At 29 years old, I was fit,healthy, and had absolutely no foreseeable need for health insurance. I was employed with a small, local business that didn't provide what I considered to be an affordable group health insurance plan, so I purchased a catastrophic health insurance plan provided by a local hospital group for approximately $100 per month. As I was healthy enough to run half marathons and endlessly entertain my three year old daughter, the last thing I was concerned about was having a problem with my health. One evening I went to bed with an abdominal ache and woke up with severe abdominal pain. One emergency appendectomy later, I was suddenly receiving bills for nurses, doctors, hospital rooms, drug administrations, anesthesia, surgery suite rentals, an ambulance ride, etc.... You can't keep the ambiguous bills straight for even a routine procedure like an appendectomy. Luckily, my catastrophic insurance plan looked at my bills, decided what portion of the total for each bill was reasonable to charge for the procedure and then agreed to pay a percentage of the "reasonable" amount. So, my insurance paid for a percent of a percent of my medical bills....the irony here is that the insurance plan was for the hospital group that did the procedure. The overall total for an appendectomy was about $25,000, and my out-of-pocket financial responsibility came in at about $9000. I was a healthy 29 year old in and out of the hospital for an emergency surgical procedure in about 8 hours. Two months after, the only evidence was the small scarring leftover. I'm currently a 32 year old fit, healthy man, but had I not had insurance my debt would have been much greater or paid for by other tax payers. If republicans had their way and I had not had insurance and the hospital could have refused treatment, I would be dead.
Recently, my brother sliced his hand wide open on a drinking glass that broke in the sink while he was doing dishes. Being without insurance he refused to go to the hospital to be treated. The resulting treatments for infection and stitches were more costly than if he had just gone in for treatment, but he was so afraid of accumulating outrageous debt that he avoided the best solution.
The point is, nobody can foresee what will happen with their health. It doesn't have to be some outrageous event that causes the need for insurance, it could be doing the dishes or going to bed at night. If you don't have health insurance then you are gambling with your financial future, the financial future of your family, and the financial future of our country. This all sounds like a damn good reason to have a single payer plan that we can just have in the background and take it for granted when we need it!