Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
All this talk about health insurance has given me an opportunity to think about how it impacts my world and the people around me. Members of my immediate family are fortunate enough to be involved with systems that provide insurance. We are either working, retired or disabled. The other piece I recognize is what these insurance advantages have meant to us in a psychological and physiological sense. In order to be treated by my general practitioner, or anyone else within the health care system, the practitioner, must create a diagnosis in order to get payment; it is the same with the dentist. Once you have this diagnosis, it becomes a part of “who you are” within the miasma of today’s systems, all of them, kind of like that “permanent record card “that stuck all through our school years. If you smoked anything, ever, does that impact who you are today? How about the year you were depressed because of a situation that has long passed, but still, you were on medication for a while. How does that read in insurance terms? Maybe there was a time you were overweight, your BMI was off the charts, since then you have learned how to eat and you exercise. Yoga has replaced your antidepressants and basically you are in stellar health. Does your medical record say anything about how great you are doing? I understand your blood pressure and pulse rate will tell a story as will that BMI. Do the insurance companies read those numbers? My guess, and it is only a guess, is that there are key words and medications that create those red flags that mean you get no insurance unless you stay where you are. I have lived in places that have a health care system that is socialized and it works, everyone gets treated equally and fairly. If you want faster service you can purchase it. It appears we have little say as far as the direction this country is moving in, who ever has the most lobbyists wins. I can say most of my friends are uninsured or under-insured. I am grateful to have what I have, it’s pretty basic, a huge HMO that I have been with since 1976. If I want to stay in California I can stay with my HMO. If I move away, well, let’s just say, I have way too many red flags.