Yesterday, I learned that a visit to see my specialist was going to cost an arm and a leg, despite the fact that my household pays for insurance that already costs. . . well, an arm and a leg. Am I frustrated? You bet. Annoyed at how we pay exorbitant premiums for medical coverage that barely covers our actual medical needs without a super high deductible? Very. Chances are my frustrations are experienced by many others, who feel jilted by the Affordable Care Act. There’s no doubt that that’s why so many people supported Republicans in their efforts to repeal it.
But here’s the rub: I’m not mad at Obamacare for my high costs. As a matter of fact, I’m thankful for it, especially when the only other option is this abominable GOP alternative that threatens to muck up healthcare for everybody except the uber-healthy and uber-rich.
See, two years prior to Obamacare going into full effect, I was uninsured because of my pre-existing, autoimmune condition called Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease – which is a fancy way of saying my immune system doesn’t function properly and that eventually, my ailment will evolve into a more specific connective tissue disease like scleroderma or lupus. When I worked in the corporate workforce, I went undiagnosed for years and received treatment for my symptoms without issue. But when I was formally diagnosed and then left my job a year or so later, that’s when the reality of our messed up health insurance industry hit me. I could not get coverage. Most insurers wouldn’t touch me. The monthly premiums for the high risk pools that were available in my state cost more than my rent and car note combined.
When I needed to see a doctor, I often couldn’t afford it. Instead, I relied on emergency room visits when my disease spun out of control. I had a hard time maintaining a consistent work schedule, and the stress of it all impacted my family and our finances. I wouldn’t dare wish that predicament on anyone. But if the GOP healthcare reform passes in the Senate, then many, many more people will be where I was. Heck, I may be back to where I was again too, if this bill passes.
The Center For American Progress – albeit a left-leaning organization – estimated that premiums for people with my sort of condition may increase by $26,180. And that doesn’t even equate to reasonable coverage and affordable deductibles either. So chances are, I may be going without insurance under this GOP plan because I’m not paying that small fortune. Luckily for me, however, my issues aren’t life threatening. But what do we say of those whose insurance is a matter of life or death? Or what about our grandparents, who have serious health issues but can’t afford their higher premiums?
Life, indeed, is not fair. Paying for local schools with my taxes, even though I have no kids is unfair. Having to pay $700 for a catalytic converter on my car to be fixed, so I can pass my car inspection, just so everyone else can breathe in clean air is not fair. Paying for a congressman to have a phenomenal health insurance policy and a $174,000 salary, while most Americans would kill for a fraction of that is not fair. But we do those things because it’s for the good of all, not . . just . . . you. When rates were more affordable, pre-Obamacare, it was off the backs of millions who were denied coverage. And that right there was unfair, cruel, and completely opposite of what Jesus would do.
But it’s cool. For those of you who support this monstrous piece of legislation, I’ll simply say, ‘bless your heart.’ In your vain effort to look out for yourself and act as if every sick person had it coming because of their “life choices“, you may soon be in their shoes, because most of us have pre-existing conditions. You’ll learn soon enough how it feels, and it’ll be harsh. After all, karma be’s that way sometimes. And maybe it’s exactly what’s needed to force some compassion back into this nation, because somewhere along the way we’ve lost it.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another’ be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” – Peter 3:8