Preventative health care costs make me sick

Evonne Ermey

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Evonne Ermey
City Times

According to the Healthcare Marketplace Project, America spends almost 90 percent more on health care than other industrialized countries. We are home of the free, land of the brave, and owners of the most expensive health care in the world, and I, the quintessential starving student, have begun to feel the pinch.

It seems that ever since I decided to rejoin the world of the health conscientious, insurance carrying, populace I have been saddled with a never-ending string of bills.

Last month I paid more on insurance premiums and out of pocket doctor’s fees than I did on all my other monthly expenses combined and mind you, I am not a sickly person. I have my vices. I smoke the occasional cigarette, I indulge in Friday night binge drinking and I don’t often get as much sleep as I should, but I can also run a mile in seven minutes, and I must say, my diet is exemplary. In fact, the only blight on my long history of perfect health has been my annual tangle with the flu and a bout of scarlet fever I contracted once when I was nine.

So what am I shelling out all of this cash for? Well, let me break it down for you. Last month I paid $130 to Blue Cross in premiums for health and dental insurance. I paid $177 out of pocket to Dr. Cunningham for what was by all means a routine visit to the lady doctor and last, but not least, I paid a whopping $705 out of pocket to Dr. Pham, my dentist, for two perio scale’s (quads) and a resin comp (4+surfaces). All together, I paid approximately $1,012 in doctor’s bills and premiums last month.

This odyssey into the American health care system has made me realize that it’s not the sudden accident that is going to break me; it is the slow and steady symptoms of preventative health care, the co-payment and its evil cousin, the insurance premium, that are going to bleed my wallet dry.

Being a full time student and a part time worker, how am I meant to afford this and for that matter, how is any college student? I suppose the only answer is to continue paying my monthly premiums while discontinuing regular visits to my doctor for silly things like pap smears and breast exams, and most importantly, to cut my dentist out all together. Sorry Dr. Pham.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to have faith that someday our doctors, pharmaceutical companies and politicians will somehow become a little less greedy and that eventually I will be involved in some freak accident that will make my continued involvement in America’s insurance scheme worth every penny.

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