(note: there are a lot of helpful embeded links in this post. I encourage you to click away)

As a prosperous, developed nation, why is the U.S. so behind the curve in heathcare? We are a competitive, hardworking, ingenious nation. So why can’t we figure this thing out?

OK, so we just passed the Healthcare Reform Bill. Since this is a topic I’m passionate about, I downloaded the bill. It’s 1990 pages. Not even joking. I’d like a cliffs notes version, please! I’ve googled, and so far I’ve found this,  this and this.

(I’ll wait while you read…)

From what I understand, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not perfect, and there is much more work to be done on this topic. Still, two things stand out to me as BIG victories: 1) it is now illegal for an insurance company to deny you for pre-existing conditions, and 2) a company cannot cancel your policy if you become sick. Unfortunately I did not see any regulations on how much the company can CHARGE or INCREASE your rates if you have a pre-existing condition or become sick.

As I said, it’s a small step towards justice for all American citizens, but a step nonetheless. After all, I firmly believe that attainable healthcare should not be viewed as a luxury for the few; it should be our birthright as U.S. citizens. As many of you know, I freelanced/temped with a company for a few years, and they did not offer an employer-based health insurance option. I had to purchase my own individual plan, and I was personally bullied by insurance companies – one who even deemed me uninsurable – even though I have no diseases or major health issues, (unless you count [and you shouldn’t] my clumsiness, less-than-stellar knees, and seasonal allergies). Even though I’m currently covered by my new employer, I still have quite a bit of of out-of-pocket expenses, paycheck deductions, and provider limitations (in-network vs. out-of-network). Why is healthcare so unattainable for those whose employers don’t cover them, and so costly all-around? In a wealthy nation like ours, we shouldn’t go bankrupt in order to receive proper medical (and dental, vision, etc.) care.

So, to all fearmongerers out there, please stop screaming “COMMUNISM!” If any of you enjoy the benefits of Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment Insurance, I have to assume you are not completely against government-regulated/controlled programs that benefit your life in your time of need. Won’t you demand better from the insurance industry? Let’s learn from other developed nations and provide for our own. Sickness sucks. Healthcare shouldn’t.

If you’d like to show your support of the Healthcare Reform Bill, you may co-sign the bill here.