Maybe you have followed the recent story about the Georgia Insurance Commissioner's comparison of insurance customers with pre-existing conditions as potential scam artists". In isolation from practice in the real world and in front of an audience of like-minded Republicans, this analogy holds some attraction. However, Ralph Hudgens and a large number prominent politicians do NOT live in the real world. Nor do most of the talking heads who yammer on ignorantly about the effects of our current healthcare system on the rest of us.
In fact, even those of us who do live in the world where healthcare and insurance collide, often find it to be less real than surreal, even Kafkaesque. Anyone who comments on this post is invited to share his or her own experiences in the world of medical Catch-22s. Below the squiggle, I will tell the most outrageous story I have heard yet.
My colleagues and I at my workplace in Georgia have very decent health insurance at an extremely reasonable price. However, adding family to that coverage can get a bit pricey. Many of us with spouses who also work, opt for them to use the insurance at their respective places of employment. My coworker, E., had done the same. However, they ran into some trouble recently after a SNAFU during their open enrollment. Her husband, who was covered on his insurance, along with their daughter, forgot to check the box for the daughter on the renewal form. When they finally realized the mistake, it was past the open enrollment period for both parents' health plans, so the child could not be added to either. Now that should sound a bit odd. It turns out the daughter has a pre-existing condition, one her parents never suspected she had, one for which she has never been treated. In fact, she never will be treated for this condition.
E. and her husband have since shopped for insurance from other providers, but all refuse her for the same "pre-existing" condition. E., you see, is pregnant. The daughter's pre-existing condition is "Expecting Parents".
That Commissioner Hudgens would try to find any argument against Obamacare is a given deriving from his status as a Georgia Republican. That he would draw simplistic and erroneous analogies in front of a friendly crowd is, sadly, to be expected in the political climate of the nation and particularly of the state. That he and the attendees, wrapped in the financial and ego secure lifestyles, would not care about people without healthcare because of pre-existing conditions, is as sad a commentary on the State of the Spirit of Christmas as any retelling of A Christmas Carol.
What grinds tiny bits of gravel into my gluteus maximus is the way the news media have been trolling (pun intended) for Republican talking points the last several weeks with relentless focus on the failures of the exchanges signup process and the dropping of coverage for those with junk insurance. These are important and serious issues that require coverage, but they also require context, that the existing insurance system is a moral wasteland. Yes, there are some flaky and exasperating things about Obamacare, but what lunacy drove us to it in the first place is the context needed in each story on Obamacare missteps. When ABC, CBS, and even NPR sound like FoxNews Lite whenever they touch on healthcare, there is something infuriatingly wrong.
E.'s daughter will go without insurance for one more month. Because of the ACA, her family and others like them will be saved from some of the worst the old system threw at them as of January 1st.
Good Things Happen" is a style of headline seen rarely and then usually only at this time of year. Come on, Mainstream News Media, surely you have a couple of stories of healthcare Christmas cheer in your bag.