I was watching a special on health care coverage and how those without employer coverage are absolutely screwed. Even states with mandated coverage price out the self-employed. I have been very fortunate in my health care coverage with my employer, and I hope that it never changes. There have been few things that have not been covered - and even those might have had partial coverage.
The insurance industry and people I know have been intersecting lately. My mom has heart disease and type II diabetes, so her health care coverage is extremely costly. Fortunately, she can afford it with her health care coverage.
My best friend gave birth to her third child today. A wonderful event that was supposed to take place at home was suddenly moved to a hospital due to maternal and fetal distress. Now, her baby will be needing extensive care (hopefully for only a few days - I'm praying for no long term issues) due to some nerve damage and listeriosis. She was tested for listeriosis, and the test came back negative. Now, her son is in the NICU, getting antibiotics, and physical therapy. I shudder to think what that would cost without insurance. My friend is a SAHM and her husband is self-employed. It's a good thing he's very successful.
In other sad news, a high school classmate passed away suddenly over the weekend. Apparently, she had some sort of cardiac event, depriving her of oxygen for 30-45 minutes. She was on life support for some period of time, and then lived for some time after support was removed. She was quite a character in high school - a person who was not afraid to be herself, whoever that might be. The world will be a little lacking without her. But, consider, what is the cost of keeping someone alive and what is the cost of hospice while you wait for someone to die? Without insurance, would her family be bankrupted for the cost of the process of dying? That's not exactly something that can ethically be hurried along.
I don't know what the insurance solution is. I have worked for a pharmaceutical company, and I know how much it costs to develop drugs. I do not find that the cost of many drugs is unreasonable. I know that doctors are trained and skilled, and while I frequently doubt their words, I think that they often earn their salaries. I don't think socialized medicine would work for me - there are too many people in my family with unusual complications to their illnesses, and I would not want to be limited in my doctor selection. After watching the Frontline program (available at pbs.org), I'm pretty sure I don't want to leave my employer. I had mention of a possible diagnosis of lupus, and while I don't have any symptoms, and therefore do not have lupus, I think that would be a giant red flag for any future insurers.
I guess it's time to throw all of our research money at the geneticists - let them figure out how to fix our genes to fix our health issues. Then all you'd need is a few doctors to set bones, put in stitches, and perform appendectomies, and insurance would become obsolete.