Amanda Ripley

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Think You Already Have Health Care?

3rd Aug 2009 posted in General

Over the course of a lifetime, about 1 in 4 Americans will buy their own health insurance. Why? Because things happen, as is painfully clear right now. Maybe you get laid off. Or your company stops offering insurance. Or maybe you start your own business. The American way, right?

My friend Sarah Wildman is a freelance writer (like most reporters these days, including myself), so she had to buy insurance herself. For those of you who think the private market gets health care right, check out her story on Slate’s Double XX

She and her husband researched the plans, found one that promised comprehensive maternity coverage (for which they paid extra, since they were hoping to have a baby at some point). They paid $500 a month for coverage. Then Sarah got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby. That’s when she found out that “maternity coverage” did not cover labor, delivery or her hospital stay.

Apparently most voters don’t want to lose their current health insurance, so they are not supporting reform. Stories like this remind us that we are clinging to a capsizing ship. Bye, bye life boat!