Holly Lynch, Oct 11, 2018
As I was rushed to NYU Medical Center on May 13th 2014, the worst news was not that I had an incurable grapefruit-sized cancer in my head, but that Oxford had canceled my insurance. That happened again in 2016. And with that, I was labeled not only “high-risk” but a “pre-existing condition” twice-over. I had to laugh, twice.
Here’s the problem: Being human is a pre-existing condition. We will ALL get sick, many of us, VERY sick. And who banks on that? Health insurers. Much like the mob, their monthly “protection” is limited and expensive and doubles-down the sicker we get, (read: the more we need it, the less we have it). We pay the premiums, but in our darkest hour, are punished for terminal illness. Insurers are truly sick.
Conservatives refer to Medicare and Medicaid as “entitlements”, as if healthcare were a charitable gift. But Congress declared healthcare a right in 1986when it passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), an unfunded mandate signed by Reagan ensuring EVERYONE, regardless of income, status or citizenship, received care at federally funded hospitals (nearly all of them). See? We already pay the bill. So why not pay a smarter, more fiscally sound bill that actually covers our pre-existing human condition, and that of our aging loved-ones?