- Posted April 4, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Passions over health care reform
"HMO Blues:" Musical commentary on health insurance accessibility and affordability
I wrote a new political satire song to help bring visibility to the crisis we have today in the United States concerning the accessibility and affordability of health insurance. This song is called "HMO Blues."
Too many Americans go without health insurance - as many as 47 million per recent estimates. This is driving our medical costs up and making the delivery of health care in the United States extremely inefficient.
It is also inhumane. In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
In writing the lyrics of the song, I wanted to highlight several specific issues:
1. If you have a job with good health coverage, consider yourself fortunate. If you lose that job and you or your family members have pre-existing medical conditions, consider yourself screwed. Yes, you are guaranteed coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), but COBRA coverage is prohibitively expensive for most Americans, especially if you are unemployed.
2. Most health insurance policies impose steep co-pays with no annual maximum for using out-of-network services. Policyholders can usually manage this for routine care, but if you are in an emergency situation, it's a different story. You might get treated by an out-of-network provider to save your life, but the resulting medical bills could put you in bankruptcy.
3. For all the money we pay for health care, we are not getting very good performance from the system. Americans have by far the highest per capita costs for health care, but we lag behind most industrialized nations on several key indicators, including infant mortality and life expectancy.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my song. Lyrics are included as subtitles in the video. Feel free to post a response, if you are so inclined.