I propose a US health care meme which might help put faces on how screwed up the current system is.
If you are a US citizen and could never under any circumstances afford private health insurance, copy this meme to your LJ. Even if you have health care through work now, write as if your one-layoff-away-from-losing-it has happened and you're facing the job of getting insurance on your own.
If you have friends or family members who are in the same boat and are not on LJ, feel free to mention them too. I suggest thumbnail descriptions which include no names or identifying information, in the interests of privacy.
I currently have health coverage from work - and it's one of the main reasons why I took this job and have stayed this long. There is no way I could get health coverage on my own.
I have two chronic conditions which require several different meds. The cost of those meds alone would be over $500 a month. Geez, I have to check in with the doctor every three months to make sure everything's in sync and this includes a slew of lab tests. In July, I got a lab bill for the first time and it was almost $300. (my fault, I'd pulled out the old insurance card). AND - it wasn't even for all the tests I had done that day.
The cost of prescriptions alone if you're not insured can be insane. One of the meds that my sister needs is $500 a month and she takes several.
When my mom had her castastropic illness in 1993, thank goodness she had CalPERS health insurance. The hospital bill alone was $377,000. This included multiple stays in ICU, multiple surgeries... It did not include all the doctors' fees. We paid nothing out of pocket except for the $110 in co pays for the blood transfusions.