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Your situation illustrates why it's hard to get a concerted effort in this country to attack rising health care costs: the majority of people have no idea what health care costs. You had highly subsidized insurance through your husband's employer. Only when you lost that did you see the true cost of health insurance.

I'll pay over $5300 this year for Blue Cross with a 20% co-pay and $2500 deductible. Judging from increases of 14% and 13% last two years it will be over $6000 in 2009. That's just for myself, and I have no medical conditions. With so much going out for insurance and faced with even more out-of-pocket if I have claims, I'm avoiding some preventative/diagonostic physician visits which I probably should have at age 63. Hopefully I'll be able to wait until I'm on Medicare for them. Yes, because I pay 100% of my own insurance and deductible, Medicare will be a significant savings for me.

If more people really understood how much their insurance was costing their employer, whether private or public, I suspect there would be a mass movement to improve our health care system. We certainly are in the position to provide top-notch care in this country, but we have a crazy hodgepodge way of paying for it. And too many people get left out because they just can't afford it anymore.
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