Sunday, August 03, 2008
Health, Insurance and Calling Dr. Kildare
A few days after sending in a hefty check for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage, I pour over the differences between choosing a PPO or an HMO. I have a new job, and I must choose health insurance coverage. I long for the days of Dr. Kildare and Marcus Welby, M.D. Things were so much simpler then.
As I look at papers, more acronyms like HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) jump at me. I will have to call the benefits administrator to see if there is an exclusion for pre-existing health conditions like my Big C. Since I have had no gaps in coverage, I should be okay on this front.
Additionally, with a million dollar baby in the family, I watch my son and daughter-in-law struggle with insurance issues each day. A preemie born as early as baby Nicolas soon becomes a veteran health care consumer.
So, I do not know on what planet those who think everything is hunky-dorky with health care in the U.S. happen to be living. It certainly isn’t the one I’m on.
I don’t know if one politician can do anything to move America on this front and help bring much-needed reform in this area, but I damn sure don’t think John McCain, the so-called maverick Republican, can. I will give my vote to Barack Obama and hope he is a man of his word about working across party lines to bring this change.
It’s a real challenge to fight the influence of corporations and organizations with payrolls full of former politician- and backslapper-lobbyists, but I am putting some of what little money I have left after paying for my health insurance on Obama.
Pop Culture Note: Photos: 1) From Calling Dr. Kildare with Lew Ayres as Dr. Kildare and the great Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie. I had no idea there were so many Dr. Kildare movies in the late 30s and early 40s. I believe there were 10 with Lew Ayres and Barrymore continued with a few more movies as Dr. Gillespie after Ayres went off to war (as a conscientious objector who served in the Medical Corps). 2) TV’s dreamy Dr. Kildare portrayed by Richard Chamberlain is the Dr. Kildare I grew up loving.