Sunday, September 25, 2011

Scary numbers

[This is not a political post.] I read this article this morning about the state of health care in Texas. I find the numbers appalling. 24.6% of Texans do not have health insurance and this number has grown by 35% in the past decade.

As a result of this low insurance rate, people die of treatable or vaccine preventable diseases, people with pre-existing conditions cannot afford health insurance, and people are not getting regular screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies. The numbers look like health statistics from a third world country but are instead from a state with some of the best medical centers in the country.

If you are unsure of the importance of change here are some stories from the article for you from Texas:

- a yoga instructor who makes $20,000/year is $30,000 in medical bill debt because she can't afford insurance as she has Parkinsons - a pre-existing condition.

- a 16 year old boy died from a tumor in his chest that was found too late.

- a 15 month old died from dehydration due to diarrhea because his family waited to bring him to the doctor because they thought they couldn't afford it.

This is an example of why the health care system in this country needs to change. As I said I am not making a political statement and frankly I don't care what people think of Obamacare, Governor Perry's presidential run, or the state of the economy. What I do care about is that people are dying unnecessarily or are horribly in debt trying to get basic medical care.

I am not sure anyone has it right yet but change is clearly needed. I am personally for health care reform and what some call Obamacare as it is change. If anyone has a solution to prevent people from dying unnecessarily, I am in favor of it. I know this is a sensitive subject for many and people resent government interference in their lives in being forced to buy health insurance. I do not see it as the government telling me what to do (I am a rule-breaker/rebel by nature). I look at it the other way, it is the government stepping in to do something good and making health insurance more accessible and affordable for all.

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