not all that

It’s strange to think that health care reform was passed six months ago. Six months ago, there was a lot of hard-to-stomach rhetoric floating around: baby killers, death panels for the elderly and health as a commodity. But, as so many have said — and those with chronic illness know too well — it’s the healthy who have the luxury of seeing insurance that works when you need it as something to be taken for granted.

This health care reform bill is not perfect. It’s not universal coverage. For me, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. The provision that will actually help me — relief for those of us with those pesky pre-existing conditions — doesn’t go into effect until 2014. The government is, of course, toting all that happens now, all those who are helped now or who will be helped soon. But, really, I was and continue to be pretty disappointed in the so-called “reform.” Nothing substantial has changed. Sure, I’m glad that in four years, I would have to worry as much about losing my insurance and not being able to get that back.

I know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I am willing to pay for my health care. But I don’t think it’s right that people should have to choose between eating and taking the medications. I don’t think it’s right that people should have to stop taking drugs that help them because they can’t afford the co-pay. I don’t think the insurance companies should have been the big winner in health care reform, with millions of mandated customers coming their way because of these changes.

There’s a lot more that could have been done if the powers that be really wanted to help the uninsured, the under-insured, those of us with pre-existing conditions. And they didn’t. Maybe in the future Congress will man up and do a proper job of it. But for now, I am not impressed.