Our National Health Care System Needs An Overhaul

by The Smarter Wallet on March 3, 2010

When I read this article on how our health care system was frittering away money, it annoyed me to no end. I’m one of those people who feels I’ve done a lot of things right when it comes to personal finance, but I have an Achilles’ heel — it’s the necessary spending that I’ve had to do to ensure the good health of my family. You see, when it comes to one’s health, there’s a lot of things here that can be out of our control — accidents happen, infections happen, and even incurable diseases can alight upon you one day when you least suspect it and change your life forever. No matter how much saving, investing and earning you’ve done in your life, you may end up having to spend your hard-earned money on ridiculous things such as $1,000 tooth brushes and $140 tylenol pills, if you aren’t careful. And this is through no fault of your own.

health care system

I may sometimes come across as someone with a morbid sense of humor (black humor is my defense mechanism and my way of coping with tough issues), but I’ve always believed that if you’re a resident of the United States, one of the best ways to preserve your net worth is to simply STAY HEALTHY. Time and time again, I’ve seen the sick in this country suffer all the more — not just from their health problems, but also due to the games that health insurance companies and the medical industry play. I’ve read that the #1 cause of bankruptcy for many households is ill health, especially when it’s experienced by the breadwinners of the family.

Our National Health Care System Needs An Overhaul

Here’s why getting sick or falling ill spells doom to the financial well-being of many Americans: if you’re a breadwinner and you get sick, you may qualify for disability insurance — that is, if your employer has this to offer. But tons of people don’t have such insurance, much less have ANY kind of insurance to cover them when they do fall ill. So if you ever suffer the misfortune of developing a chronic or life-threatening illness, you may not only lose your livelihood, but you could also drain your life’s savings once you find yourself in the grip of the U.S. health care industry. So it’s simple then, isn’t it? My advice is just this: avoid bankruptcy by taking care of your health. I’m sorry to say if it doesn’t seem all that practical. I’ll admit that it isn’t, since sooner or later, our health will eventually falter. What we really need desperately is health care reform!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ted @broketofree March 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I am with you! Bad health insurance get us into debt in the first place. It is crazy how expensive it is to do much of anything with a doctor. My health insurance company raised our deductible $50 on a whim. My choices? Get worse health insurance or pay more. It is tough! And the stories of people getting dropped by their insurance once they are diagnosed with an expensive disease. I am guessing that some simple changes would alter everything and get us back on track. Basic health care should be a basic human right. But that is just my opinion :)

2 Star Scott March 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

While I wholeheartedly agree that Health care in the USA needs some reform in key areas, I also am disheartened that the “smarter wallet” may actually be advocating the current Health Care plan? Would that not go against any economic expedience, considering the price tags and level of debt it will put our country in? Tell me it isn’t so!!

3 Randy March 5, 2010 at 2:11 am

I have to disagree. Why should this be a federal problem? I agree, staying healthy is best, good insurance is second best. Disability insurance can be purchased on the open market without the aid of your employer — I have insurance both ways.

We can’t/shouldn’t lean on the government for everything.

4 The Smarter Wallet March 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I’m not advocating anything except to improve whatever system we have today because it sucks. Period. Have you ever been chronically ill? You have a job? Great. You’re probably well covered. But tell that to the tons of people who don’t have that umbrella over their head.

I’m not saying the government should take care of it all. I am saying that we should take care of the waste going on in the health care system. The health insurance industry needs some investigation and things need to be changed in this country. I’m thankful I can afford everything out of my own pocket, but this is not the case for many Americans.

I heard that Canadians are doing so much better with their set up — while I don’t think we need to go “socialist” on things, we can certainly try to do something to make improvements.

5 The Smarter Wallet March 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I agree that we shouldn’t lean on the government for everything. Absolutely. But something needs to be done with the insurance companies and relationships they have with our health management system. Not everyone can be insured by the way, unless they have a job. I don’t think this type of situation is acceptable in a first world country, especially when health care costs are ridiculous.

What about affordable health care? Can this be achieved?

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