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View Diary: First Doctor Visit in Five Years: Why Repubs Want Us Broke or Dead (224 comments)

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  •  Obamacare saved me $750 on one prescription (17+ / 0-)

    I am a brain tumor survivor. That being said you can tell why I am not worthy of republican insurance, I made the mistake of living instead of dying. I have been refused private insurance for several of the past four years since I have had my surgery. I was "fortunate" enough to have a plan for a year from my wife's employment, for the low cost of only $400 a month.

    The problem was, even after paying this ridiculous sum of money for my premium, the insurance still wouldn't cover my prescription for Lyrica, which I use to treat nerve damage from my surgery. Lyrica costs over $4...PER PILL! I had to compromise and ask my doctor to give me my preferred two daily doses in a single dose to save money. But even then, I was paying about $140 a month on top of my $400 a month premium. Needless to say, this was killing my family financially. That was before my wife had to change jobs and I lost all insurance.

    My costs for Lyrica remained the same but my doctor shot up to $130 a month, my other pain medication went from a $30 copay to $235 a month and I was left with a choice of which scripts I was going to give up. I was lost in the the food or medicine paradigm we so oft hear about but many of us truly do not understand.

    I chose to alternate my pain medicines monthly, cut my blood pressure medicine in half to try to get two doses from one pill and begged my doctor to only see me every three months (which many doctors do not want to do if you are on certain pain medicines). My doctor understood and was kind enough to oblige, but I am still paying off the debts I accrued over the year.

    Then came the ACA roll out. I struggled with the website everyday and really got no where for about a month. But then I saw my requests go through and it felt like I had witnessed a paranormal event. My skin actually began to tingle. The gold plan I had chosen was listed in front of me with all the benefits and doctors that were now available to me. I almost began to cry. If you have never seen a 40 year old, 6'2" bearded bald man jump around like a two year old, it was a terrifying sight...well, at least according to my scared doggies it was.

    My first order of business was to see a new doctor (for $20) but I was not concerned as my current doctor was leaving the state to move to another state with a better healthcare system. He couldn't stand the volume patient system that interfered with his ability to care for individuals. But I digress.

    My second order of business was to get my scripts filled. My new Lyrica prescription was adjusted to the correct dosage of two pills a day, was a three month supply and cost me $90. That was a savings of about $750. Again, my throat got lumpy. My $235 prescription cost me $15 and my two other prescriptions were three month supplies at $15 each. I saved over $1000 in my first week on the plan.

    My new plan cost $100 less than the plan I had lost over a year ago, covered more medicines, had a lower co-pay and no limit on coverage which is a concern for anyone who has almost died from a serious illness. More importantly for me, Obamacare has afforded me the dignity to buy my own insurance. I get no subsidies and my premiums technically went  up $300 a month, but it is impossible to calculate a percentage increase, because you can't divide by zero. I don't mind paying, it is why my wife and I work, to pay our way.

    I am sorry this thing turned into such a monster comment, but I felt overwhelmed by this story and felt I needed to share. Thank God or the Gods or the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster or whomever for Obamacare, it is one of the best things to ever happen to my family.

    •  Thanks so much for sharing Rusty (9+ / 0-)

      Ours are the stories people need to hear associated with this law. Part of what petrified me upon seeing the costs was how much worse it could be because this was such basic care. For those who have fought hard through disease and still contribute so much to society, being forced to choose between important meds and food is such a disgusting symptom of what was a horribly broken system. It isn't perfect now but the ACA is making a tangible impact on lives every day, sometimes in a huge way - like that $1000 dollar savings in the first week.

      I'm thankful you're in a better position now and not forced to make so many difficult decisions. These comments have several stories in them that damn near bring tear to my eye and I'm glad they're getting out. So many have suffered for so long.

      I chuckled out loud at the visualization of you jumping around and the dogs giving you that scared side-eye stare like WTF. When my benefits notice came through, I let out a little yell out and got more emotional than you'd expect from a 27 year old. Its just that the peace of mind is so significant.

      And of course, my yorkie and chinese crested both looked at me like "what the hell got into him". Now I think they're plotting to use my extra financial freedom on food and treats.

      "Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking." -Keynes

      by UntyingTheNot on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:59:35 PM PDT

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      •  My doggies never see excitement like that (8+ / 0-)

        I have a 8 lbs Pomeranian, a 12 lbs Boston terrier mutt mix and a 30 lbs beagle mutt. They are used to me being pretty even keeled and mellow. Only during football season do they see explosive excitement and they usually hide in the back room until the game is over. But Whey my 275 lbs frame just thrust up into the air, they looked like they thought that I was going to beat them to death. I made up for it with a puppy group hug and petting session. They didn't seem too traumatized after that.

        I am glad you are young and insured. I had the "never been sick so why should I worry" attitude. well after the two and a half month long headache, I knew I was dying and had to pony up $1300 for a discounted MRI. Well, $45,000 in medical bills taught me a very valuable lesson about insurance. But the seriously sick part was after the tumor, when I realized the importance of having insurance, I wasn't allowed to buy insurance. Great system, you should only have insurance when you don't need it and lose your insurance when you don't.

        •  I tried that attitude and my friends still have it (4+ / 0-)

          But with a history of kidney stones, I knew I was one pain in the side away from being in a difficult situation. Add in a couple other concerns and I was on early after launch. For the sake of their health and that of the ACA, I've been pushing friends and family to follow suit and get covered.

          I feel for you. Among the diagnoses I'd narrowed one issue down to was a tumor/cancer. Just the prospect, of both the disease and associated expense, was intimidating. It turned out to be a swollen gland we could chalk up to another issue.

          Our canine households sound really similar. My boys are an 11 pound Yorkshire and a 14 pound Crested, one I got from a breeder I know and the other adopted. My roommate has a 40 pound pointer mix. None fit their respective breed size standard but they're pretty much perfect in my eyes.

          "Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking." -Keynes

          by UntyingTheNot on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:52:38 PM PDT

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    •  Thanks for sharing (7+ / 0-)

      You brought me to tears because I honestly do not understand how anyone can be refused the ability to the get the right care.
      Your situation was/is quite dramatic and emotional because the consequences that could be tragic are so obvious.  And there are, I am sure, many like you.

      And I know there are many like me, who when we were young got a chronic illness, over which we had no control.  But I was one of the lucky ones and my parents, though poor, had insurance.  Back then even low paying jobs had insurance for families.  It wasn't great but it was decent.  Still when I was hit with IBD and spent a month in the hospital and needed steroids, my parents had to refinance to pay some of the bills.  I did not know it back then but learned it as an adult.  My father was a police officer so the doctors knew him and made an effort to make my meds affordable giving my dad "samples".

      Then I was lucky to get a teaching job.  So I have always been covered and was able to work even though some years it was tough.  But I know others with IBD (Crohns or Ulcerative colitis) who lost their job because of the disease, then lost insurance and without it were unable to afford meds, could not look for work because they were often to sick to work.  While IBD does not kill, it can make it very difficult for people to work.  

      It breaks my heart to read what people have to go through in this country, the richest country in the world, because they are sick.  There is something truly wrong with those who vote against the most vulnerable in our society.

      “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

      by Jjc2006 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:53:08 PM PDT

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