I don't know a lot of details about what is currently going on (haven't had a lot of time for reading the news lately) and I honestly don't have any good ideas for how to solve it.
I really just wanted to put in my 2 cents as one of the people on the "crappier" side, as it were.
I am 26 and as soon as I moved out of my parent's house and on my own I lost my insurance. Despite the fact that until recently, I worked at least 30 hours a week for most of that time, I have never been able to get anything that resembled "affordable" insurance. One of the only companies that I worked for that did offer insurance was Wal-Mart, and their insurance was almost 1/3 of my monthly income to cover just myself, and it still had a deductible and dozens of things that they could use to deny me treatment.
I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and chronic tension headaches and perhaps some anxiety/depression, but I cannot now nor have I ever been able to afford to have those things treated. Without insurance, a visit to a normal family doctor costs about $100, just to go in for 15 minutes and be diagnosed with a sinus infection. If you want to be treated for something more serious, it is more expensive and they require many tests. A typical X-ray, ordered by the doctor, ranges anywhere from $200-$300, and tests for blood sugar content and cholesterol are about the same price. I don't even want to imagine what it would cost to get a CAT scan or MRI or to have fecal samples checked and an ultrasound on my stomach, let alone regular medical advice on a good weight loss program for me.
I made less than $1200 a month at my last job, and my rent is a little less than half of that. For one visit to the family doctor, it would cost me 1/12 of my monthly income, but for monthly insurance premiums it is around $250-$300 a month (or about $3000-3500 a year, and I am only 26) or more for private insurance that DOESN'T EVEN REALLY COVER doctor visits, testing, or preventative care. In fact, I can only really get insurance at my income level that will help me if I have a serious medical emergency and become hospitalized.
I also do not qualify for most government or state aid. The only way I could get that sort of aid is if I DID have that kind of medical emergency, then I could apply for financial aid to pay off the gigantic bill at the ER and hospital, but I don't qualify for medicaid, medicare, state funded healthcare (HIP) or anything, because... guess what... I don't have any children and I am a college student. Or at least, that is what the government workers tell me. Apparently, if I had children, my children and I would be qualified for many of the federal healthcare programs (as well as such things as food stamps, etc). I specifically don't qualify for food stamps because I am going to college. o_o
You have no idea how much I would just love to find an awesome company and get a good job with them, but it will be a long time before that happens, and until then I am stuck without the ability to purchase private medical care or affordable insurance of any kind. Basically, the ONLY way for me to get affordable insurance and thus affordable medical care is by being lucky enough to be hired by a large enough or stable enough company that they offer good insurance as part of their benefits package.
There are tens of millions of people like me, who want to take better care of themselves and find out what is wrong with them and just CAN'T. I would go to the doctor regularly for preventative care if I could. I really want to.
And let's not even talk about the dentist... I haven't seen a dentist in so many years...
So anyway, the point here is that I don't know what the solution is to this horrible problem, whether it is with government, insurance companies or taxpayers, but there has to be something that can be changed or helped. For now, I will just focus on finishing school and finding that job with the awesome company that can help provide me healthcare.