Misconceptions About Affordable Health Care

The 2008 election has brought the topic of “affordable health care” and “affordable health insurance” to the forefront and, along with it, a slew of misconceptions. So, what is true and what is false? The purpose of the following article is to dispel some of these myths and misconceptions and provide information to make a muddy topic a bit clearer.1. The first misconception is that, for some reason, Americans equate affordable health care to be “socialized medicine.”This is not the case at all. According to Wiktionary, socialized medicine is “an umbrella term for any system of government-run health care.” Many people balk at the idea of socialized medicine because the citizens inevitably pick up the costs through higher taxes. Affordable health care, on the other hand, is as simple as the phrase states – it is health care with costs low enough for everyone to afford. The government does not necessarily oversee it and individuals are free to go to physicians of their choice. It is not discriminatory to those with lower incomes and services are equal whether one is poor or financially privileged.2. Another misconception is that the current total of uninsured Americans is not as high as many journalists and polls report, and that this is a relevant fact that points to the lack of necessity for affordable health care.The Kaiser Family Foundation even stated that their numbers include those who have been without insurance for two years or more. The Congressional Budget Office also said that just under half of those lacking health insurance will be without coverage for less than four months, due to being in between jobs. These numbers beg the following question, however: What about those who have something catastrophic occur within those four months that they are without insurance? Without adequate coverage, their medical bills could potentially lead to major hardships.3. A third misconception is that the only people without health insurance are those who are poor.This is simply not true. Americans of all income levels are without health insurance. In fact, at least half of all bankruptcies in the United States are due to medical bills. Because individuals are already paying high premiums due to not having affordable health care, when medical bills begin to accumulate, Americans are unable to pay both the premium costs as well as the mounting medical bills. And with the unemployment rate rising, more people are falling into the category of being without health insurance. Whether they are losing the insurance that came with the job they lost, or whether they are unable to continue paying the premiums due to a lack of income, the rate of uninsured Americans is on the rise.As illustrated above, the need for affordable health care and insurance has become more crucial than ever. The current economic crisis, along with job losses being on the rise, could lead to detrimental effects on the health of Americans. Affordable health care would offer a safety net for both minor and major medical issues.