Thursday, February 23, 2012

Conversations About Health Insurance

The following conversation took place between American college students in Virginia and Georgia, both employed full-time.

"Ugh, my leg still hurts from when I hurt it somehow on Sunday, but if I go to the student health center, I'll get a diagnosis of "I don't have now have lortabs" and or "babies."

"What did you do on Sunday?"

"Went sledding. I didn't think I did anything but ever since Monday morning, my leg has been hurting like a bitch."

"Btw, what does 'babies' mean?"

"The health center's default diagnosis if you're female (or even male, in my friends case) is that you're pregnant."

"Ah right. Well, can't the health center refer you to an orthopedic specialist?"

"Hahahaha they probably don't even know what 'orthopedic' means."

"Then go see a specialist on your own?"



"I have some, but my orthopedic dude is four hours away and has to schedule appointments three months in advance."


Another conversation between full-time employed American college students, one in Georgia and the other in California.

"I broke my foot a little over a year ago and ever since then, wearing normal shoes hurts my foot."

"Did you rehab the foot properly?"

"I don't have health insurance. (No)"

"If only the Republicans weren't such demagoguing assholes. Oh noes a public option will result in the communist downfall of America!"

"I tried to get Medicaid and they literally told me I didn't qualify because I didn't have a child. So apparently I have to get knocked up to have healthcare. But at the same time people will bitch about the poor having kids they can't afford!"

"I had a similar experience last year when I developed gastrointestinal bleeding. I went to the student health center but they didn't see any hemorrhoids near the surface, so they referred me to a specialist. The bleeding stopped shortly after, so I didn't end up going because my health insurance sucks, but the bleeding has come back periodically since then."


There's a reasonable debate to be had about fiscal and regulatory policies, but can we at least agree that decent, affordable health care shouldn't be a luxury like a Rolex?

For another perspective, NPR recently did a story looking at substandard health care for employed adults.

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