It’s no secret that there are differences in both the ability to pay for health care from family to family, and in the types and kinds of health care that are offered and available to people who live under different financial circumstances. What’s probably not as well known is that it’s a problem that is getting worse, not better, even as new health care legislation has been passed.
The fact is, if you don’t have a job where your employer has contracted with another company to provide health insurance at affordable rates to the employees that work there, than you are on your own as far as obtaining health insurance. And if you don’t have health insurance, than it’s likely you won’t be able to afford medical care; unless you’re lucky enough to be rather wealthy. Consider for example that a simple hernia operation now costs somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. Or that a basic pelvic exam with blood tests for a woman can cost nearly a thousand all by itself. These are simple things. If you are unlucky enough to need emergency care, and then hospitalization, you’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most people simply can’t afford these kinds of costs.
This is why there is so much debate about health insurance, rather than health care costs, because most people don’t see the costs of health care; they see the cost of health care insurance.
In this country, your ability to pay for health insurance, regardless of how you get it, is the critical factor in your ability to obtain medical care; and because of the differences in income from family to family, there arises a lot of differences in people’s ability to obtain health care in general.
In some families, health care comes from on single source, i.e. one adult who works for at a place that offers employer health care for that one person and the rest of the family. Other families have more options in that more than one adult works at a place that offers heath care coverage. Unfortunately, there are also other homes where no one works at a place that offers such a perk, and thus the family is left to either purchase health care insurance themselves, or go without.
The ability to obtain health care then, comes down to whether one or more family members is lucky enough to work at a place that offers health insurance or whether a family is lucky enough to make enough money to afford the much higher rates that those must pay if they don’t get health insurance through their work place. And it’s this second instance that is most reflected from family to family, as both the costs of independent health insurance and income levels between families vary so much.
This is how the ability to afford health care varies from family to family so much.