Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do you have insurance? No? Go ahead and kill yourself.

A friend of mine has been struggling with depression for months. Last week she wrote a suicide note and tried to kill herself. Pulled back from the edge, she agreed to get some help. Her mother started making telephone calls to try to get that help for her. Everywhere she called, the first questions were the same: "Does she have insurance? What policy? Can you pay the deductible today?"

After three days of calls and trips to hospitals, she was accepted into a program more than 150 miles away. Her mother borrowed $1500 to pay the deductible required by the mental illness clause in her insurance policy. The program administrator made it clear she would not have been accepted without the insurance policy and the $1500.

What happens to mentally unbalanced people who don't have insurance? The attitude of our health care system seems to be: "Just go ahead and kill yourself." Or kill your kids, or your neighbors, or strangers on the street.

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