It wasn’t my choice to become a walking, talking healthcare reform example. But lately that is my fate. Friday night I got a sore throat — these things seem to always happen on the weekend of course. By Sunday it was incredibly painful and so swollen my face was beginning to be deformed. Fortunately, Monday my PCP was in, a quick visit, a $20 copay and $10 more for prescribed antibiotics and now, less than 24 hours later, it’s already noticeably better.
It was bad enough that I was completely out of the game all day yesterday and I’m still running a pretty good fever. It’s scary to think what might have happened without health insurance, because this was the most painful sore throat I have ever experienced and it was spreading rapidly — a side effect of being on auto-immune drugs and cortisone no doubt.
First thing I see now that I’m up and running is this lovely article making the rounds with the usual suspects:
LA Times — Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month. She and her husband don’t qualify for federal premium subsidies because they earn too much money, about $80,000 a year combined.
“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” said Harris, who is three months pregnant. “This increase is simply not affordable.”
Those suffering from ODS are conflating this with employee group health insurance and claiming Obama lied when he said those plans would be unaffected. But on the case above … madam, I’m sorry to say it like this, but you are either an idiot or one hell of a thoughtless, selfish piece of work. You damn well better afford it, because you absolutely will have to use it sooner or later and you don’t want to go the ER or the chemo wing on 98 dollar a month insurance. That policy would be maxed out if not cancelled faster than you could say malignancy. Either way, the uncovered costs would land you squarely on the charity or Medicaid rolls.
See, I’ve had to live and breathe health insurance for the last two years, I am insurance licensed, and here’s a dose of reality: if you had a policy for $98 a month it was either a piece of shit or a very, very special deal. I looked for almost an hour online and I can’t even find any private policy anywhere for that price, the closest I can find pre-ACA would run about 150 a month, it covers no preexisting conditions, it has huge itemized deductibles and a low annual cap. Meaning your 98 dollar premium is either a special deal just for a select group and others are taking up your slack, or far more likely, it’s junk insurance. If the latter, that means if you got really sick or really hurt, and that was your only insurance, your only option for comprehensive treatment would be to throw yourself on the mercy of your fellow Californians’ generosity and you’d probably end up bankrupt for life in the process.
A private comprehensive policy that covers preexisting conditions, that has no annual cap, and covers preventative care for no copays at $238 a month is a fucking wet-dream compared to what’s currently available right now. A real policy would run you more like $500-1000 a month. You were basically marching into battle wearing body armor made out of paper mache. Now, thanks to the ACA, for an extra $140 a month you get the real deal, guaranteed, for life. You won’t end up a ward of the state if you get your brains scrambled from cancer or a windshield, but you’re whining because along the way someone who isn’t covered at all now might enjoy the same protection that is going to be handed over to you at that low bargain rate.
I don’t know if this lady is a Republican or has an ideological ax to grind or what, she may be the nicest person on Earth for all I know. But for all those conservatives out there with a sad face because millions might get covered now, you assholes had the WH and Congress and the Senate, and the entire country behind you after 9-11, and a budget surplus to boot. Your party could have solved this problem just like you pushed Medicare Part D.
But instead you blew trillions on tax cuts, a needless war in Iraq, and bailing out Wall Street. Because that was more important to your leaders than making sure millions of people can get a few dollars of antibiotics to treat a routine sore throat, to keep it from turning into septicemia and eating bloody, oozing holes into necks and jaws before killing us horribly and infecting everyone around us. Or suffer a thousand other horrible, unplanned accidents or afflictions seen everyday in offices all over this nation.
So just bite me. Obamacare is here, it isn’t going away, and every time I hear ignorant selfish pricks whine about it, it makes me smile a little wider.