I took this class because my mother had struggled with insurance companies before, but since I was so little when all of it happened, I did not really understand what was going on. She had sued Blue Shield as they rejected her for some tests that the doctor had asked for and because of this, was not able to take these tests here. Her conditions grew worse and eventually while vacationing in Japan, she reached a point where she had to be rushed to the hospital.They immediately gave her and MRI where they found a brain tumor, which could have been found months earlier if Blue Shield had approved her testing. Her lawsuit was featured in a movie by Michael Moore, Sicko, which compared the healthcare system’s of several countries to the US. Since then, the healthcare system has changed a lot, especially with the passing of Obamacare, but taking this class has showed me the many more problems in our healthcare system.
In the last part of this class, we learned mostly about end of life care in nursing homes and hospices. This is a topic that not a lot of people like to think about, though I think that it is very relevant especially to people our age because we are beginning to get older and will have to start taking care of our parents in this sense. I always told myself that I would never send my parents to a nursing home, but never really realized how expensive in home care can get. I just felt that putting my parents in this nursing home felt like I was abandoning them. In discussion, we debated about the use of cameras in the homes to be able to watch over whoever is being taken care of. Though at first I did think it was an invasion of privacy, I thought that it would give me peace of mind if I ever decided to place my parents in a home. I also did not realize the limit that insurance companies and Medicare placed on paying for end of life care. It made me realize the importance of things like a 401k plan or a retirement savings plan and the importance of family.
I think that the most challenging part of this course was thinking of actual solutions to the issues in our healthcare system. As the generation that will rise to power in the coming years, we do have some control over how things will be run, so I feel like if we were all educated a bit more in this field we can find a solution. Throughout the semester, it was hard trying to find solutions because it seemed like it was a systematic problem that could not be fixed by changing one thing. It would have to be a change in structure and policy and would have to require a lot of compromise.
I loved learning about all the parts that make up our healthcare system and I now have a greater understand of the fight my mom was part of.