“I’m doing much better this morning. After using the nebulizer, oxygen was much easier to take in.”
This was a response from a friend who is struggling through COVID-19 at home because she can’t afford to see a doctor or go to a hospital.
Our healthcare system is broken, when someone suffering has to consider cost before they consider the benefits of seeking treatment. Worse, this is not the first time I’ve encountered someone facing this conundrum.
A few years ago, my son woke one Sunday morning with a splitting headache (or so he thought). He was actually suffering a stroke (at the age of 28!!). As he was laying in the emergency room, getting diagnosed, his only thought was “this is going to be so expensive.”
Here was a very physically fit young man fighting a highly unusual case of stroke who had recently signed up for Covered California. He did so at his parents’ urging and begrudgingly.
It saved his life.
Over the last couple of days, my friend has been posting on social media of her struggles. What she hoped was a bad cold turned out to be COVID. As her oxygen levels dropped she realized that she may need to go in to the hospital. And THAT frightened her.
OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS BROKEN.
People should NOT fear going to a medical provider for fear of the cost. Most people around the world do not. Only Americans, and people in a few other nations do. Most countries provide some version of state-sponsored healthcare. But in the USA, the insurance industry has managed to buy protection of their profit generation from legislators by donating to their campaigns. (This brings up the issue of campaign finance reform; but that’s another piece yet to be written).
We need a single payer health system. These system will be cheaper to run, they will cover ALL persons, and they can provide vision and dental care (not currently covered by many insurance plans) if implemented wisely.
To date, the insurance industry has been effective in fighting these efforts. But this is a fight that MUST continue. Your life could quite literally depend on it.