I am in the process of making this webpage into a blog. (With the generous help of my IT guy, Courtney. He’s our lovely 76 year old neighbor who has never stopped learning!) These are topics I feel strongly about. Each topic on this page has a powerful adverse effect on our health. These issues are things we can change if we work together, which is why I am moved to discuss them.
With all the news about revisions of our health care system, I am often very irritated on 2 fronts. First as a small business owner and a self employed person my premiums for health insurance have risen to 25% of my income as of Oct 2016. This doesn’t include my $7000 annual deductible. Since I am basically healthy, I have never reached my deductible and truly feel my insurance premiums are equivalent to sending money down a rathole. This is not just my personal self-interest. Health insurance rates make being in business quite difficult. Small businesses in Oregon communities are all being hit with exorbitantly high health insurance costs. I cannot keep my practice open if I can’t cover business costs. I have talked with other small business owners and we are all feeling the economics of rising health insurance. Compassionate people are trapped between doing the right thing by our employees and struggling to be able to earn the money to pay for health insurance.
My second serious gripe regards the US health insurance system as a whole. We are paying top dollar for relatively little health care. All other industrialized developed nations pay less per person and have better health outcomes than the US. Some countries with much better health outcomes pay a fraction per capita annually of what we pay. 35% of our health care dollars go to administrative paperwork and not for health care at all.
See this recent New York Times analysis of Single Payer Health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines universal health coverage as “a system where everyone has access to quality health services and is protected against financial risk incurred while accessing care.” See this article from the Guardian on how the US compares with other countries now.
My next topics will be climate change and neoliberalism 😉