I am sure you've heard the expression "worst case scenario", sometimes used in the context of "what's the worst that could happen? I lose $20 bucks?" Well, last week I found out what the real worst case scenario looks like and believe me, it's bad.
The story goes like this: a colleague's uncle was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bad enough for you? Well, it's not even close to the end of the story. The uncle has been in treatment for a few years and has now maxed out on his lifetime medical insurance cap. As far as the insurance company is concerned, from this point forward he is on his own. Bad enough for you? Hold on, we're not quite done. To get medical care he now needs to go on Medicaid, but to do this, he basically needs to declare bankruptcy and exhaust all his savings.
So let's summarize. You have medical insurance. You are diagnosed with a terminal illness. You receive medical care until you reach your insurance lifetime cap, at which point you find yourself without health insurance. Your only prospect of receiving medical treatment (which has no hope of saving your life anyway, but which might extend it and relieve your suffering) is to declare bankruptcy, thus insuring that your spouse and kids are destitute once you have departed from this world.
Now that's what I call the worst case scenario. This is also something that I would refer to as a complete and utter failure of our society. How is it that we, as a nation, the richest country in the world, allow someone and his family to be so completely and utterly devastated by the tides of fate with absolutely nothing that he can do about it and with no fault of his own?
This is clearly an example of a major market failure. This is where Congress needs to step in and draw the line. Americans should, at the very least, have state sponsored catastrophic health care coverage that will prevent such things from happening. The current state of affairs is simply not acceptable. Health reform now!
Here is someone else who has a similar opinion.