Current healthcare availability does not cover everyone. This is not meant as a political post for one or the other side of the healthcare issue. This is a simple observation.
There are still people who cannot afford healthcare, and charging them a fine for not signing up for healthcare will do nothing to solve the problem. Trying to collect a fine from people living in poverty would be useless, because you can’t collect what they don’t have. Some of these people may have full-time, but low paying jobs with employers that are exempt from providing healthcare for their workers. Some of these people have limitations in the kind job they can do for reasons of physical, emotional, or mental disability, therefore having a very narrow choice of options.
The choice made by people without healthcare is to go to an emergency room when their need becomes urgent. We are fortunate that emergency rooms will treat everyone. This is the most expensive form of healthcare we have. Sometimes patients to the emergency room are admitted to the hospital for testing, and treatment. Much of this care is eventually written off as the cost of healthcare, and is a cost we all share in higher premium costs, and medical costs. Once a person without healthcare is discharged from the hospital, they face the problem of filling their prescriptions. There are programs that hospitals have in place to help with medications, but many in need do not know these programs are available. While some medications are available through a hospital program for no charge, other medications are not, such as narcotic pain pills. While most of us would think this is a responsible action on the part of the medical community, we should acknowledge that some conditions require more pain relief than Tylenol or Advil, and without the proper pain relieving medication people are suffering pain, because they are poor.
Some expensive medicines, such as medicines to control Asthma, may qualify for programs that will provide these medications, but there is a lag time between application for this assistance and receiving the needed medication. Many people suffer needlessly, because they do not realize assistance is available. Some people on fixed incomes turn down these medications, feeling medical companies are taking advantage of people, and refuse to take medications that would relieve their suffering.
In a society where so many have so much, those who are struggling may not understand why they should sacrifice for healthcare when they have many other daily needs requiring their funds. When it is the choice between paying the eclectic bill or paying for healthcare the choice is easy to predict if you are feeling healthy. If the choice is getting medicine without the healthcare coverage or electricity that provides heat, especially when temperatures are below freezing, there isn’t much of a choice. A bad choice for an asthmatic, as cold can make breathing difficult. There are other conditions where people are taking risks and compromising their health, asthma is only one example.
Our elected officials may choose to dismantle or alter the current healthcare system. Our representatives elected by a majority of voters must consider the needs of all they represent. To our representatives I would like to say, “Consider those who have a tendency to fall into the cracks of the healthcare system.”