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affordable care act

I want to write a few sentences as a timestamp about how the country is right now with obamacare going into effect, because I think in 20 years we'll look back at this and ask ourselves why it was SOOOO freaking difficult.

And we'll be amazed! Look... when I graduated college, the second you got out, you got kicked off your parent's health insurance because you weren't a full-time student. If you got a job right away, you were lucky. If you got a job that provided benefits, even luckier. If you got a job that provided benefits right away... I don't know, no one had that happen! The "luckier" ones of us still had to wait 1-6 months for our stuff to kick in! My parents insurance covered me during that time, but it wasn't going to work for much longer... most of my friends didn't even have that. They just drove carefully and hoped for the best.

On what planet is that a good idea?

Then even with insurance, if you got cancer, they could say "Oh crap we just realized you had acne medicine 15 years ago, that might be related to a pre-existing condition, we're not paying for this." And you'd delay... wait for treatments, wait for doctors, try to arrange things, go bankrupt.

No job? Private insurance was in the thousands. You can't buy it, the companies have no incentive to compete for your business as an individual, they just want the big groups because they assume if you're buying private insurance, you're a sick person who won't bring them a profit. No one who's healthy buys insurance. that's what's controversial about obamacare... the law that says we all buy in, so that the individuals who NEED insurance won't be seen as liabilities. It makes perfect sense to me!

And now all these tea partiers are trying to shut down the whole government because they don't want to fund a bill that corrects these GROSS SYSTEMIC ERRORS... I hope history remembers them for the idiots they are.

I'm sorry, libertarian friends, I know I used to be one of you, but healthcare is just not something where the rules of supply and demand are going to work for us. Was the affordable care act perfect? Was it simple? No. But it was something! I didn't see republicans wanting to do ANYTHING, and that's one of the biggest things that's driven me to the left in recent years.

Then obamacare comes up and says you can stay on your parents insurance until you're 26, they can't discriminate over pre-existing conditions. Finally. And some party is trying to block it. They want to just keep going with our reverse-lottery system, where most people just count on getting lucky, staying employed, staying healthy, and it sorta works. Until it doesn't and your life is screwed and society writes you off. Well as a young person, I feel like I've been threatened with cliff for way too long and I'm sick of it and that's how I feel, in 2013, on the eve of when this bill is supposed to go into effect.

Surely, surely, we won't let some assholes screw this up?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2013 02:31 am (UTC)
I remember someone on my LJ list posted about reading The Lottery recently. I don't remember if it was you or not, but man, it was the first thing I thought of when I read your line about a reverse lottery.
Oct. 3rd, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
It is sorta like that! I mean I haven't read that since high school... but yes, we live in a system where MOST people are lucky, so we can pleasantly believe it won't be us. Sure there's a few casualties but it's always been this way so we're afraid to mess with it.
Oct. 3rd, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
I was SUPER lucky - my mom's health insurance covered me until I was 25! It was awesome. I really didn't have to worry at all until I was fairly stable. The health insurance that I was offered in grad school was basically "so like, you can have one wellness check a year, and aside from that if you get sick, go see the school nurse and get an advil or something". SO glad I was able to have REAL insurance during that time!

Everyone should have that opportunity!

(This is the same school where someone I know was diagnosed with cancer while in school, went bankrupt, etc.)

Edited at 2013-10-03 02:35 am (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
For me, this is the bottom line with health care:

Health care is a public good. It benefits everyone to have a healthy populace, in the same way that it benefits all of us to have an educated populace. If we accept that everyone is entitled to a free education in this country, why on earth would everyone not be entitled to free health care? After all, I would rather be alive than educated (preferrably both, but, you know).
Oct. 4th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
Indeed, the rest of the world wonders how Americans can get this so wrong. *shakes head*
Oct. 3rd, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
We had a patient who had an aneurysm burst in her brain. The insurance refused to pay because the aneurysm was thought to be congenital. But the bursting wasn't! How can we live in a place where insurance can get away with that crap????
Oct. 3rd, 2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
seriously... even if it was congenital, why on earth shouldn't they pay? why should an individual goes bankrupt over it? as someone who's having babies, that scared the crap out of me too!

Edited at 2013-10-03 12:47 pm (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2013 02:51 pm (UTC)
exactly! I remember my parents' insurance kicked me out t 23. I was unemployed for a little while. Dad suggested I get some coverage since it will cost all of us a bomb if anything happened. I forget the technical terms but I was ready to pay whatever the price was, but I was a woman at the peak of her fertility phase and so I would have to wait 9 months before my benefits (any benefits) would kick in! Being a woman was also somehow a preexisting condition. I was so naiive and the salesman had to spell it out for me! It was the most ridiculous thing. And we live in a country that has the best care, just not the access to it!
Oct. 3rd, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
At 22 I was still a full-time student, but I got married, so my parents' insurance dropped me. I was able to find cheap insurance for myself and husband (caveat: no maternity coverage for pre-existing pregnancy, but I wasn't).

Still. Current system is BS. Even with Obamacare, it's too complex and not transparent enough to function as a true market. Say you need admitted to a hospital: do you have the information you need to choose which hospital? Which of the drugs and proceedures your doctor could prescribe will be covered? What about the toothbrush, ice pack, meal tray? What will your cost share be on each of these at Hospital A vs. Hospital B down the street? No one knows!
Oct. 4th, 2013 03:04 am (UTC)
*sputters* .... Why should any of that matter? sigh.
Oct. 3rd, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
I know, I really hope at least some of the provisions (like not discriminating against pre-existing conditions) can be maintained and that affordable health insurance becomes a permanent thing...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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