Live Without Health Insurance And See What Side You Favor

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Editor:

I am not sure how many of the folks who are opposed to health insurance reform have ever lived without insurance.

I was employed by a company that laid me off after 22 years. Since I had worked for the company for more than 20 years, I was assured that I would have health insurance at the employees’ rate for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, the company went out of business and with it went my health insurance.

With about six weeks’ notice I searched for health insurance. I tried brokers and dealt directly with insurance companies. Because I take a medication to control high blood pressure, “a pre-existing condition” which has been totally controlled for years, the only insurance I could get was through AARP. The problem was, it cost $1,200 a month, and since I was living on $1,600 it wasn’t even a possibility.

So for two years I prayed I would not get seriously ill or have an accident. The first day of the month that I was 65 was a joyous day — I had health insurance.

During my first year of Medicare, I had an emergency appendectomy. The first thing I thought of when I woke up after surgery was, “Thank goodness for Medicare.”

So many folks I have spoken to are in the same situation. If it weren’t for Medicare they would not have the medical care they need or they would go broke paying for it.

I only had two scary years without insurance. How about providing the ability to get reasonably priced insurance for those who are not old enough for Medicare, especially those who have pre-existing conditions?

I find it very troubling that some people distort the proposals for health insurance reform, perhaps some of the same people benefitting from Medicare or veterans’ benefits. They lie about what the bills intend. They are determined to spread fear and anxiety. I suspect these people or their parents were out spreading their lies and fears when Social Security began or when Medicare was passed. Thank goodness sanity prevailed.

What should scare people is if these naysayers succeed and nothing is done. Let us hope that compassion and reason again triumph.

Chris Tilley

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