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Posted at 9:53 AM ET, 09/23/2009

My Health-Care Story: Penny-Wise and Flu-Foolish

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Joe Mistrett
Chevy Chase

Let me give you an example of how ridiculous health care has become in this country, and I have good insurance. (Although not as good, I’m sure, as that of the self-aggrandizing members of Congress who are prostituting themselves to the insurance companies that contribute mightily to their campaign coffers.)

Heeding the incessant warnings to get a seasonal flu shot, I went and did that the other day. I paid $30 and was told that my health plan covered no part of it, something that I verified when I called my carrier afterward. My plan, I was informed, covered prescription drugs, not immunizations.

This is what we are all up against with insurance companies: Instead of covering, say, half of the $30, the insurance company covers nothing. What if that discourages someone from getting a flu shot? And suppose that the individual in question comes down with the flu and severe complications from it, resulting in hospitalization. Now the expense soars. Where is the savings in that?

This is why Americans are fed up with members of Congress. Their primary allegiance is to their campaign donors, not the good of the country. And by the way, Mr. Congressman, how much did you pay for your flu shot?

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 23, 2009; 9:53 AM ET
 
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Comments

If your "insurance" paid for your flu shot, where do you think the money came from? The insurance fairy?
No, it comes from the pool of all the money that all of us pay into when we and/or our employers pay premiums. Including you. Duh!!
That funds the payments that the insurer makes to you and everybody else who expects the insurance company to cover every minor sore throat, aspirin, and band aid, in addition to the administrative burdens of processing your claim.

If the entire system switched to higher deductibles and copays, the cost of premiums would be lowered and consequently more affordable across the board, allowing many more employers to provide insurance and many more individuals to cover themselves.
Insurance would cover the seriously ill and major illnesses as it should, not sniffles and minor complaints which drives up costs for all of us.
The responsibility of maintaining your own health and well-being is yours, not the insurance company's. You are the one who will feel terrible and miss work if you get the flu. You'll live longer if you maintain a healthy lifesyle.

Posted by: parkbench | September 28, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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