Bill after bill, my stack of notices of how much I owe a local hospital for recent medical tests grew. All the while, doctors were exploring whether I was suffering from some potentially serious conditions.
And, I have insurance.
Whether you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, ask yourself whether you should suffer through the same thoughts I and many other Americans have experienced as they underwent test after test after test.
“I hope my insurance fully covers this. If not, how much will I owe?” I thought.
In the case of some, "I don't have insurance. How will I pay for this?"
Knowing I’m quite lucky to be employed and have good insurance, I often thought of the people who are forced to choose between paying for an expensive test or forgoing a procedure that is necessary to address any medical issue. It’s a humbling thought.
Would you want to be forced to choose between food for your child or a medical test? Or gas for your car to get to work? I think not.
Thankfully, doctors told me I don't have any of the serious conditions, but six months of living under severe physical and mental stress left me drained. Dwelling on whether my insurer would pay for my tests took a huge toll, as did the hospital visits themselves.
Despite being told I would owe nothing, I received several bills I consider large. Each new bill brought a little more stress in addition to the burden of thinking you could have a serious illness. Unfortunately, six months after the first test, I am battling the hospital over bills I have been told I don't owe.
Regardless of your feelings on the health care law, we should all take some time to consider whether you would want to see your friends or family in that situation and whether you would wish that upon strangers.
Now, ask yourself again, how can we help people, your family and friends included, get affordable, adequate health care? Let the conversation begin in the comments section below.