Hi, my name is Nicole Pelton. I'm a mom of two boys and wife to a soccer coach, Brian, who I'm going talk about for today's Health care topic day. Brian is a pretty healthy guy. In a minute I'm going to show you a video of him out there kicking the ball around. He's outside pretty much every day playing soccer with our kids, coaching his teams or training one of his many players. He keeps himself pretty healthy in other ways, too, eating right, drinking lots of water, getting regular checkups and actually going to the doctor when he thinks something’s wrong. He has in fact been diagnosed with some pretty serious issues which fortunately were caught while they were still very treatable. I believe he’s keeping lots of others healthy too, studying how to prevent injuries in kids, teaching them to enjoy sports, and supervising pickup soccer twice a week at our elementary school which has only 1 hour of PE a week. He's even offered classes where kids who aren't great at sports can have a safe environment to kick the ball around, something I never had as a kid. Here is is demonstrating some moves for the kids.
He looks pretty good for a 48 year old guy, doesn't he? Unfortunately, on paper he's a health insurer's worst nightmare. He's on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, likely due to sleep issues for which he uses a CPAP. He's on anti-anxiety medication and has serious arthritis in his knees and “the back of a football player” according to his doctor. Right now we have good insurance, in fact great insurance, although pretty expensive. I switched him to my company's plan when his own refused to pay for everything from a pair of crutches post knee-surgery to an MRI. So what is my problem? I lost my job a few months ago, and my COBRA is going to run out. So this guy, who probably contributes more to the health of our next generation (well, about 100 of them) than any insurance company, probably cannot get covered. I don’t know for sure as I am terrified to write all of his “pre-existing conditions” down anywhere. I've heard too many horror stories to even want to apply.
He's got his own business and works for a club who's attempting to get some sort of group health care, although considering all are ex-players I can imagine how that's going. I'm looking for a job with benefits, but this is not exactly the best economy for a job search. If something in our current health care system doesn't change, if there is no option for those with pre-existing conditions, whose employer doesn't offer care, I don't know what we'll do. I am actually not a believer in big government, and I would rather see health insurance companies who remains profit driven, but see the long term benefits of having a healthy society by covering the poor and the currently uninsurable, not one where people are afraid to go to the doctor, or can't afford medication and end up in the ER. I just don't see evidence of that happening.