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Rantings and Ravings

By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

The war over health care reform continues to rage across the nation. We are whipped up in a frenzy that many times doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

Some of the people who line up so ardently against the current proposals that are inching their way through Congress have had their own battles with health care and insurance companies.

I was trying to sort out some of my own feelings the other day. I have spent years without any coverage and owed thousands to pay off a relatively few health concerns. Now I am sitting in pretty good shape with decent health as well decent health care coverage.

One of the arguments about the public option that seems to be a sticking point is that most people will jump ship from the privately run companies and put them out of business.

We actually have a parallel in the insurance industry that has been in place since 1968. Back then, private insurance companies would not issue any flood insurance policies to anyone who was at risk of being flooded unless they paid an exorbitant premium.

This cost left most people and businesses unable to obtain the insurance. The cost to our nation in any flooding disaster was enormous. So now there is government flood insurance that people can purchase at a reasonable fee.

You can't be turned down because you live in a flood risk area. You can buy the insurance after you have been in a flood. Steps are taken to discourage building or rebuilding in a high risk area.

It is not income related so it is not a welfare program. It does allow renters and businesses to cover their risks as well as home owners.

As the debate continues in Congress about reform, we need to find a way to deal with the issue of pre-existing health conditions. Some insurance companies are now going to great lengths to look over our past medical records with a fine tooth comb as a reason to disqualify us for coverage.

A company will certainly be more profitably if their pool of insured is healthy and few claims are needed to be paid. So where do we turn? The human body is just plain susceptible to illness.

I think most what we need is not insurance, but coverage. Insurance was originally set up to let a company take the risk that you may need help later to cover a cost.

We pay a little each month just in case disaster strikes. The insurance company takes our money and hopes we don't need near the help we pay for. Thrtr id no mystery there and nothing wrong with that set up for many things. Car, homeowners and property insurance functions work well under that system.

But our health is an ongoing and fluid thing. We need care as a constant throughout our lives. The healthier my neighbors, coworkers and even fellow shoppers at the grocery store are; the healthier I can stay as well.

So finish the war. Blow the existing system up. Sit down at the peace talks and form a lasting treaty, already, that will keep us be healthy and prosperous.

I am tired of the body count.




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