Skip to main content

...my 65th birthday is later this month, so I became firmly entrenched as a proud member of the 47% at midnight, when the Medicare card I received a couple months ago became effective.

    You bet it's an entitlement, folks. I bought it and paid for it during 40 years on the workforce. I paid taxes for it every two weeks with every paycheck. So, yeah, I'm entitled to it, just like I'm entitled to the money I deposited in my checking account, or the money in my 401k.

     My Medicare card is a ticket to fewer financial and healthcare worries, and it's also a ticket to ride for Democratic candidates next year. More after the jump....

I was without health insurance all of three days in my working life, but I learned a few things the past few months.

When I took early retirement - just ahead of a major round of cutbacks at work - I switched over to my partner's policy. It was terrific. But my partner was riffed last year, and his last day on the payroll was December 31st. We were told repeatedly by his Human Resources Department that I could be covered by his COBRA.

On January 3rd, we checked with his COBRA provider only to learn that I could not be covered, and, in fact - at that very moment - I was without coverage!
Even though the District of Columbia has marriage equality, DOMA reared its ugly head and my partner's employer had no COBRA look-alike option. So there I was, 87 days short of Medicare, with no coverage.

AFTRA-SAG offers short term medical coverage through a major carrier, so I called the carrier. They said I could qualify by answering "no" to four simple questions. One was whether I had been counseled for - or treated for - diabetes. Well, I had, even though my AIC is in normal range. So I didn't qualify.

Everywhere I went, I ran into the same problem: pre-existing condition.

But one insurance company representative told me to check my state insurance department. I did.

I learned that DC had already been planning for Obamacare, and had instituted an Open Enrollment Plan with CareFirst/Blue Shield. There were no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and I could have full coverage for $543 a month. They even covered me retroactively to the first of the month!

I paid $1629 for 90 days over coverage, didn't get sick, used the dental coverage for a complete check-up and cleaning, and saved a lot of money on prescription drug coverage. But, above all, I had the peace of mind of knowing I wasn't without coverage. All that, thanks to Obamacare, which hadn't even kicked in yet.

Now, I have coverage for the rest of my days, so long as Paul Ryan and Company don't have their way. And that's where this becomes a winning ticket for the Dems.

Every single House Republican voted to scrap Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. Every damn last one of them. They call it entitlement reform. They can call it a free lunch for orphans, for all I care. They're talking about dismantling the Medicare system and replacing it with insurance companies, a voucher subsidy to buy your insurance and then allowing you to fight with them of get the insurance companies to pay your bills.  And maybe they'll throw in a coupon for a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts.

But the first of every month, another 300,000 Baby Boomers hit 65. Many of them have struggled to pay for or maintain coverage. Now, like me, they have it. And when they hear that their GOP congressman has voted to dismantle Medicare, they're not going to think too kindly of that. After all, they bought this coverage during their working years. It's bought and paid for.

Medicare is the Achilles' heel of every single House Republican. And you can have my Medicare card, Paul Ryan, when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of it.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site