Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Health Care Expenses in 2008

I’ve been focusing on health insurance coverage lately. It’s no wonder with SCHIP up for reauthorization over the fall(what a miserable failure this was), followed by fear of losing Medicaid for my peanut, and the change in the type (and quality) of health care plans offered by my employer. My dismay concerning the health coverage situation for those of us on the “right” side of the health insurance fence (to say nothing of those who AREN’T insured) only grew as I calculated my own annual health expenses (out of pocket including premiums)and discovered that I had managed to spend over $9,000 in 2007. At almost 27% of my entire income, health care was my primary expense with rent following at a close second (around 23%).

My situation can’t be hugely different from many other insured Americans with a chronic condition (or two). Why is this allowed to continue? This disproportionate burden of cost is stifling for Americans whose alternative to investing this amount and percentage of their income on their health is summarily a loss of health.

So what am I going to do about all this? First of all, I am going to continue to write about the expense of health care for insured Americans. Secondly, in recognition of the new year, I plan to track my medical expenses throughout the year on this blog. I haven’t yet created a space in my sidebar, but along with my blood sugars & averages currently posted, I intend to add my own personal ticker which will show what (thus far) I have spent on things like Test Strips, Premiums, FSA deposits, Insulin Pump Supplies, Sensors & Supplies, %’s of therapy & doctor’s appointments, and basic prescriptions. I also intend to keep a published log of what my total YTD out-of-pocket expenses are for health coverage & health care (accompanied by what percentage of my total YTD income this is). Keep an eye out for this on my page, and I will keep all of you updated as I venture through my own public awareness campaign.

I am going to be sharing these expenses with the public because I know my family is not unique. I also know that fixing the problems of health expenditures for “only” my family is not appropriate. There needs to be a global repair in the health care system that will allow for universal affordability AND accessibility. I don’t have the solutions in regards how to make that happen, but I am going to be a part of telling MY story so perhaps other families will be inclined to do the same. Also, I’m greatly interested in what percentage of income other families are spending on health care. So please, if you know this tidbit or are inclined to figure it out, please send it my way!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Healthcare costs faced by the average American are rising at a blistering pace, with no real help in sight. Hopefully a shake up in the Senate will help things out.