Healthcare Reform and Women
April 24, 2012 § 3 Comments
Our discussion in class on healthcare brought up many issues, and one I was unaware of before. Women make up a larger percentage of patients that seek medical services. This is a result of pregnancies and other exams women go for to stay healthy and for preventative medicine. Women also are more likely than men to go to the doctor if they are sick and for checkups. This is mainly because of the gender roles assigned to men and women. Men are supposed to be strong and independent and as such they avoid seeking medical services whereas women are seen as nurturing and are in charge of others (such as children and older relatives) and go to the doctor to maintain their health.
All of this I was aware of, but there is one aspect that I did not know. Women, while they use medical services the most and give doctors/hospitals/clinics the most business, pay more for health insurance. Insurance companies count being female as a negative effect, such as a preexisting condition, which is unfair. Women give them the most business. These companies receive more money from women who utilize medical services, and therefore use their insurance. Healthcare is all about making a profit and not about keeping people healthy, which leads to another issue discussed in class: the new healthcare bill, a.k.a. Obama Care.
There are many people who cannot afford healthcare. For the upper half, there is private, individual healthcare plans as well as for workers they can purchase plans for them and their families through their company. The poor have Medicare that meets their basic needs. However, there is the group in-between that are without options. This is especially true for women. Many women hold temporary jobs or work in companies that do not provide healthcare. Many companies assume women will be covered under their husbands plan but for widowed, single, or lesbian women this leaves them uninsured. The new healthcare bill was created to help the people who fall outside of the existing structures to give them an affordable healthcare option. The bill is about to go up before the Supreme Court on the basis of its constitutionality. Many people, especially Republicans, find issue with the individual mandate that would require every citizen to buy healthcare. While I agree that forcing citizens to buy something is wrong, I believe so for different reasons. Republicans say it is unconstitutional, but still find it alright for the government to detain people without reason (such as the Patriot Act). I find all of this to be infringing on our individual freedom. Also, I find fault with the assumption that the government knows what “affordable” healthcare is enough that they will force everyone to buy in. The government does not know every persons financial statues. Who are we to say that everyone would have the extra money needed to buy in? I am sure there are many families, who fall into the gaps and do not have insurance (such as Medicare), that cannot afford to spend their money on anything other than bills and food. This is why I agree the individual mandate is wrong and people should not be forced to buy insurance.