I've been a public school teacher for eight years. Every month, the school takes a sizable amount from my paycheck to cover health insurance. Costs have gone down in the past year. But for awhile, insurance costs rivaled my mortgage. Recently, I removed my ex-wife from my health insurance -- and instead went for the "employee + child" rate. My pay stubs confirmed as much. However, in the past week, my daughter Kennedy got strep throat, and things became hectic. The doctor's office and the pharmacist both said that my daughter was not covered. M'kay. I check with the benefits department for my school district. Yes, I have been paying for "employee + child." And no, your daughter is not covered.

There was a glitch in the system.

My school district talked with our insurance rep. The insurance company said it would be fixed within one to two hours. Four hours later, I go back to the pharmacist. Kennedy is still not covered. I left a message with the district, and talked with them the next day. The school district is working hard on this, and will call me once everything is resolved. I still haven't heard back from them. It's not my district's fault. They've done every they can do. Bless them. The insurance company has been the one dragging their feet. All the while, I've been paying for antibiotics and ear drops without insurance, and it's getting expensive. These costs though still don't come close to what I pay every month for the insurance itself -- even when I'm not using the coverage.

I'm not a politician. I'm not an expert in economic theory. But there's something jacked with this system. There are a lot of people getting paid who have nothing to do with the doctor, the nurses, or the medicine. It's too simplistic to say the problem is "frivolous lawsuits" or to say we need to adopt a system like what Canada has. If we can pay $500,235,485,000 (or whatever) for a war in Iraq, surely, we can make health care more affordable. Yes?

I'm sure my district will resolve everything soon enough. I can get reimbursed by the pharmacist, since I kept track of my receipts. That's not the issue: If things had been worse, and I was at the emergency room with Kennedy, I don't want to be told she's not covered. Republican. Democrat. Who cares. I hope you can sympathize.