Well, the election is finally over and it comes with a sense of unknown. One of those big unknowns for impoverished people is what will happen with health care. More than 90 percent of the country has health care coverage. While this may not tell the full picture of how happy the public is with their coverage or if they are paying too much, they still have health insurance.
Prices of coverage continue to rise and many people who need insurance the most cannot afford to pay high premiums. Employer mandates add extra operation costs which can be a burden for small businesses, leaving them unable to provide health insurance. People who make a lower income are typically unable to afford private health insurance. However, even obtaining insurance through your workplace is not cheap in many instances.
Working for RAM for almost a year has shown me that there are still plenty of people out there who need more help. Often, patients at our clinics tell me they have insurance but can’t afford the deductible. Others simply say, “I can’t afford it.”
So, where do we go from here? We, as a country, already have so many people without a place to go if they get sick. Many people say their only options if they get sick are RAM clinics or the emergency room. Many use our clinics as their dentistry care because, even if they have insurance, they do not have dental coverage. Is the greatest country in the world just supposed to rely on places like RAM clinics to fill in the gaps? There has to be a solution – I’m just not sure what it is.
As I said in a previous blog, I have been in a situation where I had no health insurance and no place to turn. The feeling is scary and until you are put in such a situation it is hard to understand. I hope we as a country can figure out a way to help out everyone and construct a better health care system, which will include affordable or free vision and dental coverage. Now that the election results are in, the future is an unknown in many ways. Let’s hope the overall health of our country sits at or near the top of our new administration’s agenda.