Have you heard all the scary things that will happen if health care reform passes? Most of them are untrue or misleading, but that doesn't matter. Unfortunately, big issues like this are never won with facts, reason, or logic. Emotional appeals always win the day - and there is no stronger emotion than fear to motivate people.
Those in favor of reform are busy spouting off facts - and they're getting their butts kicked by the opponents who just bring up every bogeyman they can think of - eg death panels, rationing, increased taxes - without worrying a bit about the truth. The truth is irrelevant in this fight. Of course, the scare mongers have the advantage of having gazillions of dollars to spend on their horror show. After all, those who truly stand to benefit from doing nothing are all wealthy - and they're willing to spend plenty to be sure they stay wealthy. Whereas those people without insurance or who have huge medical bills don't have any money to spend at all. Not a very fair fight, is it?
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU FINANCIALLY IF HEALTH REFORM FAILS?
First of all, health care reform is not just about the uninsured - it's for everybody - even you.
Individual health insurance or insurance for small groups is not worth the paper it's written on. If you have that kind of insurance, you may as well consider yourself uninsured right now - and it's only going to get worse. A far better investment is to take the same money and buy lottery tickets - your odds of pay off are much better.
The only dependable health insurance nowadays is with large employers. However, the costs for that health insurance more than doubled in the last ten years and will double again in far less than the next ten. What does that mean to you as an employee?
You will be asked to pay a larger and larger share in premiums, deductibles, and copays. It will be twice as much as it is now in less than ten years.
More and more employers will stop providing health insurance at all to their employees - and you'll be unexpectedly uninsured.
If you lose your job, you're suddenly uninsured. Forget about COBRA - no unemployed person can afford it.
Your taxes will go way up to pay for Medicare and Medicaid, which will be half of all health care spending in just three years, and other government programs.
If you like your health insurance now, it's likely because you haven't been seriously ill. Think you won't need it? Think about this.
Your chance of having cancer in your lifetime is 1/2 for males and 1/3 for females.
Cancer patients can face severe challenges in paying for life-saving care – running up large debts, filing for personal bankruptcy, and even delaying or forgoing potentially life-saving treatment – even when they have private health insurance, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
You or someone in your immediately family is going to be seriously ill sooner than you think. And when it happens, unless you're very wealthy, your family can be financially destroyed. 62 percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses. Of those who filed for bankruptcy, nearly 80 percent had health insurance.
OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS A FINANCIAL DISASTER RIGHT NOW. If we don't do something drastic about it immediately, we can forget about the financial survival of our country. Opponents carry on about the horrors of having a European health care system. How about the health care system of a third world banana republic? Because that's where we're headed right now.
And I haven't even touched quality of care yet.
Be scared - be very scared - not of made up bogeymen but of the truth.