Money. No one wants to talk about it, but it affects all of us. In the United States of America, having a health condition can put you in the poorhouse. In a recent survey, the U.S. Census determined that medical bills were the biggest cause of bankruptcy filings in 2012. Many people will even hesitate to take their necessary medications in order to slow the financial bleed.
President Barack Obama’s victory cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly unhealthy, aging population.
I’m not sure how everyone else is feeling about health insurance in the United States of America right now, but I know I’m worried. Ever since my type 1 diabetes diagnosis at 18 years old, I’ve been concerned about the possibility of losing my health insurance. But now, I’m even more worried by the fact that, despite my health insurance, my healthcare costs seem to be rising by the minute. It strikes me as colossally unfair that you can faithfully stick with your employer and still end up with health insurance that’s much worse than what you started with. I feel overwhelmed by the new costs I’m seeing, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Twenty thousand physicians in four Midwest states received a glimpse into their financial future last month. Landing in their e-mail inboxes were links to reports from Medicare showing the amount their patients cost on average as well as the quality of the care they provided. The reports also showed how Medicare spending on each doctor's patients compared to their local peers in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.
As I listen to the news of the recent Mega Millions jackpot of over $600 million, my dreams aren't about fast cars, vast mansions, or plush vacations. My thoughts revolve around my diabetes. How awesome would it be to have the best care that money can buy?
The Second Annual Native American Healthcare Conference will take place May 23 through 24 at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Native American Diabetes Workshop at the same site.
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