Seriously? Why is it that in order to be guaranteed health care in this country you have to be in the last third of your life? The most expensive part of your life in terms of medical and healthcare?
Medicare was established in 1965 and was for adults over 65 years old when lifespan of the average American was 70.2 years. The average life span for an American is now 78 years old (and watch the Today Show to see people over 100 every day). Then in 2003 Medicare was expanded to provide a prescription drug benefit. The rest of us got nothing. More and more employers are not providing insurance, part time positions are generally not eligible and forget about it if you have a "pre-existing condition".
Medicaid? HA! If you are an adult, the income limit to qualify for Medicaid are incredible. I live in the state of North Carolina, for an adult to qualify for Medicaid they can not have a monthly income of more than $317 dollars for a family of two. Yes, you read that right, $317 for a family of two.
If you’re sick enough you can apply for disability but even then, no Medicare for TWO years. Well how does that work? If I am sick enough to qualify for disability which means I can’t work what am I supposed to do for the next two years?
When Medicare was approved there had been a national survey that found that only 56 percent of those 65 years of age or older had health insurance. The CDC reports that about 65 percent of non-elderly Americans had private insurance in 2008, the lowest it has been in 50 years.
Am I missing something? Is there a rule somewhere that says that it makes more sense to allow people of working age to be healthy and maybe even be able to work better or longer? That suffering through financial ruin to pay medical bills builds character? That late diagnosis and increase death is good for the soul?
So what’s it going to be? Do we have to wait until we’re at 56 percent, (which could be the end of the year if the economy doesn’t improve) or can we actually fight for ourselves and others to have a right to health care like the rest of the industrialized world?