By: Kennard Eltinge
Getting health insurance and keeping it seem to be the major economic issues in politics today. Up until I was 60 getting health insurance was not a problem. I sold my business and semi-retired at 58 and thought that since l was in good health, getting a personal policy would be fairly cheap. Insurance companies don’t look at your health, they look at your age so a policy for me at the time was 3 times what I had paid before. So I decided to go uncovered, until at age 60 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was hospitalized and the cost wiped out most of my savings and retirement. Of course after that, insurance was almost impossible, so I paid retail and waited until I could get Medicare. I know the costs of paying for everything. Without Medicare excepting the preexisting condition, I would have eventually run out of money.
My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago and she had a policy that had a payout limit which was quickly reached and we had to again go to our retirement funds to complete treatment. Again she could not get a reasonable policy. When the debate for the AHA was in the congress, I wrote to my congressman to explain that the health insurance industry almost guarantees that at some point in your life you will suffer a financial crisis due to a medical emergency. Up to now, the insurance companies took no risk with the providers and taxpayers bearing the brunt of the costs for the uninsured patients.
The AHA has leveled the playing field for all Americans. Both insurance companies and the public will now be held responsible to deliver the best health care available.