Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Want Care, I Want it Now, and I Want it Free

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

Seems there is a lot of this going around these days. Almost an epidemic you might say.

People want everything, including health care, but they don't want to pay for it.

I don't like making a mortgage payment every month but I want a place to live and moving in with my parents is no longer an option.

Gerhard McNeary of Pontiac, Michigan is 51 and doesn't have health insurance.

He hasn't had health insurance since losing his job with GM in 1998.

Why he doesn't have health care: Too costly. "I could afford health care, but I wouldn't have a place to live," he said.

I suppose living with mom & dad is not an option for him either.

Actually, he receives health care but he has chosen not to buy health insurance. Regular readers will note the distinction.

Employment: Part-time substance abuse worker in Waterford.

Is full time employment not available? Or are there other issues we don't know?

What if he gets sick? Goes to the Gary Burnstein Community Health Center, a free clinic with a growing number of patients, in Pontiac; has no primary care doctor.

As indicated before, he has health care but does not have health insurance.

How not having insurance affects him: He waited two months to have a tooth filled this week, only to have to reschedule the appointment at the clinic because its dental chair was broken. Before he started going to the Burnstein clinic a few years ago, he waited until an emergency occurred, then sought care at a hospital emergency department, including for a bad toothache.

This is what happens when health care is free. Long waits, lack of direct access, needless suffering.

What he wants: Government-provided universal health care for everyone.

Voting for: Barack Obama.

Wow. That one came out of left field.

Pardon me while I make an appointment to have my tongue removed from my cheek.

On my dime I might add.
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