I stayed up to watch the vote on Obamacare on December 24, 2009. Of course I had heard all the gloom and doom coverage running up to the vote. I wanted to see the workings of our representatives myself because I knew history was being made.
After it passed the media coverage only intensified. Not only had they not read it but no one knew how to implement it or how it would work or how to build a website to make it run.
But we had private insurance through my husband’s job so we figured it would only minimally impact us. Au contraire.
Of course our rates soared. Perhaps even more painful was our deductible became enormous. So the net effect of the President’s promises was that we’re paying a heck of a lot more money.
Then something new started happening which I’m sure more will experience. The employer organization started an incentive program that went something like this: Everyone had to go to a health screening and had to earn a certain number of points in order to have a “discounted” premium rate. If your score didn’t measure up, you had to pay higher premiums.
Wait a minute. This affordable care act was supposed to save us money and not penalize pre-existing conditions. Everyone covered. Everyone pays less. I never could make the math work on that one.
I shudder to think what would have happened if we had this level of “qualification” when my husband was having radiation treatments that cost $8000 each 5 days a week for 8 weeks.
Isn’t the idea of insurance to share the risk? So for the 20-30 years that we paid premiums when we were all well should balance out when we do have health problems.
Now we are not sharing the risk. We are just flat out paying for others who don’t want to pay anything. And those who pay get helping payments from the government, but of course they screwed that all up too.
The net effect of all this is more people on Medicaid. They get everything and they pay nothing. Historically Medicaid has been the safety net for the truly poor who had no options. Now it’s so common and so costly that states can’t pay for it. My own state, Illinois, has been as much as 18 months behind in paying providers. Why practice medicine anymore?
What’s the alternative for plain old middle class people like us? Last time I checked the insurance exchanges for the “affordable care act” our premium would be $1918 per month to buy comparable coverage.
Affordable? Heck no.
Fair? Heck no.
And so we remain where plain old middle class people are in this economy.