Friday, June 15, 2007
Deeper introspection of the AHCCCS issue
Sonoran Alliance has a post decrying the AHCCCS announcement that 52% of all Arizona births are now covered under the program. Most of the coverage I have seen both in the local blogs and on local talk radio have been very critical of this. There are, however, a few things that this blanket condemnation does not account for.
As someone who owns my own business, I have to provide my own health insurance, and I pay through the nose for it. There are many others in my shoes who do the same, and we make it work despite the sacrifice. Did you know that just about all of the insurance options open to those like me do not cover maternity? If I want to self insure, and have children I have exactly one option, University Physicians HealthCare Group of Arizona. That's it, like it or lump it.
My understanding of the program is not what it should be but I believe that University Physicians HealthCare Group is a subsection of HealthCare Group of Arizona which in turn is counted under AHCCCS enrollment. In other words, I am paying top dollar for an AHCCCS type program.
I do this because I have no other options. The insurance itself outside of Maternity benefits is atrocious. They probably spend more on certified letters telling me what they aren't going to cover than what they actually pay for. I'm also going to leave the silly legislatively mandated "bare period" alone for now as well.
That said, I can see why somebody in my situation may do what they could to qualify for AHCCCS, as there are very few options for maternity-covered insurance available.
I haven't delved far enough into the issue to offer any solutions, and it could very well be the case that the easy availability of AHCCCS is what is causing the dearth of other options. Until a method of providing said options becomes available, however, this issue is far from black and white.
Additionally, if any type of Universal Health Care becomes mandated, which I steadfastly oppose by the way, maternity coverage would be the easiest part to swallow. A healthy birthrate is vital to the needs and future of the country. We already fund childbirth through the Child Tax Credits which, last I checked, are something we fight for as Republicans. More children, being born healthy, is a fundamentally pro-life position as well. I can imagine that leaving no financial means for a family to pay for an unexpected addition could possibly lead to more abortions.
And finally, according to the site I linked above, HealthCare Group of Arizona looks to be linked to AHCCCS statistics. If this is the case, then the 52% is completely overstated. That would mean that baby Framer due in December would count under the 52%. I, and my pocketbook, can assure you that we are getting no free ride.
Posted by Framer at 8:23 AM