The healthscare morons and their cries of MARKETS!!! were, and are, just one bad issue away from finding out what millions of other Americans know all too well. Or, if they happened to have the misfortune of Nataline Sarkisyan, aren’t around to talk about anymore. The thing the brain-dead Randiots don’t seem to get is that ANY profit-based system will cut costs wherever it can. In the case of for-profit health insurance, the easiest way to cut those costs is to get rid of your customers when they fall ill.
Spike Dolomite Ward was swayed by the healthscare cretins and their hysterics for a long time, but she’s seen the light. As you should. There are things about Obamacare that are objectionable, but there’s a lot of good to it. One thing, in particular, which we’ll discuss in a few minutes.
Let’s hear Ward’s story, in her own words, first.
To understand how such a thing could happen to a family like ours, I need to take you back nine years to when my husband got laid off from the entertainment company where he’d worked for 10 years. Until then, we had been insured through his work, with a first-rate plan. After he got laid off, we got to keep that health insurance for 18 months through COBRA, by paying $1,300 a month, which was a huge burden on an unemployed father and his family.
By the time the COBRA ran out, my husband had decided to go into business for himself, so we had to purchase our own insurance. That was fine for a while. Every year his business grew. But insurance premiums were steadily rising too. More than once, we switched carriers for a lower rate, only to have them raise rates significantly after a few months.
With the recession, both of our businesses took a huge hit — my husband’s income was cut in half, and the foundations that had supported my small nonprofit were going through their own tough times. We had to start using a home equity line of credit to pay for our health insurance premiums (which by that point cost as much as our monthly mortgage). When the bank capped our home equity line, we were forced to cash in my husband’s IRA. The time finally came when we had to make a choice between paying our mortgage or paying for health insurance. We chose to keep our house. We made a nerve-racking gamble, and we lost.
Not having insurance amplifies cancer stress. After the diagnosis, instead of focusing all of my energy on getting well, I was panicked about how we were going to pay for everything. I felt guilty and embarrassed about not being insured. When I went to the diagnostic center to pick up my first reports, I was sent to the financial department, where a woman sat me down to talk about resources for “cash patients” (a polite way of saying “uninsured”).
“I’m not a deadbeat,” I blurted out. “I’m a good person. I have two kids and a house!” The clerk was sympathetic, telling me how even though she worked in the healthcare field, she could barely afford insurance herself.
Although there have been a few people who judged us harshly, most people have been understanding about how this could happen to us. That’s given me the courage to “out” myself and my family in hopes that it will educate people who are still lucky enough to have health insurance and view people like my family as irresponsible. We’re not. What I want people to understand is that, if this could happen to us, it could happen to anybody.
If you are fortunate enough to still be employed and have insurance through your employers, you may feel insulated from the sufferings of people like me right now. But things can change abruptly. If you still have a good job with insurance, that doesn’t mean that you’re better than me, more deserving than me or smarter than me. It just means that you are luckier. And access to healthcare shouldn’t depend on luck.
Fortunately for me, I’ve been saved by the federal government’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, something I had never heard of before needing it. It’s part of President Obama’s healthcare plan, one of the things that has already kicked in, and it guarantees access to insurance for U.S. citizens with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months. The application was short, the premiums are affordable, and I have found the people who work in the administration office to be quite compassionate (nothing like the people I have dealt with over the years at other insurance companies.) It’s not perfect, of course, and it still leaves many people in need out in the cold. But it’s a start, and for me it’s been a lifesaver — perhaps literally.
Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.
So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”
This insurance coverage is a lifesaver, literally, and anyone who thinks it’s a bad idea…. go stand in the street for a little while. Get hit by a car. Then come back and tell us how bad it is.
This is an excellent feature of Obamacare, as is the feature that allows us to keep our grown children insured. But the best feature, in my opinion, just kicked in: the requirement that health insurers spend at least 80% of their collected premiums on healthcare delivery to their clients. Healthcare delivery in America is Soviet efficiency with caviar premiums, because it benefits health insurers to ladle as much overhead into the healthcare premium as they can. Paying a CEO a $10,000,000.00 bonus (or more) at the expense of sick people isn’t only inefficient, it’s plain evil. Slashing that overhead margin is going to either make insurers restructure how they do things, or get out of the health-insurance business, either option being desirable.
I howled about allowing the private insurers to stay in the game myself. But I also said that in sum, it was something I would reluctantly back. The new provisions kicking in make my reluctance lessen considerably with each new day.