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Follow below the fold to continue Jen's experience.

This comic originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Portland to Austin ? (178+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlwaysDemocrat, zerelda, implicate order, political mutt, Dem Beans, asterkitty, slapshoe, shaharazade, wilderness voice, chuck utzman, Pragmatus, Kevskos, fixxit, art ah zen, i saw an old tree today, Jorge Harris, ItsSimpleSimon, JML9999, commonmass, onionjim, Libby Shaw, Taget, CA Nana, dansmith17, Spirit of Life, northsylvania, TLS66, chicagobleu, libera nos, ferg, weck, hilltopper, janmtairy, TrueBlueMajority, Vatexia, Al Fondy, ER Doc, hotdamn, PatConnors, elpacifico66, tgrshark13, whaddaya, AZGoob, JrCrone, melvynny, Flying Goat, thomask, Bob Duck, hopi13, Patango, dksbook, dp, JeffW, plankbob, EighteenCharacters, Risen Tree, The grouch, Diana in NoVa, rhutcheson, dewtx, KBS666, Elizaveta, radarlady, Vienna Blue, cocinero, oofer, Bule Betawi, Themistoclea, SeaTurtle, afisher, blue jersey mom, Bill Roberts, jstrick, deeproots, SCFrog, ramara, alguien, Stwriley, tb92, carolanne, slakn1, Arizona Mike, skepticalcitizen, Tinfoil Hat, Sal Bovoso, Barbara Marquardt, Sapere aude, Australian2, awcomeon, T Maysle, Sun Tzu, ehstronghold, CoyoteMarti, Laurel in CA, asym, Take a Hard Left, cheforacle, chimene, shortgirl, trivium, Larsstephens, worldlotus, urnumbersix, Grandma Susie, GayHillbilly, NM Ray, Ironic Chef, HedwigKos, Bonsai66, antooo, GleninCA, Noodles, offgrid, Josiah Bartlett, Aureas2, devtob, bepanda, doingbusinessas, JanetT in MD, ChocolateChris, Eikyu Saha, MyOwnReality, ladybug53, Dvalkure, eyesoars, politically indigo, SaraBeth, YellerDog, science nerd, Hirodog, Just Saying, doinaheckuvanutjob, Lujane, Assaf, jodylanec, WakeUpNeo, Kokomo for Obama, JG in MD, manyamile, kurt, splashy, mcgee85, ColoTim, papercut, fhcec, icemilkcoffee, Esjaydee, Alise, Mage11an, Overopinionated, Lencialoo, TKO333, tommymet, Pamelia HR, IreGyre, ifthethunderdontgetya, hnichols, armadillo, pcl07, blairhoughton, Rita5018, sciguy, bardgal, tofumagoo, chickeeee, tmaguire18, Candide33, zootscoot, kirnerpilstime, SphericalXS, raspberryberet, groupw, travelerxxx, aratinga, Sandika, crhyne, okpkpkp, Ginny in CO

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:05:51 AM PDT

    •  I love the nuclear explosion in Scalia's head... (55+ / 0-)

      That's the kind of atomic warfare I can get behind.

      “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

      by Pragmatus on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:16:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That seems to happen to him a lot... (8+ / 0-)

        maybe he should have that checked...if his insurance company allows the MRI.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:13:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I laughed aloud at that one (12+ / 0-)

        but lost it on the frothing talking head, hahaha. I have a couple of Jen's signed prints, framed and properly displayed. I recommend them, both to help support her great work and because they look good on a wall. ;) Oh, and they're pretty funny conversation makers too.

        I too am a self-employed guy who started having health issues in my mid-50's and they snow-balled until I couldn't get a policy on the open market if my life depended on it and before Obamacare, it would've. I still had my UHC policy, $535 a month with a $6,000 out of pocket before they picked up the tab on the rest. I had neck surgery and care after a heart attack plus a week's hospitilization over some nast infection in my right leg- all in the space of a couple of years but over three calendar years so I racked up over $18,000 in debts. Yikes!

        Well, as it turned out, UHC fled California (probably because they didn't like a state with a a fairly strong insurance commissioner) and my policy such as it was would end as of 12.31.13. After myriad problems with Anthem from whom I got a gold plan for $200 less than I was paying before (I qualified for the subsidy) and hardly any out of pocket expense, I finally got my card in late January this year. The Covered CA website worked fine but for whatever reason Anthem was really slow in both cashing my initial premium and issuing my card which caused me some stress (my meds are $700 a month w/o insurance) but in the end and before I had to pay too much out of pocket, it all came together and I'm as happy as a clam. $20 to see the doc, $5 for a script. Wow. What a deal.

        Thanks for sharing your story, Jen. It provided a much needed laugh and some hopefulness too. :)

        "My one hobby is maintaining a Democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you and we'll have a real war right here at home. - General Smedley Butler, 1933

        by Dave925 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:09:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hate to say it (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, dksbook, JeffW, BachFan, splashy

      Great cartoon as usual, but if your point is that a lot of us are progressives who don't necessarily get to live in Portland, Austin, Boulder, San Francisco, or Williamsburg, I have to agree.

      Might thin-skinned and petty of me, I freely admit :), but place-name dropping is mildly annoying to me.

      Here it's relevant, but I notice that most people who live in a "cool" place find excessive reasons to mention it.

      Somewhat ironically, I have nice but conservative and very square relatives in Austin.  And they used to live in Oregon.

      •  I just can't imagine (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, JeffW, GayHillbilly, Dave925

        trading from one to the other .

        Here it's relevant, but I notice that most people who live in a "cool" place find excessive reasons to mention it.
        I am in Santa Cruz but my heart is in the islands .

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

        by indycam on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:24:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm in Berkeley also with my heart in the islands, (16+ / 0-)

          Caribbean - where I grew up. Got my O-care Tuesday just under the wire for a 4/1 start as my COBRA skimpy-minimal-high-deductible-POS policy is about to expire on the same date. I'm now paying $740/month vs. $270, but I make a lot now and can easily afford it - and I view the higher premium as not just paying for REAL quality care, but the same way I feel fine about paying a bit more in taxes for a six-figure income - because I am a PROGRESSIVE, and decidedly disgusted at the rise of me-me-me so-called "libertarianism" lately --

          “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”  

          John Kenneth Galbraith

          •  How I miss JKG! (0+ / 0-)

            feel the same as you about increased health care costs this year. Glad others have the opportunity to have health care like what I've had for years without even thinking about it.

            "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

            by fhcec on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 08:40:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  $270? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You were paying $270 before?  Are you sure?

            A friend of mind, who is a bit of a jerk, and republican...  He got all pissy with his employer during open enrollment with his employer's plan around 10/2013.  He was paying  "$200" a month for a 60+ year old alcoholic smoker.  He decided that was a lot of money, and he could do better on his own, so he opted out of the employer's plan, despite many smart friends telling him not to...  Turns out his employer was paying for 80% of his premiums, and he didn't consider that.  He never knew that his insurance actually cost $900 a month, not the $200 he thought was paying.

            He got a great deal with ACA, coming in at only $600 a month to replace his lost $900 a month plan... but with better benefits and lower deductable...  The problem is he doesn't qualify for the subsidy, not because he makes too much, but because he was a dummy and rejected his employer's plan.  He now has a new found respect for ACA, even though he is out in left field and can't buy it because he really can't afford it.  It is a hard-fought lesson for him, but there is a point in there...

            If you have a $200 a month plan, someone else is paying for most of it, because there are no $200 a month plans.  If someone is helping pay for your insurance, you will be very surprised when you ask to buy your own and pay the cost directly.  Most people have no idea how much their employer pays for their coverage, and most people that pay part of the bill themselves think they are paying the whole thing, but they are not.

            So I don't know what you had for $270...  It was either a plan that someone else way paying most of the bill on, or it was one of the plans that became illegal because they don't have any real coverage.

        •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53, doinaheckuvanutjob

          I hate to detract from the important topic of the US health care system with this, but I can virtually guarantee that there is extensive movement between them.  They are currently considered "cool" places to live and people who are lucky enough to have a high degree of control over what city they live in often choose one or the other.

          I am in fact puzzled by your comment.  You mean because they have different climates?

          I'm a big fan of most of Sorensen's cartoons and this isn't something I intended to dwell on, but she herself is plausibly an example.  I don't know what her husband does.  A freelance cartoonist can locate anywhere they want.  She doesn't seem to have chosen South Dakota, and she does seem to have chosen Portland and Austin.  Nothing wrong with that, of course.

          My point was, as I conceded, kind of petty and trivial, and I'm going to drop it altogether now,  but I do defend it as reality based.

          •  Hell, I turned down a job in SD (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, doinaheckuvanutjob

            because, y'know, it's SOUTH DAKOTA.

          •  A freelance cartoonist with a spouse (4+ / 0-)

            has far less flexibility, unless you like a long-distance marriage. (I've known a few marriages that might have benefited from some distance between the partners, but that's another story.) Likely the locations are related to her husband's employ -- with an employer that doesn't offer insurance benefits for either employee or family it looks like.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:45:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Red areas are culturally toxic to me, look, I (0+ / 0-)

            don't want to live in a food desert with no health food and only RW talk or country or RW church radio. I don't want to be governed by the brute red forces. I am proud of progressive parts of the country and the progressive culture, no apologies. I don't know why it offends you, but you seem to misunderstand. I just don't think the diarist was putting your region down anyway.

            •  that's not terribly progressive of you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I guess you won't see this but I'll say it anyway.

              For full disclosure I live in a very blue area, but...

              Plenty of people live in "red" states because they have to, or because they want to for reasons unrelated to local politics, like family roots.

              Millions and millions of people with progressive values live in "red" states.

              Snobbery is not a progressive value.  

              We should be trying to persuade people everywhere of the benefits of supporting human progress, not sneering at millions of people based on what state they live in.

              I realize that the Republicans will say we do that whether we do or not, but if we actually do it, that makes their job a lot easier.  Please stop.

              •  I agree with you, but you have reading (0+ / 0-)

                comprehension failure. You misread Jen Sorenson, and now me. This is quite tiresome. The fact you're in a blue area shreds your credibility to zero about blue and red culture. You have no clue about living in a red zone, they are food deserts and political policy nightmares. They make life harder for everyone. You don't get it at all. You're misreading me makes it so I can't get into a further discussion as a result that you just won't get it. It is you who is being the politically correct snob, and it is so annoying.

            •  Spread some blue around, whydoncha?! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              relocate into some of our  purple to red areas and help us out! please come open a coffee shop in my town. how about a little alternative movie theater? or some live music and a cafe that serves something besides a hamburger? turn a calvary chapel into a community center. i promise i will be a good regular! please help us break loose some of the entrenched redness. we need art, music, recycling, GOTV activity!!!
              some of us live in swing districts , maybe you could help tilt those over too! i mean ,seriously , you are lousy with progressives in some parts of the country. who will miss  a few emigrants from Eugene, Missoula, San Francisco, Seattle,  and many points east. anyway?
              here your new friends will really appreciate you, (as long as you don't raise the housing prices TOO much).

              think about it ! don't be stingy! Be courageous, adventuresome! Spread some blue around!!

              •  Me, no. It's not practical for me. I have health (0+ / 0-)

                issues and love my doctor, so I don't want to leave CA and also now I can get Medi-Cal. Sorry, I appreciate your enthusiasm to recruit people and I understand that, but it isn't appropriate for me. Don't pick a needless fight with me just because I need to live in my blue state. I respect that you live in a red area. Respect my right to live where I must. Some people are mighty oversensitive about their red state/region status and over react to blue area culture pride.

                There's lots of people moving to Texas and turning it purple. And Florida. Just stop taking my post personally. It isn't. I'm responding originally to a personal attack on Jen Sorenson that is silly.

                •  Turning Texas Blue (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  It is hard to believe the same state that gave us LBJ, Ann Richards, and Molly Ivins also gives us Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Bush, and Shrub.
                  Strange if all the bragging Perry does about the Texas business climate and offering tax breaks to lure businesses here ends up turning the state blue.
                  I grew up in Colorado and lived in Alaska, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania but have spent over 40 years in Texas.  
                  I've lived in solid red Lubbock and multicultural Houston, but am currently living in the Austin area, between a Rock (Round Rock) and a weird place ("keep Austin weird"). I would so love to see the whole state VOTE blue.  We are already blue if we can just out the vote.
                  Texas really is a great state if we can just turn the state blue before our environment is completely trashed and before too many women die from back alley abortions and thousands of uninsured die of preventable and/or treatable illnesses.

      •  Oh. I thought the "place" point was that OR (22+ / 0-)

        accepted expanded Medicaid and TX didn't. TN didn't either so I am still without insurance.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

        by ZenTrainer on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:31:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure she would have mentioned it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if it was some less "cool" part of Texas, say next to the Bush "ranch" in Crawford TX.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:41:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who boasts they're in Akron... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...when they actually live in Silicon Valley?

      •  Cool cities (15+ / 0-)

        I mention where I've lived for the sake of accuracy, since rates can vary even within a state. While it's true that I've lived in my share of "cool" cities, this has partly been for professional reasons. Portland and Austin are among the nation's top creative hubs, and more affordable than New York City or the Bay Area. I'm also happy to point out the flaws of both, in my opinion -- in Portland it's the weather, and in Austin it's the traffic.

        •  First of all, great cartoon (6+ / 0-)

          I'm a big fan of your work.  Ninety-nine percent of the time I agree with your perspective on whatever issue you address, and even on the rare occasions when I don't, I enjoy your unique artistic style and brilliant humor.

          You actually kind of proved my point, such as it was, with this comment, but let me step back and explain why I was testy about place names in the first place.  Let me also add that this was kind of a stupid thread to bring it up in, but since I did, let me finally articulate my point.

          I actually remember a time when there were relatively vibrant local economies and creative centers all over the US, and when it was possible to afford humble housing in all major cities, outside of a few wealthy areas.  When a young person could move to almost any city they wanted, get a job, and afford housing, on their own, with the money they earned from a regular job.  When health insurance concerns didn't trap people in jobs.  

          So it's not really so much that people like to live in cool places that annoys me, but rather, that cultural vibrancy and real economic opportunity seems to be increasingly contracted and concentrated in a few coastal cities and large college towns, and that those areas are, and granted Austin may be something of an exception here, increasingly unaffordable to young people entering the economy.  

      •  I grew up in New Orleans (0+ / 0-)

        Just saying...

    •  Yeah, this Oregonian almost didn't make it any (0+ / 0-)

      further. Clearly innocent by reason of insanity. What kind of person would DO that?

      Then, I realized this was the best DKos cartoon, evah!

      Nice going Jen!!

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:41:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a freelancer, too (0+ / 0-)

      But thankfully I don't live within the US.

  •  Where's the tip jar for Jen? (51+ / 0-)

    As a fellow free lancer married to a free lancer,  I really wanted to drop my coin in it. I can so empathize.

    And we too are now insured through the provisions of the ACA, saving our family of three $300 a month, with far better coverage than I was paying more for, and no problems due to my husband's pre existing condition. It is covered.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:11:59 AM PDT

      •  Added one more. :) (17+ / 0-)

        Another important aspect of the free lance story, is how many are benefiting from Obamacare, but not counted in the official tally because they purchased directly from the Insurance company. If you didn't qualify for subsidies, this was faster and a lot easier.  Would love to know the tally here.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:27:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This applied to me (0+ / 0-)

          I was insured through a group policy at work, but the premiums for me and my family were over $2600 per month. I shopped on the Exchange and ended up buying an individual policy for my family with monthly premiums of just over $900 per month. I wouldn't have known what my options were before the ACA came along, and I didn't have to worry about pre-existing conditions or any of that nonsense.

      •  So we love Jen. What about Commonmass? (12+ / 0-)

        I'm out of work and live in a state that won't extend Medicare to me though I have paid into it.

        Do I deserve to die? Because I REALLY need to go to the doctor.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:46:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you try Medicaid? (5+ / 0-)

          All states have some form of Medicaid for people who have no income...the recent expansion of Medicaid through the ACA (Obamacare) was to include people who have some income who were previously denied Medicaid because of it.

          “When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” —Abraham Lincoln

          by Pragmatus on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:50:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We love Commonmass too. (20+ / 0-)

          Sorry to hear this. Without LePage you would be covered by Medicaid. I have friends in Wisconsin in a similar situation. It sucks big time.

          I want single payer, medicare for all. Even though we are saving $300 a month, it still costs $1200 a month to insure our family. It's a huge bite out of our income.

          However, the ACA made things much better for our family in several ways, and no need to apologize for appreciating that.

          I wish just one state---Vermont looks like the most likely---would get going and institute single payer.  If folks got a load of the benefits of it, other blue states would begin to fall like dominos. It would be incredible bait to businesses and job seekers, who would make those blue states more prosperous until finally, red states bring up the caboose of decency, as usual.

          This is how Canada got universal health care, province by province, and I believe it is the way it will finally come to America, state by state.  

          And unfortunately, not in time for many. And that makes me heart sick.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:09:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Single Payer (8+ / 0-)

            The upside of the Affordable Care Act is that it will get more people covered who didn’t have health insurance in the past, both through cheaper individual policies and expanded Medicaid coverage. However, at the risk sounding like some conservative Republican troll, but I think that over the next few years the ACA will turn out to be too complex, with high premiums and limited networks and the public will demand something better. With the public demanding a better system and employers wanting to rid themselves of the responsibility of providing health insurance for their employees we'll start to see single payer legislation being passed by blue-state legislatures (in addition to Vermont) and then a few years after that the purple states will follow suit, and then finally the red states will have no other choice but to acquiesce because by that time the private health insurance companies will all be gone. I just hope that someday 10 years from now President Obama gets some credit for starting us down the road to single payer.

            "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

            by Blue Silent Majority on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just want it to happen (6+ / 0-)

              not picky about how. The ACA is still beholden to the insurance middlemen there is absolutely no need for, as proven by most of the rest of the civilized world that got rid of this useless link long ago.

              However, folks often forget, or don't know, that the ACA legislated the right for states to opt for single payer. That is huge, if far from what we all wanted and still want.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:21:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Can't happen all at once. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, Larsstephens

                There is a part of me that would love to have had single-payer immediately, but I think its good that we'll be making the transition slowly over time. Americans are going to have to adjust to the idea of not getting health insurance through their job, and while I don't like the big insurance companies, a lot of nice middile-class people work for these companies (the majority of whom are women) and I wouldn't want to see those people loose their jobs overnight.

                "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

                by Blue Silent Majority on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:06:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You make a good point. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Blue Silent Majority

                  None of us want to see yet more Americans out of a job, and even if it is those who hold jobs in the health care for profit insurance industry, a category many of us believe should be just GONE, it is good to hear about and consider the pain that will cause for some.

                  Being progressive is not easy, and in its own way, it gets rid of as many jobs as it seeks to save. This IS a reality. And it sucks.

                  However, whether we like it or not, change is always upon us, and so many have suffered due to changes, really, since the beginning of time.

                  I don't like it. LOL, in my perfect world no one would ever suffer for too long due to inevitable change, and everyone would be whisked  along w/changes that need to happen, by a community smart enough to figure out how to celebrate the changes AND find a way to pay the least on the underbelly of that change.

                  We don't have that in America today. We are not, imo, exceptional at all, just hanging on to our natural riches, much of which goes into the pocket of the 1%---and not doing a darn bit of thinking for the rest.

                  SIGH. In the end, here's the deal. IF the middle class in America disappears, it is THAT, and exactly THAT first and foremost that will end our Democratic experiment.  

                  We just aren't that special, and history should inform everyone of how quickly we can be humbled. But then again, high schools these days don't put much emphasis on history.

                  I know , a rather long and about way of saying, we must find a way to re-employ those who are imo, working in a needless industry---that of health care insurance. Their skills should be very useful to a government universal health care program.

                  I don't want to see folks put out of their jobs, but in some cases, as has been true since the beginning of time, it must happen.

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:47:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Single Payer (7+ / 0-)

              I'd like to add that I support single-payer and would ultimately prefer that to a system involving insurance companies. The ACA curbs their worst abuses, but a single-payer system would be more efficient.

              •  Have to say, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, Larsstephens

                the worst abuse is needless middlemen, but yes, the ACA did curb some of the worst abuses of those middlemen. But insurance CEOs and executives still make billions that a government run program could put back into decent health care for everyone.

                A single payer system would not only be more efficient, it would be more affordable, more to the point that healthcare in a country this rich should be a right not a privilege.

                Having said that, I loved your diary. Having been free lance for over 30 years, before the ACA I had given up on there ever being a better health care choice for us, and prices were escalating so fast, it was only a matter of time till we could not have afforded it. Not to mention the pre-existing condition clause that kept us tied for years to a plan that was not the best for us, but kept us imprisoned to rising rates with no choices.

                I believe the ACA is a fine plug for now in a dam that will eventually break without universal health care. It really does sicken me that enough Americans are satisfied with so much  less that it's been impossible to get there---because they've got theirs!

                I have long thought that the employee provided insurance model is the reason for this, and now finally, that model is showing its deep cracks. The employed are feeling it more with their much larger health care contributions, and the unemployed are feeling it with companies' reluctance to hire, every hire costs a lot more due to health insurance.

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:14:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  We should have unhooked ins. from employment (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jen Sorensen, StellaRay, Larsstephens

              long ago.  With so many unemployed, and those who had ins. through employers being screwed by their employers who want to stop cost sharing... we should have bit the bullet and gone to single payer, private providers long ago.

              We are so S-L-O-W to get it right.  sigh....

              •  Another problem with health insurance from work: (0+ / 0-)

                Linking health insurance to employment is sexist because it assumes that the primary breadwinner in nuclear family, who is usually the husband/father, has a traditional full time job with health insurance with the wife and kids on his policy as dependents. That model just doesn’t work very well in today’s world.

                "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

                by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:50:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  IIRC, Vermont's single-payer experiment is set (8+ / 0-)

            to kick off in 2017. The ACA rules dictated the timeline, again iirc.

          •  CA is working on single payer but (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            debocracy, Larsstephens, StellaRay

            the R's are making it an uphill battle.  Why do they hate citizens who are not millionaires?

        •  commonmass (9+ / 0-)

          I hope you did an application, at least? That spares you the penalty, and you might be eligible for a catastrophic plan under one of the hardship exemptions, since Maine didn't expand Medicaid. (Since having an idiot Republican governor like LePage is a catastrophe.)

          And hopefully, a year from now, Maine will have a new Governor who will have expanded Medicaid.

          Support a Progressive Dem from Maine for US Senate! Bellows for Senate

          by Illegitimi non carborundum on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:33:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People should be aware that, if they're 55-64, (4+ / 0-)

            the state can seek recovery from your estate for all expenses incurred on Medicaid after you die.  

            In states where the administration of Medicaid has been farmed out to corporations, this can include monthly fees for being enrolled in Medicaid even if you receive no medical care.

            Medicaid has always done estate recovery for nursing home care, but now they can seek recovery for all care, ages 55-64.

            This is not an argument not to enroll in Medicaid, but fair warning.

            © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

            by cai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:02:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I come under that from being on Medi-Cal in CA (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              debocracy, Larsstephens

              and I think it is fair.  I don't have dependents and once I'm done with my home, why should the Medi-Cal I received not be paid back so that the fund is replenished for someone else's use?  Assistance should not be windfall profit.  If I won the lottery I would pay back what assistance I received... gladly.  I'm just grateful to have had my medical bills paid during a time I would not have been able to do so on my own without becoming homeless.  A little gratitude would get this country a long way.

              •  What if you never used Medicaid, or yearly (3+ / 0-)

                physicals, but wracked up tens of thousands of dollars of costs in the corporations' administrative fees?  Would that still be cool?

                Furthermore, people who earn enough to qualify for subsidies don't have to pay back any of their non-nursing home care.  Why should you?  Why should only poor people be on the hook for what the government spends on them?

                Gratitude is what our "betters" want us to feel as they fleece us and rob us and argue for the abolition of the minimum wage.  I think we could do with a whole lot more "all for one and one for all" and a lot less dividing us up into subgroups of the underpaid to fight over scraps.

                © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

                by cai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 05:50:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Please look at my other comment below (0+ / 0-)

                It is different if you choose to enroll, than if you are forced in it. Some people, like me, would rather have their dependents not become homeless than to have Medicaid coverage. That at least should be a decision for the person to make.

            •  I've never heard of that. Links? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm skeptical. Did you ever know anyone who was pursued for estate recovery for nursing home care? Never heard of that.

          •  I wish people would notice the problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            with expanded Medicaid. Some people are being discriminated by being denied participation in the Exchanges and the Federal Subsidy.
             Why, if I earned $100. more per month I would be offered a subsidy (money with no strings attached) for 95% coverage, and pay around $56. a month to get coverage that includes even dental, but since I fell short of those earnings I get NOTHING.
            I would like to raise awareness of the problem. A class of people: the poor are being discriminated. First, it is left to their governor if to give them coverage. Second, they are offered zero subsidies, when those richer than them are offered up to 95%, they could at least be offered that same amount. Third, instead of a subsidy they are placed in a system that recovers the expenses with their assets. I am glad to be uninsured (even though I am probably by now diabetic and have hypertension). My three kids (19 to 23) still live with me and are in college. If I got Medicaid, lets say I died this year, recovery would take the home and all assets, it would ruin their future. It is not letting me choose if I would rather go to the doctor or help my children's future - that I would loose that choice is unbelievable loss of freedom, is basically flawed.
            It is unfair to have no say and be forced into a system (Medicaid) that recovers the assets. When people talk about how great that now with insurance, an illness in the family will not mean financial ruin and loosing their home, they are forgetting that precisely that is now what we the poor are being set into, without even a say, and even if we plan not to use the coverage, just by being assigned to it we already lost what we own. Besides Medicaid doesn't even cover the same, it does not cover dental and other services that private insurances do.

            •  Overestimate (0+ / 0-)

              Couldn't you just "accidentally" overestimate your annual income when you sign up for ACA coverage and then qualify for the subsidy that way? I don't see how it would be considered fraud to say that you expect to make more money than you actually wind up with at the end of the year. Think about it this way; its not a crime if you accidentally overpay your taxes.

              "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

              by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:17:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  overestimating as well as underestimating (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Poor in a Rich World

                are tricky and right now no one knows the consequences.
                the first time around ,for a lot of us who have irregular income (freelancers, self employed,etc.) , it is difficult enough to arrive at a reasonably accurate number/forecast.

                none of us know what the penalties are for underestimating , for example. i qualified for state medicaid, but if my income goes up ,will i be penalized? will the state want me to repay them? how often do i have to report? my state has been in an operating mode for regular medicaid where they want detailed info EVERY MONTH..they don't know what to do with expanded medicaid and i sure as hell do not want to have to support detailed reports to the state DES every month for health insurance. i live in a red state that begrudgingly went for expanded medicaid. our governor overruled the legislature on that one but the damn GOP legislature is trying to hack away at it. they are determined to use expanded medicaid as a way to 'punish' all the 'freeloaders' who qualify for it.
                 i can earn six months of income in one month and nothing at all for the next  few months..and they do not know how to handle 'complex' cases like this. their heads are  exploding just like Scalia's in Jen excellent comic!!

                same for overestimating.  No one knows how the ACA will handle  income variances. i tried to appeal to ACA and all i got was 'sorry, our records show you do not earn enough money, our records show you qualify for state expanded medicaid'. if the ACA goes on tax returns that number will always trump any estimates right?
                no this should not  boil down to having to game the system to get in. and  this kind of roller coaster is possibly going to be a real nightmare for people right on the border between medicaid and ACA
                this needs to be fixed.
                on the bright side, i think these issues will lead us to single payer. All the more reason to elect democrats, who will be able to actually improve the system on the next few years.

                •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I didn't intend to oversimplify you situation, I was just trying to understand this weird contraption called the ACA. Perhaps I shoud be more greatful that my wife and I both have traditional full-time jobs with health insurance.

                  Although, on a seperate note, I fully agree with the follwing statement:

                  "on the bright side, i think these issues will lead us to single payer"
                  Maybe the Republicans should be more careful when they say they want to "repeal and replace" Obamacare; they just might get what they wish for.

                  "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

                  by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:14:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I have thought of that but... (0+ / 0-)

                if somehow (like because of writing it here) the IRS found out that I did it on purpose, then it is fraud, and it is a crime. My concern was not with my personal situation because I might improve my earnings soon and then actually qualify for the real ACA and thanks to manyamile's helpful comment below now I know I can go back in and file under "change of circumstances". My point was to bring to everyone's attention a problem that needs fixing because I know there are many people less fortunate than me who will not have that option of increasing their income to make it into the ACA. My point is that just changing a sentence in the legislation would improve many people's lives. Instead of saying "Those who earn X amount will receive coverage at 95%" it could say those who earn X amount OR LESS, and then you would have everyone covered. Granted for many the 5% remaining would be a hardship but some other form of subsidy for that portion could be looked into, or at least owing that amount to Medicaid would be better than owing them the total amount plus administrative fees, as it stands now. I hope we get enough people to notice so we can petition our legislators to tweak the law.

            •  i Agree. THIS is important (2+ / 0-)

              there's a whole layer of people  who are TOO POOR for the ACA marketplace but considered to make too much money for the wonky state calculations.
              (In AZ for example, the state counts a self employed  persons 'Gross receipts' as income, nt their 'adjusted gross income', i.e they allow for no business expenses whatsoever.

              this is leaving out a CRUCIAL demographic..basically a pretty  good swath of working poor, which is exactly the group that desperately needs affordable health care.

              this is a  huge oversight and a huge gap and needs to be fixed. I think the federal architects of the plan did no foresee the difficulties of working with 50 different states.  in my state the DES is so dysfunctional and inaccessible you can't even address the problem as an individual.

              •  one thing you can do if you get bumped (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Poor in a Rich World

                from medicaid   or if you were denied by the ACA because your income was too low ,and you find your income is increasing,  is go back to ACA after the deadline and file a 'change of life circumstance'. this will reopen the door for you, even in midyear.
                a very helpful navigator explained this to me.
                i am very glad  to have  qualified for expanded medicaid, but here's what i mean about the gap

                if i make even $42 dollars a year more this year, i will make to much too qualify for state expanded medicaid.

                meanwhile over at ACA ,i need to make  anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000,(depending on who you ask), more per year to qualify for the ACA marketplace.

                that is a big, big  gap where no one quite knows what happens. even the navigator told me if i get bumped from medicaid but don't make enough for ACA,my option will be 'to find insurance in the private market'.

                right. same with all the folks in states with no expanded medicaid. poor folks looking for insurance 'in the private market'. again.

                i fervently hope that dealing with this gap is  one of the first orders of business after enrollment period winds down.

                •  Thanks for your comment (0+ / 0-)

                  If possible let's write about this to raise awareness and have the law tweaked. Too many people I know are in this situation but I have not seen any of the media address it at all.
                  My idea is to get that sentence in the law changed: "those who earn X qualify for subsidies at 95%..." change it to "those who earn X or LESS qualify for..." at least as a start. Then come up with ideas of how to fund the remaining 5% but at least that would be better than to be excluded as it is now, or to have to repay to Medicaid in full.
                  Would like to know if you think we should go in that direction.  

                  •  yes! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Poor in a Rich World

                    I  and many like me, could afford  a subsidized plan and am very willing to pay it. i would MUCH rather do that.
                    'poor' people know how to wring a lot out of a dollar. and for those who really cannot swing it , medicaid could still be there, or 100% funding.
                    but i believe a large percentage of the people in this gap could absolutely afford the 95% subsidy.

                    also , i think this problem isn't do much with the ACA federal marketplace or the original idea,  but with the states, and with the huge disconnect between how the feds are implementing the program and how the states are interpreting it, (or flat out refusing to participate.)

                    but it does show just how big of a disconnect there can be  with the states..

                    •  You are right but (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sharon Wraight

                      I think it is a flaw in the actual law to leave some people to the will of the states. It also complicates things bureaucratically because Medicaid takes much more paperwork and checking for verification, and gives less services. To include the poor in the ACA would require just one change in the program: "Is your income X or less then go to..." I will try pushing for a petition of "Don't leave it to the states"... (because many times you can't trust your governor).

    •  If there was a tip jar (3+ / 0-)

      it would be for JL .

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:25:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Smexy hubby! Wait, what was the point again? n/t (3+ / 0-)
  •  The ACA (13+ / 0-)

    Great column.  Best part pictures,maybe some on the right can understand it in a mor simplified way.  They did the same thing with Medicare,they fussed,fumed and whined.  Now all Seniors love it,so naturally they want to take it away.  Bloody takers on the right.

  •  Tales Of Canceled $250/month Plans For 60 YearOlds (10+ / 0-)

    .....seem to be fading away, as well as the people who were claiming they had "great coverage for my whole family on the open market for $300 a month."  Although we had someone peddling one of those stories here last night, it dated back to Nov of 2013 and had been more or less debunked.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:29:18 AM PDT

  •  Married, Taxpaying homeowners. (8+ / 0-)

    Of course, unless you have payed off your mortgage, you're not exactly "owners".

    Cumberland County looks after my health. I don't qualify for the ACA, and because I live in Maine, and our
    Governor refuses to expand Medicaid, that's where I'm at.

    Medicare for all. Period. I'm tired of solidly middle-class people talking all smarmy about this shit.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

    •  A suspicious person might wonder if dividing us by (3+ / 0-)

      class might not be an integral part of the ACA.

      I've read upper middle class people resentful of how much more they pay for insurance because they get a smaller subsidy, and middle class (~$50,000 household income) resentful because poor people "pay nothing" for Medicaid and poor people resentful because if they accept Medicaid between 55 and 64, their estate is subject to recovery for ANY care, not just nursing home care.  

      I'm sure there are upper classers who are resentful they get no subsidy, but you don't read as much from them, because, well, there are a lot fewer of the 2-5% than there are of the other 95% of us.

      Single payer.  Expanded and improved Medicare For All!

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:08:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great work (11+ / 0-)

    excellent adventure happy ending. I got my card too, am thrilled.

    Favorite pic? The train wreck guy frothing at the mouth. Perfect.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:35:55 AM PDT

  •  AMazeballs, Jen! (7+ / 0-)

    I'm happy for you.  

    I've always liked to ask the question, "What would happen if one state in the country just did away with all health insurance, and just did their own?"

    In the past, I think this would have led to that state being the new home for many, many new businesses.  


    by otto on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:36:10 AM PDT

  •  Why does media so overdiss the ACA? A Kaiser (8+ / 0-)

    Family Foundation poll, for example, has ACA essentially likeing the law at 59%, disapproval 29%:

    keep the law; work to improve it---49%
    Keep the law as it is-----------------10%
    repeal and replace with GOP alt.---11%
    repeal and don't replace-------------18%

    (not to sure what "other" is).

  •  It sure must be great to be middle class. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:43:01 AM PDT

    •  Hi Commonmass (13+ / 0-)

      The Koch's are running two commercials in Michigan right now. One features the previously de-bunked leukemia patient who screams outrage that Democratic Senatorial candidate Gary Peters dares to criticize her. The other features a gereric blonde housewife whining that Obamacare is killing the middle class. She doesn't say how it is killing the middle class, but from the furrows on her pretty blonde face and terrified looks on the faces of her blonde children, you know it's because colored people are getting another freebie.

      •  They are disgusting. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, StellaRay, dewtx, surfermom, cai

        I have spent three weeks now trying to find out how I report on my taxes that I have to rely on the county. It's not Obamacare. It's Romneycare and Heritage Foundation

        When will we wake up?

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:55:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  According To The Goposaurs... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, worldlotus, MyOwnReality

          ...Obamacare will prevent you from being treated by the doctor of your choice. Until recently, my GP would visit every morning when I was in the hospital so I would receive the correct dosages of the medicines he prescribes for me. Now, thanks not to Obamacare but the heartless corporation that owns most of the hospitals in my town, I will be treated by hospital staff physicians when I am hospitalized. Government is not the problem--government is the solution.

        •  I think when you register on (0+ / 0-)

          it automatically informs the IRS that you have applied. The site does seem to automatically get the applicant's pertinent information from the IRS. I could be wrong about this, but maybe someone else can tell you. As someone suggested above, as long as you register with, you may not be liable for a penalty. I wish I could tell you more.

          "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

          by politically indigo on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 07:48:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You For This (7+ / 0-)

    It explains a lot about how Obamacare actually works and how it is being slandered and subverted. I think many of the horror stories are about people who fail to take further action after being notified of a premium increase or a policy cancellation.

    •  I have to agree. I have a son in TN (0+ / 0-)

      whose employer opted to change to a 50% higher premium and a 500% bigger deductible and they both (employer and son) declare that it is the fault of Obamacare.  No questions asked, of course because Fox News says it's Obamacare's fault.
      I asked if he had checked to see if he could qualify to use the Exchange because his employer's offering has become not affordable and he now refuses to speak to me.  Wow.  My son used to be a very intelligent man.

      Sadly, any checks on premiums etc were stripped out of the law before the right would vote for it.  sigh.....

  •  Thanks for making this real story available (5+ / 0-)

    It makes up for the phony stories of Obamacare ruining peoples lives.

  •  Hows Your Veterinarian Friend Negatively Affected? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, worldlotus

    I mean the ACA is based on Adjusted Gross Income, so deductions don't count, and if she's single and  has more than $30,000 pretax income, there's probably not much on the exchanges that apply to her.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 09:57:00 AM PDT

    •  In Minnesota (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you can get subsidies from the ACA on up to about 75,000 AGI.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:23:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She might be healthy and young, or have more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, worldlotus

      thorough insurance. If she was already getting insurance as an individual because she was self-employed, she probably is getting insurance through an exchange now. Community rating on the exchanges means that healthy, younger people may end up having to pay higher rates so that sicker and older people can pay lower rates, and the ACA-compliant plans often cover more stuff or have lower cost sharing and thus require higher premiums. It's absolutely plausible that a young, healthy woman in her 20's or 30's would be paying significantly more under the ACA. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean she's worse off; she might have a better plan and a lot less uncertainty because of the regulatory changes. But the reality is, on the exchanges, some people pay more than before, some people pay less.

      Regardless, I'm very excited to hear of people like the cartoonist finally getting affordable insurance without having to worry about their pre-existing conditions excluding them from care.

    •  I don't think it's common, but here's a scenario (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T Maysle, worldlotus, chimene

      We had major medical coverage for $517.35 per quarter for a family of 3. It was $2000 deductible per person, didn't cover things like office visits or lab work, but covered anything done in a clinic or hospital. So it paid for all of my outpatient cataract surgery (both eyes) minus the deductible, or my wife's colonoscopy (minus her deductible). The premium never changed, from some time in the 1990s until 2010, when the company withdrew from WA State.

      They withdrew from the state, not because of the ACA, but because of a decision by the State Insurance Commissioner about their marketing practices.

      However, they still had policies in force across the US until this year that were not ACA compliant.

      So in the hypothetical, if we still had great income (we don't) and couldn't get an ACA subsidy (we pay almost nothing for insurance coverage now), we might have gone from $2068 annually to the $12,000 plus we pay now (fully subsidized except for $96).

      I have a major medical problem at the moment, and just doing diagnostics will blow the now $5250 deductible in about 3 weeks. Even with the more limited coverage of the older plan, I'd still be better off with it if I was paying the premiums on either. By the end of the year, treatment costs will probably make the new insurance a better deal, even if I paid the premiums, which I don't.

      We were without insurance for a few years, and any coverage we could have gotten would have left us over $25,000 out of pocket rather than the $5250 deductible plus tiny premium now. I'm actually not looking forward to Medicare financially (65 in November) - it'll increase my costs because I've topped the deductible on my present inusrance. But Medicare will be much better medically, because I won't have to wait nearly 2 weeks to get a CT scan pre-approved.

      Also, the ACA didn't really allow us to afford any more health care than before, because of the high deductible. The exception was in the case of a catastrophe. Unfortunately, the catastrophe occurred. Fortunately, because of the ACA, we won't lose our house, savings, or die because I can't get treatment.

      No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

      by badger on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:05:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Were Uninsured Approx 2010 to 2014? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The premium never changed, from some time in the 1990s until 2010, when the company withdrew from WA State.

        They withdrew from the state, not because of the ACA, but because of a decision by the State Insurance Commissioner about their marketing practices.

        ........We were without insurance for a few years, and any coverage we could have gotten would have left us over $25,000 out of pocket rather than the $5250 deductible plus tiny premium now.

        It sounds like they were doing some serious underwriting to only insure healthy people.  They probably would have dropped you like a hot potato as you got older or sick, because that was probably their business plan.

        Anyway, if I'm reading this right, you were in a tough spot and the ACA saved you a couple years after your insurance company dropped you.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:18:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Her premiums are higher (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But they are still considerably lower than I've been paying for most of my years on the individual market. Her earlier plan was canceled and she signed up for an ACA-compliant policy through the same company.

  •  I love this. Awesome work! N/T (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, Bob Duck, worldlotus

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:11:00 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant, Jen! (9+ / 0-)

    Just brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and seeing Scaly's head explode.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 10:20:37 AM PDT

  •  Wow! Change just a few details (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta, oofer, Sapere aude, worldlotus

    And this is our story, too. So relieved to have a happy ending to the story.

  •  What astounds me as we move into (4+ / 0-)

    the 14th year of the 21st Century,  there are people in this, the United States of America, lawmakers and members of the populace, who are fighting AGAINST human beings getting medical coverage.

    It is  mind-boggling that Congress finds it to their advantage to campaign with lies to get the misinformed voter to side with them, (against their best self interests, BTW).

    What a laughing stock we Americans are to the rest of the world who have had medical access for most of their population for decades.  They can't understand why in this rich country of ours, (and we are) we have  lawmakers and some citizens opposing the ability for everyone to be covered for the very basics of a healthy life.

    That we are even debating, fighting, campaigning, over a basic human right is a puzzlement.

    •  Please look at my posts above (0+ / 0-)

      I would like to bring to the attention of all those who care about access for all about the great problem with the ACA. I am glad you all have something to celebrate, but there are maybe 5 million of us who were left out. Those who anyways have the least of options. And as I have said before, Medicaid is not the solution at all.

      •  Yes, I read some of your posts (0+ / 0-)

        and, believe me, I hear you.  The ACA is not the panacea.  It is, however, 100 light years ahead of what we had before.

        Your very real problem with the very poor being left out is not the fault of the ACA, but of Republican governors and State legislatures who have refused the Medicaid expansion that would bring coverage for millions.

        The solution to that is to vote these poor excuses for a human being out.  Until these states come to grips with the fact that their lawmakers are not on their side, these lawmakers are misinforming their public again and again, nothing will change.

        This was a Supreme Court decision  to allow states to opt out.  It is not the ACA.

      •  One day... (0+ / 0-)

        When our country grows up, we will finally have single payer health insurance. To be honest, I want it yesterday but I know I live in a country filled with undereducated people who believe Faux News is unbiased.

        They are the kind who believe that Paul Ryan making all of us peons pay more taxes so he and his fellow plutocrats can pay lower taxes is a good idea.

        Yeah, right.

  •  You know who does not give a shit about be? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Poor in a Rich World

    The diarist and Jen Sorensen. That tells me everything I need to know.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:18:45 AM PDT

    •  States that won't expand Medicaid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are perpetrating immense cruelty on their own citizens. This upsets me very much! My assignment from Kaiser Health News was to draw a comic about my personal experience -- there's plenty of additional commentary I would have liked to include, but it was beyond the scope of a piece that was already running long.

      •  Medicaid is not the answer (0+ / 0-)

        Your comic is great, loved it, especially seeing Scalia explode... and I'm glad it worked out for you, as well as for millions of people. I only wish I could raise enough awareness about the problem of Medicaid expansion. (If you please look at my comments above). What I hope is that through a petition maybe the law can be changed to offer the poor the same coverage that those above poverty receive: a subsidy of 95% at least as an option, then maybe the repayment to Medicaid of the remaining 5% could be looked into, but at least to have that option.  Anyways thanks for the fun, always look forward to your great comics.

    •  Solidarity. (0+ / 0-)

      I know how you feel. Almost on the same boat, except that where I live there are no services through the county, and the emergency room is not an option either. Haven't seen a doctor since 2009 when I lost coverage and had to stop treatment cold turkey when I couldn't afford to fill my prescriptions. By now I got used to my third world status.

  •  This is an OUTRAGE!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rustypatina, Jen Sorensen

    We need to start a petition to get Miss Fleener covered under ACA!

    Let's GO PEOPLE!

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:33:30 AM PDT

  •  re (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, ricklewsive

    I've always liked to ask the question, "What would happen if one state in the country just did away with all health insurance, and just did their own?"

    In the past, I think this would have led to that state being the new home for many, many new businesses.

  •  If you work on your own... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, doinaheckuvanutjob

    premiums can be through the roof.  I spent many years as an independent contractor and carried my own health insurance through Kaiser for decades.  I finally had to cancel because the premiums just soared out of reach.

    Kind of interesting when you think about it.  The Republicans not only want to prevent people from getting well, they make it hard on people who are, you know, INDEPENDENT.

    Thx for the story, glad your coverage and premiums are so much better.  

    And great pic on Harry Reid's FB page:

  •  Except, recision can still happen if they find out (0+ / 0-)

    you left something out of your health care history.  

    I mean, then it's not just a pre-existing condition but a "lie" on the application, so they can drop you.  So if you ever told a doctor you had headaches, or checked the "dry skin" box on the intake form, and forgot about it, and ever get something that can even be tangentially connected, you can be dropped.

    I'd love to be wrong about this, but I thought that loophole in the "no pre-existing conditions exclusions" was still there.

    © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 11:56:35 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Obama....for Jen and Mr. Jen's care....n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 12:16:30 PM PDT

  •  congratulations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's sure nice to see some good news in the ongoing health care insurance fiasco - and by that I don't really mean the ACA, I mean everything except maybe Medicare.

  •  Right On! (4+ / 0-)

    I too am freelancer/self employed person and this story just proves what Ive been telling everyone! ACA is not perfect but its a step in the right direction.
    I paid ridiculous amounts of premium in California before the ACA for an HMO. I now have a PPO plan thats as good if not better than my old plan for...wait for it.... 50% LESS than my old plan!!! Before the ACA my biggest bill besides housing was health care premium . In a industrialized country like the US thats unconscionable ! I come originally from The UK. I really love America but health care needed  a major overhaul. I truly believe as more people see that they don't have to give their firstborn to the insurance companies to pay for medical care AND the whole system will run just fine, a second wave of changes for the better of the country will come.Im glad that this was done in my lifetime.I'm Proud  of Obamacare

  •  Although this might be obvious (3+ / 0-)

    I find that many former veterans do not take advantage of the care given by the Veterans Administration.  

    When I got out of the service in 1969, I signed a paper that said I was perfectly healthy and waived any rights to additional healthcare.  You had to sign it or you couldn't get out of the service.  Having just returned from Vietnam, I would have signed it with my teeth if I didn't have any arms left.

    Fast forward to the 1990's.  The VA announced that veterans were now eligible for care regardless of that letter.  The VA is the true single payer system, and if you served in the military it's free.  It's comprehensive, no pre-existing conditions, no donut hole, no drug costs.

    I always ask my friends and customers if they are veterans.  Many are, but only a few were taking advantage of the free care from the VA.  I got one friend enrolled in the VA, and three days later he had a major heart attack.  He was treated in a major heart hospital, and is alive 18 years later.

    The VA continually adds more benefits for veterans.  Two weeks ago I received hearing aids (free) that would have cost me $4000 on the market.  This is a benefit that was not available last year.

    I urge any former (or current) servicepersons to register with the VA.  Find out more about it at

    "There are times when even normal men must spit in their hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

    by rwgate on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 01:25:46 PM PDT

  •  Jen's the greatest! So glad to hear you and yours (0+ / 0-)

    are now covered.

  •  Your card is your husband's card, sweetie. (0+ / 0-)

    If YOU are the insured of record on a BC/BS plan, all cards for all insured members of the family will only have YOUR name on them.  When the doctor or pharmacy calls to verify, they will find YOUR husband's name on the policy as a co-insured.

    I was confused to, and spent a lot of time on the phone with BC/BS, and again with the doctor and the pharmacy verifying this.  You should have gotten two cards in the mail, one for him, one for you, with your name on both.

  •  Good for you! (0+ / 0-)

    Hope you never have to use it ;-)

  •  Excellent - laughed so hard (0+ / 0-)

    I cried.  Kudos to cartoonist.  

    “Growing up is hard, love. Otherwise everyone would do it.” ― Kim Harrison, Pale Demon

    by lisarogers on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 04:32:53 AM PDT

  •  ACA (0+ / 0-)

    Affordable health care has always been a dream of the struggling self employed. It's great that we can now free our selves of the company run plan. We need to improve it not repeal it Watch out who you vote for in November, the GOP wants to walking around sick with no where to turn to for medical care. Don't ask me why it is so ask you representative.

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