By Diabetes Care Group Contributor
I'm motivated to write this story because of a very good friend of mine who's name I will allow to be kept anonymous. For conversation purposes we will call him Eddie.
Now me and Eddie grew up together as young lads. We played together after school, found work doing the same jobs and had similar dreams and goals for the future in life.
Years later after our friendship began I became diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And several years later I got one of the saddest phone calls from Eddie I have ever got. He too was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This all happened some time after he moved away which is why I being familiar with the warning signs didn't know about it. It was a complete surprise to me.
Now there is one difference between myself and Eddie that I always talk to him about and find disheartening. You see I have had the benefit of having a somewhat dependable form of health insurance to pay for the expense associated with intensive diabetes management while Eddie has never owned a health insurance policy.
While I have enjoyed having enough blood testing supplies to care for my diabetes. A new insulin pump every 4 years. Regular office check ups. Insulin. All paid mostly by my insurance Eddie has been on his own.
Eddie visits a general practitioner every so often. Hopes she has insulin and needle supplies for him to bring home as free samples. I asked him the other week when he last checked his blood sugar his response was last month. He's married to a beautiful young woman who is worried to death about him. I don't blame her, I sympathize with her - I worry about him too.
But the ultimate problem here is that diabetes is too expensive and insurances won't cover Eddie. He's rejected by them. And the type of employment he learned as a young person does not offer him insurance.
He's a product of the current health insurance systems failure to take care of our citizens.
Now this is a story that shows the enormous hole within our health insurance system. But it is not the only one. I've also read the countless stories from people who have diabetes being denied the kind of treatment they need to stay as healthy as they possibly can. They've been denied by the health insurance system provided by capitalism. I'm included in these stories myself. But that's a story of its own.
Now this brings us to something that many people are watching closely. The governments, lead mainly by President Barack Obama and Democrats, effort to reform health insurance.
Now for all that's said and how it is done there are several things Diabetics should be concerned about having in the reform. I will outline these points below.
1) My first point is dedicated to my good friend Eddie. Health insurance MUST be accessible to all Americans. No one should ever be turned down or forced to pay exorbitantly higher premiums to get health insurance.
2) Cost containment of health insurance. If insurers are allowed to increase premiums by as much as 20% every year very soon policy holders are forced out. Employers who offer health insurance too will be forced out of offering it to their employees. This is important for Diabetics and non-Diabetics alike.
3) Continued coverage or opening coverage of diabetes related devices like blood sugar monitors, insulin pumps and the inclusion of devices like CGMS.
4) The end of unfair coverage denial where appeal letters are required for every form of diabetes related treatment deemed medically necessary by your practicing physician. This is today's norm with most advanced treatment methods brought to health insurers. It shouldn't be and proposed reforms appears to be addressing this.
5) Health Reform must happen now. The lives of Eddie, myself and many thousands more can not allow their pocketbooks and health to wait while a few issues hold up the necessary reforms that keeps the United States rated a poorly rated 37th (World Health Organization, WHO) in health care.
Opinions and views of this article writer are not necessarily the views and opinions of the Diabetes Care Group web site and staff.
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