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From 2000 to 2008, I took a very personal interest in politics, in part because the Health Insurance industry's successful effort to label "Gore a Liar" and Select Bush (spearheaded by their media tool Ceci Connelly formerly of the Washington Post until she was rewarded with an industry job in the industry she serviced so well) kept this nation from enacting health care reform for another decade. That meant another decade of insane health insurance company profits, denials of care and suffering for those who were priced out of the market for the crime of actually having an illness.

When I was a stay at home mom taking care of my son and we were living off savings and my husband's income as a massage therapist, the cost of health insurance premiums for the three of us and the huge deductibles and out of pockets ate us alive---literally. My son ( asthma) and husband (diabetes) were dropped by our regular insurance and could only get high risk pool insurance. That meant $1500 a month premiums---and a $5000 deductible for each of them each year.  We depleted our savings. We wracked up huge debts---for more or less routine care of common problems. I accelerated my return to work as a physician because I needed the health insurance.

How bad was it without group health? We ended up getting a mortgage on our house (it was paid off) just to pay the portions of medical bills that were not covered by the insurance that we paid so much to maintain.  And neither my son nor my husband was what you would call massively sick. My husband had diabetes---controlled. He had surgery for a kidney stone.  My son had asthma. He was in the hospital three times. No one was on dialysis. No one needed a transplant.  But every year we managed to meet every single deductible.

Today, I calculated what our payments would be under the ACA if we were making the annual income we were back then. For a silver plan with a $500 deductible, our whole family would pay out of pocket (I think I am going to faint) $200 a month. How can this be the same America? We were paying over $2000 a month--and then we would have to pay out an extra $10000 a year just to use the insurance. Under the ACA, we could pay $200 a month and use it right away.

Obviously, for people in their 50s with pre-exiting conditions like diabetes who are in the middle income bracket and who would never dream of going without health insurance even if it means getting another mortgage, ACA is a dream come true. It is sanity.

And--get this---even if I decided to drop my group plan now and buy individual insurance and even though I would not get a a federal subsidy (not on a physician's salary) I can insure my whole family with a $500 deductible for about $1000 a month--less than I was paying for my husband and son alone with the $5000 deductible.

So yes, the Affordable Care Act is an enormous success for middle income America, especially for those with such "chronic" conditions as high blood pressure, allergies, acne and all the other minor illnesses that health insurers have used as excuses to jack up rates. There are some kinks to get worked out. And we need to do something about the 24 states that would rather see their citizens die than accept the Medicaid money. But ACA is exactly what we needed---back in 2001. Bless Ceci Connelly's lying little heart.

Originally posted to McCamy Taylor on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 11:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, PPACA has some Very Good parts: (5+ / 0-)

    affordable plans for different coverage needs, no preexisting condition exclusion, no more 'junk' policies, no lifetime caps, < 26 covered, and premium subsidies to name the biggies.

    I will bare-knuckle brawl (metaphor) RW @#$%heads on the web over any and all of their bullcrap hysterical falsehoods re PPACA.

    However, as you know, the sausage-making and deal-cutting left us with no Medicare buy-in therefore huge swaths of people not covered, full-priced meds, and tons of ill will and poor public perception.

    Sigh.

    I'd love to see WH or national Dem structure put together a clip of wild and inaccurate Repug claims of doom and failure + vows to dismantle re Medicare.  I'm sure there are quite a few on video or major newspaper coverage.

    Line em up and then compare to twin images of Repug PPACA hysteria.

    "Republicans don't want to help people who need help.  They were wrong then.  They are wrong now."

    Clive is the man! Woooo! HAHAHAHAHA! Teh martyr weeps tonight...

    by JVolvo on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:26:25 AM PDT

  •  Like any govt program, the ACA does not solve (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomasina, ER Doc, FloridaSNMOM, Shawn87

    "every" problem for "every" citizen, but it is a massive improvement in the existing medical system.  This perspective was lacking from yesterday's diary.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:29:44 AM PDT

    •  I agree wholeheartedly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordcopper

      lordcopper. Also...I love your sigline! LoA is one of my all time favorite movies. "I am Auda abu Tayi!..The Turks pay me a golden treasure, yet I am poor! Because I am a river to my people!" Probably my favorite scene in any movie ever. But I digress...The PPACA is an improvement in the system, and a step along the way towards what is really needed. Sweeping changes rarely happen without a huge fight that goes unnoticed by most. This fight's been going on for 80+ years in this country.  

      "Because we are all connected...."

      by Shawn87 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:00:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the money I paid out in health (4+ / 0-)

    insurance in 2000 - 2003, if I had stayed on my parents plan, I could have paid for grad school.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:09:44 AM PDT

  •  Pre-existing condition policy hassles from 1992 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai, ER Doc, FloridaSNMOM, Shawn87

    22 years ago I switched jobs to one without employer-provided health insurance. I then entered the sordid world of aggressive health insurance underwriting with Time Insurance. Truly a royal pain-in-the-ass.

    That job lasted one year, and from 1993 to the present has been a succession of various employer plans, a period on Cobra, a period as a dependent on my wife's plan, but luckily being continuously covered from 1993-2014.

    The ACA now affords me the luxury of cutting hours or even quitting my current position.

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