By Scott Hensley
If you start asking around about people's health coverage, you might be surprised by what you find out. Nobody seems all that satisfied.
You'll learn about people in nine different situations, ranging from the uninsured to folks with top-shelf coverage. Even the insurance haves, like federal worker Rhonda Dorsey profiled by NPR's Joe Shapiro on Monday's Morning Edition, face limits.
Dorsey took advantage of the broad menu of insurance options to pick a flexible but more expensive plan that lets her daughter, who has Type 1 diabetes, see specialists without a referral. Even with the robust coverage, Dorsey pays more than $200 a month for diabetes-care supplies for her daughter.
On All Things Considered, you'll hear about Fernando Arriola, a self-employed home contractor, who dropped insurance coverage when his business took a hit. When he tried to purchase coverage again, he couldn't find it at any price.
Last year, he became an involuntary medical tourist, traveling to his native Guatemala for knee surgery. The price was right: less than $1,000 for a procedure he figures would have cost thousands of dollars more in the U.S.
His prescription for health reform is to broaden the insurance marketplace, with more choices and more competition. The 58-year-old doesn't want a handout, just a chance to buy affordable coverge. "There has to be a way," he says.