Health Insurance in the United States
I have health insurance.
After years of not having health insurance I have health insurance through my employer since October 1st, 2014. For me not having health insurance was just cheaper than having it. I am basically a healthy guy. I saved every month something to cover the health expenses and my doctor is a good guy, he gives me his services at a very reasonable rate. But now it is the law in the United States to be health insured or else the IRS will fine you every year.
I gave in.
I have health insurance now. I pay $400 every month. This is by all means much more what I did spend for my health in the past years. Oh yea, dental is not included (you see, dental I really need). Since a few days I don’t feel so well. Today I came home from work and I told my wife that I feel sick, that I am thinking of going to the doctor. I did not even finish saying that as I ran the numbers in my mind. My paycheck is now much smaller because of health insurance, but the insurance does not cover everything and makes everything health related usually just cheaper. Not like in Germany where the heath insurance covers everything. It is more like a discount card. After I was done running the numbers I realized that I cannot go to the doctor. I cannot afford it. I have not enough money left after paying for health insurance to pay the “discounted” rates for the doctor and medicine. My doctor prescribed me a few months ago pills for my heart. He said that he does not like how my heart sounds. Those pills are generics, I can afford them without health insurance just paying for them out of my pocket. But now with health insurance I have to stop taking those pills. I cannot afford them anymore with health insurance.
I have health insurance. Now I cannot afford anymore to go to the doctor and I cannot afford anymore my medicine. Was this not supposed to work somehow in a different way?
In December 2014, during “Open Enrollment” my health insurance payment will go up about 20%. I guess from December on I have to cut back on food or move into a cheaper apartment (maybe in Compton or Inglewood) for a health coverage which makes it impossible for me to use any health services. By the way, I am 6’1″ and weigh 158lbs with clothes. Its not like I could use to lose some weight.
P.S.: If you tell me now I should check into one of those health programs for the poor, save it. I am not poor. I checked. I make too much money to qualify. I am middle class.
Update: I signed up for dental insurance. I have for a week now excruciating toothaches. The dental insurance basically covers nothing. Two cleanings a year are free. Nothing else. As I am writing these lines I am in pain. I don’t have money to go to a dentist. I pay a lot for taxes and for health insurance. There is no money left to actually see a doctor. What is the United States government doing with all the tax revenue? Are they just using it to bomb little brown people in Irak and Afghanistan? Making the rich in the United States along that way richer and richer? The United States healthcare system does not meet minimum humanitarian standards.
A few years ago I went to a dentist in Sherman Oaks, California. I had no health insurance at this time. I went there to have a root canal done. I told the girl at the reception that I don’t have health insurance but that I am prepared to pay for the root canal out of pocket. She led me to one of these “dentist rooms” with a dentist chair in it. I took a seat on it. The dentist came and asked me ONLY if it is true that I don’t have health insurance. He said “okay” and left. 10 to 15 minutes later a rather strong build man entered the room, asked me to get up and leave. Which I did. They threw me out of the dentists office despite the pain I was in. A few days later I received from the dentists office a bill of $150 for a “doctors consult”. Later I had the tooth pulled by another “dentist”. I actually don’t know if this guy was really a dentist. I took the cheapest plan he had, which means pulling the tooth without ANY pain medication, nothing to numb the area where the tooth was to be pulled. I did it anyways. One of the most horrifying and painful experiences in my life. When it comes to healthcare the United States is really a big shit hole.
While I was sitting here in pain I was watching the Michael Moore documentation “Sicko”. If you have not seen it, watch it. Critics (usually scumbags and assholes like Right-Wing Republicans) say that this documentation is only propaganda. I am a German citizen. Everything is true what Michael Moore describes in his documentation about the healthcare system in Europe. In Europe you will be provided with the healthcare you need, not with the healthcare you can afford. There nobody is profiting from healthcare.
Comments or questions are welcome.