I’m not a political junkie. I feel like the current slate of crap I have to worry about (chemo, dinner, second-grade projects, emptying pockets before laundering, my backhand, spring fashion forecasts) is full and engrossing enough that I really don’t need anything else in my brain. But I have kept an ear to the ground over the health-care debate, and I am very glad it’s over.
Except it’s not. (And let me just preface the following by saying that although I’m not an ignoramus, I do NOT have all the details of the plan neatly laid out in a flow-chart in front of me.) What I’m seeing is like a little plaintiff winning a big lawsuit against a major corporation: yes, the gavel went down, but the money is soooooo far away. States are filing suit; Republicans are heralding the end of civilization as we know it; Democrats are patting themselves on the back; retirees are sharpening their voting pencils; patients who need treatment NOW are still four years from a doctor’s appointment. Will more uninsured Americans get health-care coverage? Probably. Will the overall balance of people-getting-what-they-need-at-reasonable-prices swing into the positive? No one knows.
I love that insurance companies don’t get free rein to cancel coverage or raise rates the way they used to. But upon whose shoulders will they lay the cost of adding all the people they denied in the past? I’m guessing we, the payers. I have been quietly grateful for my outstanding insurance coverage over the past four years, and the fact that we’ve been able to see the doctors we want and get the treatments I’ve needed with only a couple of surmountable hiccups. Now I’m more than a little curious how that will change.
For those of you who had nothing, and need health care desperately, I share your excitement. I know that access to care is a huge problem for young cancer patients, and it’s beyond not-fair. I agree that some reform was sorely needed and I’m so glad we got some. I’m just going to hold back on my ticker tape scattering until more of the facts are in.
Are you celebrating today?