20091015

Insure People, Not Profits

Sick of hearing about health insurance? Me too. I wish that I didn't have to hear anything more about health-care, insurance companies, PPOs, HMOs, co-pays, premiums, deductibles, and prescription drugs. I wish we could be done with this and move on to other important topics like Afghanistan, Global Climate Change, or **gasp** Letterman's Affair! (j/k about that last one)

But, before you tune out completely, I want to share my health insurance story. Back in the day (when I was 22) I had cheap, excellent health insurance. I had Tricare insurance (government-run health insurance) as a military dependent. For my appointments I paid a $12 co-pay (even for specialists) When I had surgery, I paid a $25 co-pay and perscriptions always cost $3/drug. About two years ago I woke up with terrible and mysterious pain in my right elbow. I saw many, many doctors, was in and out of physical therapy for years, and had two different surgeries. My doctors never did figure out what the problem was with my elbow.

Then I turned 23...

23 is when you age out of the tricare system. Since I didn't have health insurance through my employer, I had to purchase an individual plan. Before I turned 23, I applied for health insurance and found out weeks later that I had been denied due to "undiagnosed elbow pain." I applied to another company and again I was denied. I am one of the "young invincibles", but not by choice. I want health insurance and I am willing to pay, but can't get covered. For now, I have a short-term, emergency care only plan that will only last for a few more months and then I am back to square one. Something needs to change. Like the World Health Organization, I believe that "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition."

That is why on Tuesday I attended the "Rally Against Greed" during my lunch break on the front steps of city hall in Colorado Springs. About 50 people attended which was super impressive considering how rainy and cold it was. This was my first rally for an issue rather than a candidate and it was super fun. Coincidentally, my friend Pete from the PP Justice and Peace Commission happened to run into me at the County Clerk and Recorder's Office and I got a ride to the rally! How fun! To keep things interesting, one guy with an "I survived Obama's death camps" jacket on hung around for awhile. I really am curious about where he got that jacket though. It was pretty fancy.

I learned that people that honk are really what makes the rally fun, that I should make my own sign for next time and that cute, high-heel shoes are no good for rallies.

And a few pictures from the event:

An estimate 45,000 people die annually due to lack of health insurance.
Rally with city hall in the background




"Jesus didn't charge premiums" in front of First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs

We were in the news!

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