BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
« Previous | Main | Next »

Health care heartbreak

Justin Webb | 07:28 UK time, Monday, 5 January 2009

Apologies for the long break in posts. My son fell ill over Christmas and has been diagnosed with type one diabetes.

He can still have a long and happy life but no longer a care-free one and nor can his parents!

So we find ourselves at the receiving end of the health service I have heard George Bush describe as the best in the world and Barack Obama describe as seriously flawed. Both are right of course.

I desperately want a cure to be found and I have every confidence that if it is found it will be found HERE - in a nation that creates the wealth, and fosters the humanity, necessary to do the job.

But to arrive back from the hospital - confused and, frankly, a bit heartbroken - to find a bill already in the letter box, that's tough. And we are insured so the next day a letter from the insurers arrives telling us they have reviewed the case and decided to pay (note the language - how kind of them!) but if we hadn't been insured or if the insurers had behaved differently .......

The amount by the way for a night's stay and associated treatment is nearly $3,000. Even the co-pay which I handed over in the pharmacy on Christmas Eve (for the kit which is now part of our life) set us back a couple of hundred.

Of course the Obama reforms would not necessarily change this - his plan is not for a European style national health service. But as a user of the current US system I have to say the bills feel cruel, particularly when they apply to sick children.
...

Comments

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.