America's Healthcare Crisis

At the risk of upsetting some people I consider friends, it is high time that I started blogging the unholy, heartless, mindless, money-grubbing mess that is "healthcare" in America today.

For my first post, two connected items. We start with the rate that Blue Cross and Blue Shield are now charging my wife and I for basic health insurance ($1,000 deductible and various other limits): $1096.00 per month. In other words, about the size of a mortgage payment on a median-priced home in this part of the country (North Florida). And we think we are pretty healthy! I have high blood pressure but it is controlled by medication, diet, and exercise. My wife smokes but is trying to quit. She also has migraines (for which the medical establishment has failed to find effective treatment). But we don't have diabetes or cancer or any other serious health conditions, and we take an active interest in staying healthy.

The second item is proof that we are not alone. A report by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that sponsors independent research on health and social issues, reveals that 89% of working-age adults who shopped for health coverage in the individual market over the last three years were rejected for health reasons or found it too expensive.

See: Study Says Individual Insurance Too Costly
by Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer, September 14, 2006
(may requires registration, but I find the LA Times do not spam registrants)

The full report is available as a Adobe Acrbat pdf here. I urge you to read it. The health of the nation and its citizens is clearly at risk.

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