About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. This means that nearly one-third of Americans face each day without the security of knowing that, if and when they need it, medical care is available to them and their families.
Having no health insurance also often means that people will postpone necessary care and forego preventive care – such as childhood immunizations and routine check-ups-completely. Because the uninsured usually have no regular doctor and limited access to prescription medications, they are more likely to be hospitalized for health conditions that could have been avoided.
–Sherry Glied, PhD, Associate Professor of Public Health, Columbia University
OK, about this health care thing. Is it relevant between the worlds? Is it something that we should be concerned about? I think so. I think human suffering and well-being are always our concern, not only for people in general, but for the community of the called-out ones, too.
I suggested a couple of days ago, that the community of Christ-followers may have an opportunity to be creative as we care for one another. Based on the reality that many of our friends and acquaintances are among the 44 million people mentioned above, it stands to reason that we ought to be taking responsibility for creatively dealing with a real need. That’s why I proposed using a cost-sharing approach to medical expenses like Christian Care Medi-share, Good Samaritan Program and others, to handle the larger unexpected needs and then doing something local to help people with the routine check-ups and the preventative care that most of us should be having.
Could it work? Let me envision for a moment.
Family X has three kids, a stay-at-home mom and a responsible dad who is working at a job that provides minimal or non-existent health insurance. They are a trying to save for a house, but they have a huge target on their back healthwise.
They are not alone in their faith community, so the community has made a plan. A health maintainence account has been opened and contributions made to it. The participating families can submit their bills for reasonable health care needs (annual check-ups, immunizations and such) to the fund for reimbursal like a regular insurance plan–80/20% let’s say. As the fund is drawn down, the word goes out to the community so people can contribute to the fund to bring it within acceptable limits.
Early one summer, Family X’s middle son takes a header off the back fence and breaks an arm. The need is submitted to the cost-sharing program they’re a part of . They have to pay what amounts to a deducltible, part of which is offset (80/20 again?) by the community health account.
Again, could it work? I know one problem: pre-existing conditions. None of the cost-sharing programs that I know of deal effectively with pre-existing conditions. I don’t know how to deal with that. But aside from that issue (requires more of that creative thinking), could it work?
Shouldn’t those of us living between the worlds be making sure our brethren are cared for? Or is that the job of the state?