Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Celiac & Insurance, or why I support Single Payer Health Care

Ever since figuring out I have celiac there has been a constant worry in my head about what insurance companies will say about it. It's a pre-existing condition and most of us know that in today's health care system that usually means inability to get insurance, or exorbitant costs. So a few weeks ago when an insurance guy showed up at the Gluten Intolerance Group meeting,I was interested in what he had to say.

It was depressing. Apparently out of the 5 or 6 insurance companies in Oregon, 3 of them will flat out refuse coverage to people with celiac disease, 2 will sometimes offer coverage,but at a high cost and one will cover people with Celiac. In Oregon we are lucky because there is a high risk pool for insurance-people who are refused coverage from insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions can be covered under this. But most other states don't have something like this,and often don't have any insurance companies that will cover people with Celiac.

Although people with Celiac can stay healthy with a life long gluten free diet, if they aren't diagnosed until later in life, or don't follow it,they are prone to many diseases and undiagnosed Celiacs are 4 times more likely to die young then non-celiac sufferers.

As a relatively health 21 year old I find it incredibly upsetting and horrific that I need to worry about insurance. So that is yet another on a long list of reasons why I support Single Payer health care, or Medicare for all. A program like this would cover everyone,regardless of past or future health problems. No one would have to worry because they would be covered by the national health plan.

There are a lot more,bigger issues out there than Celiac that people have to deal with,but this is my personal reason for why I want Single Payer. Hopefully I won't get sick much as I get older, but I shouldn't have to worry about getting sick-I can't control if or when that happens.

So check out Single Payer and push your representatives to fight for what we want,not what we think we can get. Because if we never ask for it,how can we get it?

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