Cause of Death: Lack of Insurance
I was looking through the newspaper yesterday and stopped at the obituaries for a moment. Not something I do normally but I stopped and read, none the less. My mind began wandering a bit as I read the reasons for the people dying. I could not help but wonder how many of the causes of death could have been listed differently. By that, I mean to say, how many could have said "Died due to poor or lack of Insurance coverage."
That may look a bit strange but in truth, it is becoming less strange each day. Though it is true that hospitals can not turn you away for lack of insurance, by law, they need only get you stable enough to move you to another Medical facility. If your insurance coverage isn't enough or if it isn't the type that a hospital accepts, your treatment may become less than adequate. The length you are kept in the hospital might be lessened and the care you receive could dramatically change due to the Insurance coverage you have.
People may think that there is No way that a hospital would ever treat you differently based on insurance coverage. I am sure that many Do in fact trust that when they go to the hospital or a doctor, they are going to get the very best care. I am here, having lived the "insurance roulette" game, to tell you that your Policy DOES matter. The hospitals that may accept "lesser" coverage are very often under-staffed and have less than the full supplies of medical equipment that may be needed to treat someone. The medical staff may be well educated but minus the proper staffing or medical supplies, your chances for a good, safe recovery are much slimmer.
How many times have you, yourself, waited longer than you would have liked to have to visit your doctor because of the bill that would follow the visit? Have you steered clear of the E.R. when you probably should not have, based solely on the fact that your insurance didn't cover certain things? Even our children are put at risk because of ther lack of or lesser insurance coverage we may carry. We live in a country over-saturated with the best medical facilities and doctors in the world. If we can't use them or can't be treated because of insurance issues, then it is like having water in the desert that you can not drink. Worthless to anyone.
We make life choices all the time and I did the very same thing for twenty years. My wife became ill 1 year after we were married and for the next 25 years, she was in and out of hospitals no less than 2 or 3 times a year and sometimes more than 10 to 15 times a year, with her stays being as long as a year sometimes. The first few years, her treatment was the best of the best. She was always given all she needed to survive an illness set on killing her long before her time. As medical bills grew and insurance companies paid for less and less, there were choices to be made.
I chose to pay what I could and get loans to pay off as much as I could and the rest...??? The rest sadly became "bad credit" that would haunt her and I for the rest of our lives together. A credit rating that still, to, this day, follows me where ever I go. A bad choice for us? Absolutely not. I would do the same today if she were still alive. But as her insurance was eaten up, a million dollar policvy and two 500,00 dollar supplement policies, so did the places we could take her to be treated. Her treatment and her chances of surviving became harder and harder to achieve.
We, as a people, need to come together and be sure that NO ONE ever is given less than the full treatment they need to survive or to pass on with as little pain as possible. It is becoming more an more important as the return of childhood diseases we have not seen in decades, make a come-back. Insurance company's and Uncle Sam need to BACK OFF and let the doctors and hospitals decide what is best for the patient. If they can't do that, then make our medical coverage good, no matter where we take our families.
When the cause of death is given as "did everything medically possible but couldn't save them", then I will know that we have fixed the issues we have with our Medical Insurance here. Don't let it state "Cause of Death"...Insurance issues. Let's make it right for our loved ones.