Friday, January 13, 2017

Why We Need to Repeal Obamacare

@ChuckWendig, you're so wrong, but for such decent and plausible reasons...I'm convinced your mistake was entirely due to timing.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/01/12/why-we-need-the-affordable-care-act-aca/

Stories where the patient gets well may be less emotional than stories where the patient dies. Still, I could share an emotional story about how, if I'd had to rely on a big computerized overpriced insurance system to track (at the public expense) how I'd developed a rare form of lymphoma that some people got from (in my case unnecessary) vaccinations (against measles), or no wait it was just a gland that swelled up while I had the nasty strain of mononucleosis I got from the said vaccination, so "This Person Panics Easily And Is Not a Good Risk for a Grown-Up Job," I might very well have committed suicide at age 21. (I really did have mono and really did feel pretty gloomy at the time, although a clean bill of health and a grown-up job were only weeks away.)

As things were...I had the lump checked, knowing that even on the busboy's wages I was earning at the time I could pay cash for it within a month. The biopsy itself drained the blockage. The ugly lump vanished. I got a clean bill of health and stopped anticipating a need to end my life before becoming sicker. And nobody even had to know, much less pay...until I became too old to be considered for "career" jobs in any case.

And do we even need to mention that abortion is cheaper than a complicated pregnancy, so if my poor little mother had depended on insurance/HMO's/Obamacare during any of her six pregnancies the taxpayers might have had to pay for six surgical abortions--if Mother had survived them!--rather than three viable babies and three prematurely stillborn ones? Due to the effects of the undiagnosed celiac gene, more than twenty doctors had declared that Mother herself could not have been a viable baby; other doctors didn't think my siblings or I could, either, and that "You're celiac or diabetic or whatever, therefore abortion should be your default response to a positive pregnancy test" meme was still polluting the air when some of The Nephews were born. Doctors may listen to a mere laywoman's reasons for not choosing the fastest-cheapest "treatment option" for a problem pregnancy; insurance companies do not.

Or need we mention that one of those babies--myself--would never have grown up to find out what was actually wrong with Mother and how she could, belatedly, recover enough health to go back to work? My mother is still working today--at 81--she had enough of being "retired/disabled" in her thirties and forties!

When I say that, as a woman, a (very) low-paid worker, a member of the aging generation, and a mixed-breed semi-"minority" type, I sooo do not need or want Obamacare...I'm not talking about letting "private" insurance corporations take over. I'm talking about getting back to a cash-based system that allows patients to pay for minor problems, easily and anonymously, and allows doctors to help poor people for reduced fees or none. That's getting back to what we had when Chuck Wendig's father and I were at the minimum-wage stage of life. That's what I would like young minimum-wage workers to have now.

Yes, the insurance corporations are screaming bloody blue murder as they see their unsustainable short-term profit grab slipping away...and I feel their pain and it is delectable...and even some doctors may not be confident that Providence rewards health care professionals who declare a "free day for poor people," although here I stand to testify that when I was a young, poor massage therapist it did. And here and there somebody like Wendig even fits the profile the insurance companies want us to believe represents Humankind or America or at least Lower-Income Americans.

But "What we-as-a-nation really want back is what we were...before the corporations fixed us in this parenthesis" (with apologies to Sylvia Plath). Ben Carson has written about it, even if he later tried to compromise with the greedheads and offer a plan that continues to assume medical insurance dependency as a norm, and I've been writing about it for years.

Obamacare is not sustainable. Either it will have to be used as a quick-and-sneaky way to eliminate the low-income population, or it will have to bankrupt these United States, or it will have to be repealed. Of those options, I favor repeal.

The obligatory Amazon link for this post goes here...not to suggest either (a) that people who want Obamacare are idiots or (b) that someone whose job title is "entertainer" is the ideal source for information, but because, in this book, Glenn Beck "entertained" his audience with some serious research about this serious problem. Regular readers will remember that in 2011 I questioned how well Beck's right-wing research team had balanced the information Beck used in this book. I checked...both sides...and found that, if anything, Team Beck might have been too optimistic.



I do favor, and have always favored, a public safety net to cover the actual cost (only, without funding any gambling schemes among third parties) of treatments people can't pay for all by themselves. This must be a safety net, not a default option. Once satisfied that it is a safety net and that it covers only the actual cost of successful treatment--no interest, no experiments, and most especially no profiteering from third parties--I'm even willing, as a healthy person, to pay into it. Republicans need to get cracking on an insurance-free medical safety net plan.

But Obamacare just has to be completely annihilated, before it does more harm than it's already done. We need to empathize with people like Wendig. We also need to hold firmly in mind, at all times, that Wendig was younger and less informed when he wrote his post than he ought to be after reading this one.