model is a moral failure that is costly, ineffective and cruel. It needs a total revamp. It is time that our representatives listen and act.
It is time for Medicare For All.