I was searching for the text of a BBC America World News Report that aired tonight, when I came across this story about the Oregon healthcare lottery (BBC News, March, 2008). There were no search results on empowHer.com, so I'm sharing this interesting news with you.
The story begins with the plight of Louanne Moldovan, who suffers from Crohn's Disease, and the nearly $15,000 in unpaid medical bills she was facing. Her freelance work doesn't pay enough to buy health insurance, so the state's healthcare lottery was an alternative gamble she felt a necessity to take, hoping to win one of 10,000 places in the state's plan.
Oregon is not alone in recognizing that "radical change" is needed in the state, and nation's, healthcare system. After all, it is a hot topic in the Presidential campaign speeches. In fact, Oregon is not alone from an international perspective, either.
The BBC reported that the European Union is planning a healthcare package that can be carried across borders, with some restrictions:
- Only costs similar to those in the patient's home country would be covered
- Non-hospital care reimbursements would be at the same level as the patient's home country
- Expensive treatment unavailable in the patient's home country would not be covered
Germany and China, both strong economies, are also facing healthcare crises, to say nothing of developing or lesser economies where the lack of basic medical facilities are tantamount to a humanitarian crisis (e.g. Burundi, Gaza, South Asia). Among the causes: government debt, fuel shortages, shortages of medical and healthcare professionals.
Meanwhile, Louanne Moldovan was not among the first 3,000 names drawn for the Oregon lottery.
So, healthcare is not just a national crisis, it's an international crisis. In some countries, the government is intervening, even using their military (e.g. Brazil) to provide services on an emergency basis. I have no answers, just a question: how did we get to this point?
Company health plans have been cut back drastically over the years. If you have a company plan, are you confident that it will cover your medical expenses if you ever have an emergency?
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