My mom would have turned 71 today. But she died in 2006 of colon cancer, cancer that might have been prevented if she had been able to get permission from her insurance to have a colonoscopy. But there was no history of cancer in our family, and no indication of any issues, so she had to wait until she was on Medicare. A colonoscopy was on her calendar — but she didn't end up going, because her Stage IV cancer was diagnosed in the ER a few weeks before.
My father-in-law is a freelance radio engineer who often housesits in the DC area. A few months ago he was walking the two dogs — who saw a squirrel — and in a freak accident he was pulled into traffic and both of his arms were broken. I don't want to even hazard a guess as to how much all of the MRIs, x-rays, other tests, and doctor visits cost. And he too is un-insured.
Yesterday my friend M found out she and her family were losing their insurance, as of today. And this morning her little boy woke up with croup.
And a few months ago, when we were testifying at the legislature for statewide coverage for Minnesota kids, a representative from Medica sat boldly in front of us and told our state representatives that insurance rates would skyrocket if children were taken out of the coverage equation, because "we make most of our cost/benefit ratios from covering children." Apparently not from MY child, as Medica was one of the insurance companies that denied her.
And there is more.