This article from Business Week illustrates a disturbing outcome of our current health care system: working individuals who must attempt to trade their services for health services due to lack of coverage and access, and/or lack of income.
These individuals are not slackers or avoiders, but include individuals who provide value to society through their creative efforts. Few if any other industrialized countries’ health systems leave such individuals out in the cold to fend for themselves.
At least artists are attractive to health providers who might go out of their way to provide bartered services. What of the small business owner/entrepreneur engaged in a start-up with no resources to spare? Does our current health care system lock individuals into jobs that provide care when they would be better suited and society better served by the business they dream of starting—but for the inability to afford health care for their family?
Those who “fall through the cracks” are not just the unemployed and marginally functioning. They include many of us: our families, neighbors and friends. What would you have to barter if your health coverage went away? And how many practitioners and hospitals would take you up on your offer?