August 11th, 2009

peter's sassy research

PSA: universal health care.

President Obama was clearing up some things about his health care plan on TV today when I got a piece of good (*cough*) news in the mail: a letter that informed me I would no longer be eligible to share my parents' health insurance as of September 30th, 2009.

Now I have, of course, been searching for a full-time job with health benefits, or at least with a decent enough salary that I'd be able to buy my own coverage. Unfortunately, jobs like this are few and far between, especially for a college student with just a years' worth of work experience, and that an internship rather than a paid position. I had to turn down a great part-time job offer because it didn't offer insurance, and I would end up paying more than I earn just for medical care. The companies offering benefits want someone with 2-5 years of editorial experience, even for an assistant editor's position. My options right now are to a) work two or more part-time positions; b) use what's left of my graduation money to go back to school this fall, meaning I'd be covered under my parents' insurance again; or c) marry a Canadian and sneak up past the border whenever I need some medicine.

Okay, so maybe I'm being melodramatic on this count. But I have plenty of other reasons to want some kind of national health care plan, and to want it now:

- I pay $50 a month for the asthma medication that keeps me able to breathe in allergy season.

- My mother was charged several hundred dollars out of pocket for an endoscopy that took the doctor all of five minutes to perform.

- My parents used to pay upward of $200 a month for the seizure meds that stopped my brother from collapsing in the shower again; now they pay $20 a month, because there's finally a generic version after fifteen years.

- The insurance company tried to refuse my sister a device that would allow her right ear to function for the first time since a life-saving surgery to remove a tumor from that ear, a surgery which, incidentally, cost my parents more than $60,000 out of pocket. That's not counting all the doctor's appointments, incorrect diagnoses, and treatments prior to that point.

So to the people who are fighting against health care reform, using scare tactics like those mentioned in this article to ward off the dreaded specter of socialism: I would like to thank you for your efforts. And then I would like to punch you in the face.