I think this issue deserves a serious discussion, not soundbites, scare tactics, lies, and ignorance.
This is the first of my August Recess posts about health care reform.
I have a daughter with Down syndrome. I knew that she would have Down syndrome and a serious heart defect before she was born, because my employer-subsidized health insurance paid for excellent prenatal care and testing and I chose to use them.
Did you know that Down syndrome can be considered a "pre-existing condition" and that without government regulations mandating coverage of pre-existing conditions, my family might not be able to find health insurance?
Allowing insurance companies not to cover children born with disabilities encourages women to have abortions for fetuses the INSURANCE COMPANIES deem "imperfect." It also narrows society's acceptance of differences and makes us all the poorer for it.
I don't want an insurance company determining the value of my child's life. I don't want to live in an eugenics-loving Gattaca society.
Reference: Candidates’ healthcare fixes: tax credits vs. more federal spending. (The US spends twice as much on healthcare per capita than other nations but still trails in access to care.)
"Ensuring that everyone has access to care has become a full-time cause for Ms. Demko. She and her family have been without insurance since her daughter was born four years ago with ... Down syndrome. Her husband is a self-employed contractor so the family had relied on her job as a substance abuse counselor for their health insurance.
But Demko said she couldn’t keep working full time with an infant with special needs. When she quit, she didn’t realize that would result in her family’s being unable to get health insurance.
Ohio does not require insurance companies to cover children with disabilities considered to be preexisting conditions....
The Demkos’ income is nearly three times the poverty rate. That’s too much for their daughter to qualify for Ohio’s SCHIP plan and not enough to qualify for another state-sponsored program.
She’s gotten quotes for family health plans that start at $3,000 a month, which is almost as much as they earn.
For too long, she believes, insurance companies have been allowed to put profit before people, selling lower-priced plans to the healthy and at the same time charging exorbitant rates for people who have healthcare needs or just denying them coverage."
Second Reference. (There are some extremely compelling examples, here.)
This is an example of a situation in which the "free market system" must be checked by government regulation. And the proposed health care plans currently before Congress would do this.
"Government regulation" is thrown about like it's a bad word, but it isn't and shouldn't be. Drinking water should be safe. Food packaging plants should have to meet certain standards. Convicted pedophiles shouldn't work in day care centers.
And we shouldn't let profit-driven insurance companies decide whose life is worth living.
Part 1 - Down Syndrome is a Pre-existing Condition
Part 2 - It Pays to Work for the Insurance Company
Part 3 - But We're the Best! Why Fix What Isn't Broken?
Part 4 - What Does "Reform" Really Mean?
The President's Plan for Health Care Reform