Saturday, September 28, 2013

Obamacare is classist.

I know, I know No shit, Sherlock.  But it is, and as usual most Democrats aren't admitting it, but I think that's because they don't even realize it.  A few of them seem to think that the healthcare exchanges are going to lower their premiums vs. what they're paying now--too bad there's no recognition of the fact that being able to buy insurance through an employer bars you from the exchanges*.

The Subsidy Calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation has been making the rounds.  So far I've seen I think three people indicate they could obtain cheaper healthcare through the exchange, one of whom realizes she's not eligible because of employer-offered insurance, and another who doesn't realize she's not eligible for the same reason.  (The third didn't indicate whether they were also barred, but given that the phrase "$X cheaper than our current plan" was used, I'm guessing so.)  Everybody else?  Much higher.

Here's my personal example.  I'm not going to tell y'all how much money Erik makes 'cause nonya', but I promise I put the real amount in; I'm not dicking around with it at all (I also claimed to not have access to employer-provided health insurance):

Here's what really gets me about it.  This line: "You will not be eligible for subsidies in the exchanges because your income is below 100% of the federal poverty level."

Take a look at that annual premium.  It works out to $814.41/month.  For comparison's sake, let me tell you how much we pay a month in rent: $500.  Our electric bill runs about $125.  That's more than both put together.  Hell, that's more than child support.

Oh, and I know I have an ass-ton of kids, but the figure is the same for "three or more" children.

And here's where the classism comes in.  Look at the "If your state expands Medicaid" bit.  If our state had expanded Medicaid, we could just get on Medicaid!  It's those mean ol' Repbulicans' fault!


Because Medicaid is exactly the same as private insurance, right?

Only, it's not.  I've mentioned before that the kids are on Medicaid, 'cause although I am perfectly willing to continue on without insurance myself, I'm not willing to do that for the kids.  I'm still dealing with the fallout of not having insurance, of never receiving treatment for my scoliosis.  (I've heard tell some people can actually stand up for long stretches without crippling pain!)  So, the kids have Medicaid and we try to tread as lightly on it as possible--I don't run them to the doc for every little cold, but if any of them develop the same problems I had as a kid, I want to be able to get them treatment.  I want them to not grow up feeling guilty for getting sick, like I did.

Anyway.  Medicaid.  It's not the same as private insurance.  I've had private insurance before, both for me and my kids.  I know that the way it works is you have a problem, and you call up and make an appointment and the most it takes is a couple of weeks.  Medicaid works like that in theory, but the reality is much different, particularly given how little doctors are paid for their Medicaid patients.

Again, a personal example.  Esther failed a hearing test at school.  I need to get her hearing tested.  Naturally, and I know this isn't usually different with private insurance, I have to to make her an appointment with her primary care doctor.  This whole thing started back in March.  I called to make an appointment, and the first available was not until July.  Four months later.  As luck would have it, the truck broke down the day before her appointment, so I had to reschedule it.  Next available date?  September.  And all the fuck I need is a check-up so I can get an audiologist referral.

But Democrats say I should be happy with this.

These healthcare exchanges and their bogus subsidies don't benefit the poorest among us.  They're set up specifically not to.  The law could have been written to offer subsidies to everyone below a certain income level, or at least who couldn't get insurance that's not below a certain percentage of their income.  But it wasn't.  It was written to put the very poor into one category and the not-so-poor into another category.  Only one of them is worthy of private insurance and (spoiler alert!) it's not the people the Democrats claim to care about.

So, for me, it comes back to this:  I am a Republican not because I believe in voting against my own interests, as I've been told several times, but because I am clear-eyed enough to realize neither major party truly has my best-interests at heart, and the Republicans at least don't insult me by pretending they do.

*You can actually utilize them if your employer-offered health care is above 9.something percent of your income, supposedly.


Dave said...

In all honesty, I don't know a lot about the ACA (ObamaCare) because, I am fortunate enough to have health care covered through my military retirement. And every time they raise the premiums for what was supposed to be free healthcare, I gladly pay with a smile because I recognize how good I have it compared to people who either don't have any insurance or have to pay out the ass for the plan their employer offers.

Having said all that, I simply don't understand the strategy Te Cruz and friends are employing to fix or kill the ACA. I'll take your word for it (because I trust your research and integrity) that ACA is classicist. It could be the most horrid law ever enacted. But if I'm not mistaken, this jacked up law was passed, and affirmed by the SCOTUS. Wrong or not, it is the law. So how does the shutdown of 18% of the government (my job included) change the law?

What next? Do we shut down the government to get rid of abortion? Do we close the place down to repeal the 2nd amendment? I won't even consider the term "terrorist" when associated with Ted Cruz as some of his opponents have called him, but when I have to contemplate how to make two car payments, a house payment and all the things we Republicans believe every Americans ought to pursue, I certainly feel the right to call him an asshole.

There are those who see my point of view as self-centered. I should take one for the team, they might offer. If that's the case, at least let me start making a laundry list of idiotic, classicist laws that should be repealed, while we're at it.

The FDA is funded by the federal budget. It is corrupt and ineffective.

Every farm subsidy that goes to any company versus a private family farm should be eliminated.

Every single dime spent on any Drug Enforcement Agency operation should be completely unfunded. (If some crime involving drugs happens, let local police handle it)

Stop building walls around our country.

Eliminate any subsidy to any country that even has one bad thing to say about the US. Even if it is made by a non-government affiliated celebrity.

I think that is a good start for a list. If Ted Cruz is going to make me sit at home unpaid while my work piles up in the office, let's at least get something out of it.

Sabra said...

Laws are changed or repealed by legislative action all the time. There is no reason for the ACA to be different.

It seems to me what has happened is the Republicans in the house made postponement of the individual mandate for one year a non-negotiable part of the budget bill, and Democrats in the Senate refused to even consider it. And, for once, no one blinked. (I truly expected the Republicans to.) How exactly this got tied to a budget bill I am unsure of. Of course, a decent budget hasn't been passed in years, but temporary spending bills have always been passed instead, so things were kept running.

I think it is perfectly fair to be angry your job has been messed with. Just, be angry at all of them. Be angry at the Republicans for putting this on a bill it had nothing to do with. Be angry at Democrats for being unwilling to negotiate a ham-fisted POS bill that stands to harm at least as many people as it helps. Be angry at the rest of the voting public for not paying attention beyond checking the box next to the dude with the right party affiliation.

You've probably noticed I'm not updating a whole hell of a lot lately. I'm really, really just sick of the whole thing. Both on "my" side and the other. The whole system is fucked and I don't see a way to fix it.