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Pamela Sinclair: $585
Pamela Sinclair: $585
Pamela Sinclair and her husband, John.
Age: 51
Occupation: Writer
Hometown: Worland, Wyo.

My husband, John, and I pay $585 per month for minimal health care coverage. We are self-employed. I am up here in the middle of no where in Wyoming so you would think we would have a low cost of living. But, with the cost of health care, it has just been crazy.

Our insurer gives us $150 a year for a wellness check per person -- a sum that has never gone up in seven years we have had this coverage, even as the cost of going to the doctor continues to climb. After that, we aren't covered until we meet a $10,000 deductible per person. After we meet the deductible -- which we never have, of course -- then we get 80% of our medical covered up to $1 million. Not per year -- for the lifetime. If we need a prescription, we order from Canada since our insurance does not even offer prescription co-pay, despite the absurdly high price of our premium. It is basically a catastrophe policy.

We are outraged by the inevitable premium increases we experience every six months, despite the fact that we don't file claims because we are healthy, exercise, eat well, don't smoke and are not overweight. At ages 48 and 51, we are fearful that if we become ill, we won't be able to go to the doctor for fear it will be recorded in our medical files and used against us by our insurance company.

What I recommend is negotiating with the people who perform the various medical procedures. Ask them for the same discounted rate that they would have charged the insurance company. They won't offer if you don't ask.

My husband has a Ph.D. and I have a Master's, so we are fortunate that we have the knowledge to figure things out. But for ordinary folks, it's a mess.

My thoughts on universal health care: My husband has been a staunch conservative all of our life together, and I have been more on the left. He is for universal health care; I am on the fence. My concern is that we would compromise the quality of health care in this country. I am for it if our government didn't manage it. I don't trust them to be efficient and organized and competent.

My husband, meanwhile, is for it because of the outrageous cost of health care. He thinks it is the best way to control the cost.

NEXT: Suli Marr: $0 (not insured)

Last updated May 01 2009: 12:50 PM ET
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