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My Health Insurance Story

I purposely haven’t said anything about the healthcare debate because health care isn’t my area of expertise. But I can’t help but express my outrage at the insurance industry and my greater outrage and frustration with Congress.

I am a diabetic. I was diagnosed at age four and have been insulin-dependent ever since, having celebrated my 31st anniversary as a diabetic last August. Over the last 30-odd years, I have taken over 25,000 shots. I have excellent control, and no complications like sight-loss, neuropathy, or heart or kidney disease.

Yet because I have a disease I did not choose to get and that I did not get because I did not take care of myself, I am almost uninsurable by individual insurance plans. Sure, I could set up a corporate plan for just consulting and get all kinds of great insurance coverage, but such plans are cost-prohibitive for small businesses like ours.

As a resident of Virginia, I have the option of a government-backed plan that guarantees my coverage. However, because of that pesky pre-existing condition, I have all medical costs associated with my diabetes for 10 months before the insurance will begin to pay it. It seems the insurance companies – who as we all know are so limited in funds and resources – want to make sure that I am fully committed to both my disease and to my insurance plan before they pay for any of it.

So remind me again why the insurance is helpful? If within the first 10 months on the plan I have a serious diabetes-related incident that requires hospitalization, I have to pay that myself. Because the poor insurance companies don’t want to be taken advantage of? I basically will be paying all my own expenses for almost a year, expenses which I am buying the insurance to cover in the first place.

And I won’t even get into the situation my mother is facing with her medications on her fixed income…

Insurance companies get away with murder, sometimes literally, and all Congress can do is come up with a plan that will ultimately help no one. President Obama has provided no leadership on this issue, instead leaving it up to Congress to formulate the plan.

Too many Americans are in the same position my mother and I are. And Congress doesn’t seem to really care, being too concerned about political gain and benefit than truly assisting the millions of Americans who struggle each and every day to cover the costs of health care.

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