About half of all bankruptcies filed were due to medical illness which caused tremendous financial problems for families. We Americans have knowns this to be true for a long time. That medical insurance in this country is an absolute must.
Personally I'm for a socialized, nationwide system. To temper this, I'm okay with a second tier being available for those able and willing to pay for services not covered. However, currently the US the lowest ranked westernized country with basic medical treatment. We are first in cutting edge treatment and research and new therapies, but these treatments are not covered by insurance and are paid for out of pocket.
But why should we care? Well it can easily hit the average consumer. Right now my best friend just moved home to Hawaii from California. She was in the process of changing her license plates, getting a new bank, getting a new license, getting a new health insurance, new doctors, and even registered for a class. She's debating about switching careers right now.
Unfortunately she's become ill, and because her private insurance is from CA, it's possible they won't cover treatment in Hawaii, and she'll be forced to go back to CA. Actually already they are covering her care at out-of network costs and anything about what is "usual and customary" will be charged to her. Basically they'll pay $x, and leave the rest for her to figure out. Right now she can't switch to Hawaii insurance because this would be considered a pre-existing condition.
So would you want to be in this scenario? Outside your home state and ill. If you are unable to travel, but have insurance, but it'll only cover a smaller portion than normal what would you do?
That's a major problem with the US system. If we travel anywhere outside our coverage area we could be in trouble. Even with the best insurance they could consider it out of network. And each year the premiums rise and coverage declines.
But how to stop this? What can we do to avert this crisis? Do people really want to be solely responsible for their own care? That they pick and choose what they can afford by privitizing the system entirely? That if you aren't rich enough to afford basic care too bad? Or would they prefer higher taxes to cover themselves?
It's an interesting conundrum, and likely one to be put to the next president. I wonder where we will in another 2-3 years with the american healthcare system, let alone 10-20 years. Things are coming to a head fast with the skyrocketing costs of health insurance.