I read in USA Today about how middle-class families and individuals are avoiding seeking medical treatment because of high deductibles in the Affordable Care Act. This is seen as a reversal of what the poor working class did before Obamacare, because they couldn’t afford health care at all.
I am one of those who could not afford health care before Obamacare, and now, I can afford to have health insurance, but I still cannot afford to have any major procedures performed because of my high deductible.
The real problem lies in the fact that the Affordable Care Act relies on middlemen, which is the health insurance industry, to deliver health care policies to Americans, and that means for-profit companies still control cost, and anyway you look at it, Americans have to pay more because they have to buy health care through insurance companies.
In my opinion, health care should be single-payer, administered by the government, the same as Medicaid and Medicare. In fact, Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act should all become one system, and the health insurance industry entirely thrown out. Unfortunately, no matter how much I or anyone else would like that to happen, it is not going to happen. The reason is clear; the government is not going to put large insurance companies out of business, they are here to stay.
Still, if only we had a working congress, much could be amended with the current law. Preventive care is already offered free through Obamacare. It would help though if more were covered as preventive medicine, which is now considered elective.
Years before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, I suffered through gallstones, and began episodes where my gall bladder would act up for a period of 4 to 5 hours. I knew what was happening to me because I searched on the internet for the symptoms. However, I had no health insurance like tens of millions of other low-income workers. I made too much money to qualify for Medicaid and too little money to afford health care, so I was stuck in the middle.
I just lived with the symptoms for months until I grew very sick with pancreatitis, to the point I had jaundice. Finally, one night at work I almost passed out, so I went to the emergency room from work that night. It did not take long after I arrived and they had triaged me that they had me with an IV running and a hospital bed made ready. I spent six days getting my blood cleaned out, and six months later, my gallbladder.
That visit and the surgery to remove my gallbladder cost me several thousands of dollars, even with a charity kicking in several thousand, and I could no more afford it as I could afford health insurance that would have covered much of that cost. Only thing I could do was work out a long-term installment plan with the hospital.
Gallbladder surgery is considered an elective surgery, the same as hernias and several other medical procedures that if they are not taken care of soon, could become a major health crisis, and even life threatening. These are procedures that could be considered preventive and therefore at no cost, if conservative lawmakers would concern themselves with fixing the Affordable Care Act instead of just repealing it. Instead, they had rather continue to attack the health care law with threats of repeal. That would put millions of Americans again without health insurance, and again, depending on the emergency room when their health issues turn into life and death situations, like mine did.
Unfortunately, the majority who voted in this last election chose to let the Republican Party – the party that does nothing but attack our president and anything he has accomplished – to control both houses of Congress. These are folks who themselves, have excellent health care and they certainly do not care about the poor working class and even the middle-class who struggles to pay for high deductibles from Obamacare.
It would seem that we are going to have to wait a long while before these issues are fixed, when finally, our Congress is once again in the hands of Democrats, and then we will have to pray that those Democrats in Congress by then will have found a backbone enough to fix it. Right now, many of our elected Democrats ran scared from the fact they passed the health care law in the first place, which is probably why they lost the last election.
We need real leadership in Congress, when it comes to amending the Affordable Care Act. Our president has done all that he can do, and thanks to his willingness to take the heat by signing the Affordable Care Act into law, and then standing behind it throughout his presidency. It is up to Congress to amend the law to work better for average Americans. However, we are still a long ways off from where we need to be, and we are not getting any closer with this next congress.
For me, fortunately, I am only a few years out from Medicare. That is unless Republicans find a way to destroy that also before I can get to the eligible age where I qualify for it, in which I have paid into all my working life. So, any major procedures I will need, I will probably have to wait until then. It is a shame though, that those much younger than me do not have that to count on and if Republicans have their way, they will turn Medicare into a voucher program, with limited benefits.
To sum it all up, let us all hope 2016 is a banner year for Democrats, who carry our only hope of amending a health care law that is in serious need of amending.
This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place