Why Health Care Reform Matters

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Employers are now faced with putting plans in place to implement this sweeping new piece of legislation. Regardless of what individuals personally think about the act, it is important to recognize how important health care insurance can be for our employees. I learned this lesson very early in life.

April 27, 1987 is a day I will always remember.  Mr. Bartender and I had been married for 3 weeks (24 days to be exact).  I was wearing my new white pants.  We decided to have Chinese food for dinner.  Well, that’s what we would have eaten if we had actually made it to the restaurant.  You see, April 27 was the day of my “auto accident.”

Sad to say, the “accident” (as it’s referred to these days) wasn’t a little fender bender.  I shattered my ankle, fractured my face in three places, and broke my back.  I subsequently had a tracheotomy and temporarily lost all movement from the waist down.  Initially, I spent three weeks in the hospital and the first nine months of my married life in a full body cast.  There were lots of follow-up surgeries which I won’t go into…but, you get the picture.

Now, I’m not writing this for melodrama nor so anyone can feel sorry for me.  I never felt sorry for myself.  I AM writing this to share with you how fast your life can change.  And the importance of health care.  Even if you have great cholesterol, work out regularly, don’t smoke and eat healthy food…you can very quickly find yourself in a health care crisis.  It also doesn’t matter how young or old you are.

Lucky for me, my employer offered free insurance coverage.  Even though I was young and thought I was invincible, the company benefits person told me it was free so I signed up.  It was excellent coverage.  Since then, I’ve always made it a point to understand how my health insurance works.

Even as we’re implementing the Affordable Care Act, our country is still engaging in one of the most significant debates of recent history – health care reform.  I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong about the topic. But I do want to say, let’s not make the issue of health care reform about donkeys and elephants – this is much too important.  We each have an obligation to read about the issues, get educated on the subject and, most importantly, form an opinion.

I’m sharing with you my story because the experience made me realize the importance of understanding not only insurance but health care in general.  I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did in order to take an interest in the subject of health care reform.

Take my word for it. It’s important.

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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