Story Category: Politics »
NICK ON POLITICS: Sick of Health
By Nick Garrett
As a business owner the issue of “national healthcare for all” hits close to home for me.I am currently uninsured after several failed attempts to obtain a policy. I have been turned down once for being obese and once for being “an expectant father.” (Yes I am serious) Luckily I was able to get a policy for my wife and five month old twin girls, before congress began making legislative sausage, and the president a package of confusing ideas.
The current status of President Obama’s healthcare plan leaves one with the same confusion now as it did during the congressional war to pass it.Now the Supreme Court will speak on the issue and likely have factions up in arms over the outcome.Most of us feel like no one has any idea what the bill actually does including the authors of the plan.Politicians and think tanks have spent the months since passage figuring out what they did, how it will really work, and how they can protect us from the retaliation being inflicted on us by the healthcare industry through increased premiums and absurd application refusals.Some may feel it is too bold of me to assert that the industry is retaliating but in recent months I have been refused care on two separate occasions for being “self pay”.
I did read most of the actual bill when it came out.Mostly legalese that does not make sense to any civilian, myself included. We were left to rely on the interpretation of our political parties as far as what it meant.So the best information we can get depends on which party we belong to.Does that mean there are two sets of facts? I doubt it.
My first attempt to get healthcare landed me with one of those, “no one gets refused, healthcare for all” plans.Let’s just say that one ended with me contacting the Attorney General’s Office and reporting consumer fraud.My second and third applications, more interestingly, got me letters of refusal based on the fact that I was “obese”, and lastly, “an expectant father”. Yes you heard me right! I was denied medical coverage because I am an expectant father. Am I over weight? My grandmother would say so, but I seriously doubt I am obese.Lastly, being an expectant father was the laughable response that compelled me to look deeper into the matter of exactly where we are now with the healthcare plan progress.
I started by going to President Obama’s website and searched for updates on his health plan.There are five points emphasized on the site. “
1.As of September 23, 2010, insurers are required to pay the full cost of recommended preventive services, without charging a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance.”This does nothing for you if you don’t have insurance.
2.“The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program makes it possible for people who may have previously been denied coverage to purchase health insurance. More information on each State's plan is available on HealthCare.gov” Naturally this excited me.I went to the website, filled out the information, essentially, I applied for healthcare.After navigating the process I was left with three choices.The first response I received was “If you do not have job-based or other coverage, you may want to buy a policy from a private insurer.” What? ….long period of baffled silence…. Someone much wiser then I will have to explain to me how this is healthcare for everyone or how this even makes any sense.I went to the Presidents website where he promises healthcare for all and when I apply it tells me to go see a private insurer? It has been argued that the only reason I am experiencing these phenomenon is because the law won’t go fully into effect for some time. If this is true, the sound bites and rhetoric should then no begin for some time.
3. Four million rebate checks have been mailed to American seniors who had reached the gap in Medicare's prescription drug coverage, often called the 'donut hole'.
4. Provisions in the Affordable Care Act are expected to save Medicare an estimated $8 billion in the next two years and almost $418 billion by 2019.Wouldn’t you love to see one government projection that involved stopping spending today and saving today instead of saving millions and billions years from now? This is said by politicians because they know by the time a “budget” initiative comes to fruition the other party will be in power and they can be blamed.
5. Before the new health care law, insurers could remove young adults from their parent’s plans -- usually around age 19, sometimes later if the young adult remained a full-time student. Now, the law allows most young adults to remain on their parent’s insurance plan until their 26th birthday.Good luck getting it after that!
As of 2014 a family that makes 88,000 will pay $8,000 in deductibles and a family making $99,000 or more will pay 9,000 a year in deductibles if the Presidents plan actually ends up insuring people as they say it does.This may or may not be better then most people’s current policy.
In fair measure to the Democrats they at least tried something.With all due respect to the republicans, if the bill is so bad what is their plan to fix it? It will cost a fortune to un-legislate the bill as some have tried. Now the Supreme Court will render a decision on the constitutionality of the bill.The fact remains that we need major fixes to our healthcare in this Country. Simply undoing Obama’s plan takes us from a broken system to a broken system with millions wasted on this process.
In fact, the Republican attempt to repeal Obama’s plan did end up passing the House of Representatives. However, Republicans knew the repeal would not pass the Democrat majority in the Senate.Clearly making the effort a pointless act of political posturing.That makes the republican talking point about “reducing government spending” a lie.What they mean is “We want to reduce what the democrats spend on democrat things. If Americans really needed healthcare the free market would work it out.Mind you the free market has not worked it out up to now. Why don’t Republicans take the lead on fixing what is wrong with the bill? I do not think the two parties will work together on the issue; however the obligation to serve the needs of the people of this Country should be enough motivation to fix it.
So far, the new healthcare law seems senseless, convoluted; indiscernible, and quite frankly does not work.Maybe it is not supposed to. Maybe what we needed at this point was a start in the right direction.This could be an opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate what they say they are good at.If not, President Obama, I need healthcare and you said I could get it. Show me where! As for the Supreme Court’s pending decision, supporters and opponents are making much noise.Once the court makes its decision our Healthcare system will still be broken. We need leaders willing to fix the issue by leaving everything on the table.
It is said no one should discuss religion and politics among friends.These are hot issues that always lead to arguments.I believe the arguments arise because each side, party, or religion, has just enough truth to make a valid argument.However, surrounding that “just enough truth” is artificial scaffolding and bogus rhetoric so deep that we end up in endless cyclical debate.I am hopeful for leadership that is willing to fix healthcare before it’s too late.We are currently running the risk for the first time of handing America to a younger generation worse then we received it.I can think of no greater sadness.
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