Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healthcare Bill

As if I haven't heard enough about bills having to do with healthcare!! Specifically MINE! I got into a car accident a few years ago and have a vertebrae that is several degrees out of alignment. Needless to say, I had multiple ex-rays, mri's, etc which added up to a pretty penny (or several thousand pennies and they weren't all that pretty). I had a hard enough time paying my portion of the bills after my medical insurance paid their fraction of the costs. THEN I began receiving these harassing phone calls from The Rawlings Group. An obnoxious woman spent her days (and evenings) calling and sending me letters threatening to sue me for the portion of my medical bills that her "client", MY medical insurer, covered!!! Unreal. I was in tears, daily, being hounded by this woman. I ended up writing a check to The Rawlings Group for every penny I had in my account, which was a tiny portion of what she was claiming her client was owed, but she went away for the most part. I was later told by an attorney that this was completely illegal. This awful woman was harassing me to my breaking point because there was a third party involved. In other words, because I was not at fault and someone else caused the accident, that it was my responsibility to go after the person to pay for my medical costs, period. She claimed my medical insurance should recover every cent they paid out. Of course, the woman who hit me was uninsured. I have uninsured motorist coverage, but had no idea I was supposed to sue this woman personally! As I mentioned, I found out later that I was not required to do so, and that I was NOT responsible for paying my insurance company's portion of my bill. The whole thing was disgusting and I was out a substantial amount of money on top of my huge medical bills (insurance paid 70% or something).

Now, as if insurance companies are not corrupt enough, with this new healthcare bill, they have been given "notice" that the amount they will be permitted to raise premiums and down payments will be regulated by the government. The "heads up" will cause the same effect as when government got involved in lending practices especially involving annual percentage rates on credit card companies. The insurance companies will increase their rates exponentially so that when the government regulations are implemented they will have the cushion of the exorbitant rates charged months before. UGGGGH!

I just assume pay my medical bills and carry on living my life. I am not naive enough to think this is a smart way to go about it. God forbid something catastrophic were to happen, I would join the over 1.4 million people who filed for bankruptcy last year alone, but government regulation is never the answer. When a private sector is given chance after chance, assistance after assistance and still can't figure it out, of course the government is going to step in. But step in then! Don't step IN IT. If they are going to impose legislation requiring all citizens to have insurance, something that is almost impossible to enforce, then why don't they just give us VAT and a national system we all pay taxes on in a more affordable way. What does the insurance requirement solve?! All I hear anyone complain about is that it is the non-citizens who are untraceable for billing and no one is refusing these people expert care. Isn't the problem there and not citizens who receive enormous medical bills, even those with medical insurance?!?

I'll pay more for a pack of gum or a movie ticket, a Big Mac, etc, if it means I don't have to break my piggy bank and bankrupt myself every time I fall down and go boom. Otherwise, US Government, stay the f*%k out of it!!!!!

Here's to good health.

~ Kate


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