Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Friday, February 4, 2011

The Right to Choose Coverage or Not

Shockwaves went through the healthcare world when a FL judge was the first to declare the new federal health care law, The Affordable Care Act, unconstitutional due to its "must-buy" provision. With many other states proposing and voting on similar bills to join a federal lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the law or repealing the state's previous ability to enforce portion of the bill, it is anticipated that many other states will join in the suit, bringing the constitutionality of the law all the way to the Supreme Court maintaining, what one FL reporter stated, that, "we do not endorse solutions that sacrifice the rights of individuals," such as the right to choose whether to purchase health care coverage or not.

However, FL does mandate insurance, According to FL Highway safety and Motor Vehicles Dept. Website the very first question explains their stance on auto-insurance:

I am registering a vehicle for the first time in Florida. Is automobile insurance mandatory?
Yes. If you own a vehicle with at least four wheels and are registering it, you must have Florida insurance.

The entire page goes on to explain what type of insurance is necessary and its regulations.

Every single one of America's 50 states has laws that require, or at the very least, strongly recommend, that the owners and operators of automobiles have insurance. 

So why has a FL Judge and its governor denounced mandatory healthcare as unconstitutional when the precedent has been set by requiring auto insurance? And why aren't Americans complaining about this mandate? 

Failing to be properly insured health wise, as with an automobile, affects us all through driving up healthcare costs. 

And what about the choices we have in our current health care system?

I can not choose to change my health care coverage to any other insurance than what my husband's company offers him.

I can't choose to leave my husband, because he is the policy holder of my health insurance. Doing so would allow a lapse in insurance, rendering me "uninsurable" due to my "pre-existing condition."

I can't choose the Doctor I want to see. The insurance company provides a list of in-network providers that they will cover. Choosing to go out-of-network would result in even higher medical bills. 

I can't choose the hospital or location where I would like to undergo procedures. 

When diagnosed with cancer, one loved one of mine was forced to undergo an extensive surgery, including a bowel resection, removal of the gallbladder and appendix, as well as retroperitoneal chemotherapy hours away from home.

Upon discharge, she had the options of spending money to stay locally at a hotel or returning home, hours away from her dictated care providers.

If all these choices are influenced by cost, a they really choices? Do you feel that you have the freedom to choose the best medical plan, the best doctor, or the best care where ever you choose to receive it, whether having a child or having a biopsy?

I know I don't.


stonepost said...

If we could develop a truely capitalist system where if you chose not to have health insurance and got ill you were dumped at the outskirts of a city, well, that might be interesting? That isn't the issue here. People will continue to abuse the emergency sections of our hospitals for their general care which we all pay for. They want their cake and to eat it too.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Did you know that the New York Times article was also printed in the Houston Chronicle? That's how I found your blog. You write so well and make such good points. I hope you make people stop and think. Your cartoons are priceless. Keep up the good work.

Our son was diagnosed with Hodgkin's in October 2009 at 33. If all goes according to plan he's being admitted to the hospital on February 13th for a stem cell transplant.

Take care, Betty