Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"Nothing seems so certain as the unexpected in our lives. With rising medical costs, health insurance is the only way most families can meet serious accident, illness, or maternity costs, particularly those for premature births... Every family should make provision for proper health and life insurance." ("Constancy Amid Change," Ensign, Nov.1979, 80).

I'm taking a personal finance class this semester and our topic for the week has been insurance. We've talked about life, auto, homeowner's, liability, and health insurance.

Today, while talking about health insurance, a girl from my class shared a really personal story. Her daughter has undergone three bone marrow transplants, multiple bouts of chemotherapy and radiation, and over a hundred blood transfusions. Her daughter is 3 years old. They hadve health insurance through her husband's job, but there was a lifetime limit of $1 million of coverage per person. Her daughter, at 3 years old, was already approaching her lifetime limit of health care coverage. After they reached this amount, any other healthcare expenses would have to come out of their pockets. 

She said they didn't know what to do - her husband had his MBA and was at a great job, but they were seriously considering having him quit his job and spending all of their savings and retirement on things the government doesn't consider assets just so they could go on Medicaid and have their daughter's medical treatments covered.

Right before their daughter reached her $1 million mark, a portion of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) kicked in which eliminated lifetime limits. Her husband was able to stay at his job, and they were able to continue getting treatment for their daughter, who has now received over $3 million of healthcare benefits. Without this change, they would have been forced to quit their job and go on Medicaid or go $2 million into debt. As she put it, "You can't come back from that."

I like this aspect of the Affordable Health Care Act. I like that the government has used its power to step in and make sure that people are being taken care of by their health care providers. I like that I can stay on my parent's health insurance even though I'm married. I like that changes are being made to advocate for people who need health care coverage.

With that being said, I do think that some aspects of the act are effectively sticking a band-aid on the problem without really addressing the issue (what can be done to lower health insurance costs without having the government provide it). I wish there was some more enabling going on rather than just providing (i.e. enabling people to take care of themselves rather than relying on the government). I don't think the government should be providing healthcare (umm hello... inefficient), but I do think the current healthcare system needs to be fixed. 

I'll say it - I like a lot of these early portions of "Obamacare."

So there.


  1. I agree that there are some good aspects of the law and also a lot of band-aids. In some ways it just delays the inevitable task of truly overhauling our healthcare system. But I also don't necessarily believe that the government would do a worse job than private companies. Insurance companies are plenty inefficient while still being for-profit companies, with bills that show up a year after you've received treatment because they never processed the claim.

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