So here’s an analogy I have about the current state of our healthcare situation.
You are still paying the auto loan on an older model SUV that guzzles gas. It costs you about $100/week just to fuel this behemoth and that’s just to do normal errands and work travel. You can’t take any unnecessary trips because you can’t afford the cost.
Recently, an auto dealership has offered you a chance to turn in your old SUV and get a new, great mileage hybrid for a LOWER MONTHLY PAYMENT. On top of that, they’ll even subsidize part of your payment depending on your income.
Who wouldn’t love this deal?
Well, plenty of people according to editorials, blogs, and comments in the newspapers and online. Armchair pundits who know little about health care in American, or they do know but still don’t care that millions are without it. Even people who stand to benefit from the changes are against it. A friend of mine with chronic pain is against the ACA even though it allows her to see a doctor and benefit from pain management and treatment.
Additionally, mental health coverage is mandated from insurers which will go a long way in getting people the help they need but our society wants to sweep under the rug. As the mother of an autistic child, this is welcome relief. So many therapies that my son could benefit from were not covered by his father’s insurance policy. Getting treatment was and is expensive and trying to enroll him in the state-run program a exercise in futility and hoop-jumping.
Pundits are more upset that the President “lied” while glossing over the fact that the information promoted by certain “news” agencies has been nothing but lies since the ACA was adopted. The sheer amount of mis-information spread about the ACA is mind-boggling. We’re living in an Orwellian society where the lies are the truth and the truth is lies. Where all people are equal, but some are more equal than others. (For those that aren’t familiar with author George Orwell, these are themes from his books 1984 and Animal Farm.)
The Head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has been grilled mercilessly by a Congressional panel for the stumbling launch of the HealthCare.gov web site. Because we all know that technology always works first time out of the box. She’s been “chastised” for not signing up for healthcare through the site, even though it is against the law for her to do so because she is already covered by the gold-plated insurance coverage given to our lawmakers.That gold-plated insurance that we average Americans could never hope to have – except now we can through the ACA.
Yes, everyone has to pay. That is how insurance works; a pool of money is collected from people with different needs knowing that some will use more than others. That is how the system is supposed to run, except that insurance companies decided they wanted to pocket all that money coming in and not pay out as they were supposed to. As the pool of people buying insurance got smaller, premiums began to rise – some every year. Doesn’t anyone remember those days when our employers were shifting more of our health insurance premium payments out of our own paychecks? When our choices for health plans during open enrollment changed every year because our employers were trying to find ones that wouldn’t bankrupt the company?
The original proposal for the ACA was to have a single-payer option like Medicare, but the Republicans balked and began their campaign against reform with talks of “death panels” and “rationed healthcare”. But think how a single payer option would be an advantage to businesses; they wouldn’t have to carry health insurance as a benefit and could actually hire more people which in turn would have more people making a living wage and paying taxes. And more working people with living wages means less people needing safety net programs like SNAP, and that would mean our deficit would go down even faster because people are able to afford to take care of themselves and their families.
Wow, what a concept.
Speaking of concepts, here is a great video that explains how the ACA works: