Guest Op-Ed: Medical care, American Dream or Nightmare

Dr. Glenn Mollette 

Until recently my wife and I paid over $2,000 a month for medical insurance. We each had a $6,000 deductible. One year we both had procedure’s which meant we had $12,000 in out of pocket expenses. There were also some other “uncovered” medical costs throughout the year which resulted in over $40,000 in medical insurance and out of pocket costs. The procedures themselves of course cost far and above what our out of pocket expenses were. Most likely if we had not had health insurance the doctors and medical facilities would not have performed them. In America, you have to have medical insurance or the means to cover the costs of your healthcare. 

For the average American $40,000 in medical costs in one year means an eternity of debt. The prospects of such makes average Americans shy away from medical care they need. Unaffordable medical care is not an American dream. Honestly, for too many Americans it’s a nightmare. 

A business owner recently told me, “I pay for insurance for my employees but it’s barely enough insurance to meet the legal requirements for our business. It’s terrible insurance. It pays for almost nothing and no one with our insurance would ever want to go to the hospital.” This is tragic as all Americans need good medical care. However, the insurance companies in America are making billions in profit. The way they make profit is by denying to pay for something you need. The health insurance industry had a “net” profit of 22 billion dollars in 2019. Businesses need to make profit, but Americans need medical care, not denial and medical debt that leads only to serious anxiety for Americans. 

“If you are buying an ACA (Obamacare) plan as non-subsidized health insurance for a family of four, you can expect to pay about $25,000 for the year in premiums and deductibles. That breaks down to an average of $17,244 in annual premium cost for health insurance for families of 4 and $7,767 in deductible expenses. If you qualify for a subsidy this will certainly help but just the out of pocket deductible can make healthcare daunting for most.” (ehealthinsurance.com)

Healthcare is a major component of financial security. Financial devastation is lurking around the corner for any American who does not have a good medical care safety net. Any hospital stay today amounts to tens of thousands of dollars. 

You must make medical insurance a priority for you and your family. Also, our government is still a long way from solving our medical insurance dilemma. Obamacare has not fixed our problem. It’s a step but we have a long journey ahead of us. We must have access to good and affordable medical care in this country and we must not give up on making it good for all Americans.

Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist –  American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories and features appear each week In over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.

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