Obamacare Lite

Is it Obamacare 2.0 or is it Obamacare Lite? Or, is it something better?  I’m still digging through the text and corresponding statutes and regulations, but at this point all I can tell you for sure is that it still has subsidies and tax provisions. Will the new bill still be tied to the IRS? At this point, yes. I expect a revision within a few days. On the positive side of it, the mandate is thankfully gone! Once it goes through revisions, committees, the House, the Senate, and the Presidents desk, it should be a bill acceptable to most of us.

At present, we are all stuck with what we have. What we have is no competition amongst insurance companies, high deductibles, and a firewall between patients and services. As I stated in the previous post, I have spent my entire life dealing with providers and insurance companies. The Affordable Care Act has only made things worse for me and millions of other Americans.

2015 was the first year of my enrollment into Obamacare. There was some mix up between the website and my insurance company, so I ended up with two accounts. The health insurance company sent cards and a full packet, and I sent them their due monetary requirement. Because of the mix up, they refused to pay their part of my prescriptions. It took almost three months of being bounced between them and the healthcare.gov enrollment representatives. It was eventually sorted out, and I was happy.

In 2016, however, things did not go as hoped. I made sure when enrolling that there were no mishaps on my end. I verified everything. In January, I went to pick up my prescriptions as I do every month. And again, the new insurance provider refused to pay a penny. They stated that one of the prescriptions was not approved in their plan even though it was generic. Even though it was a generic and my doctors office provided them with all relevant lab data and reports to prove I have to be on and have been for over a decade, they denied it. I appealed their decision, stating that going off of the medication suddenly could cause a myocardial infarction. It can! In addition, I and the doctors office provided data that proved dropping off of the medication would cause a shortened lifespan. They gave examples of this happening along with my own charted data over the past decade.

Still, they were heartless. I have to take this medication to survive. It wasn’t and isn’t a matter of an improved life, it’s a matter of survival. Even the general was $440 a month at my cost. I grew up in a business, so I understand the desire to cut cost. But, I wasn’t going to let them do at the cost of my life. I was more than willing to pay my part of the medication, but they were going to pay their part.

After a month of battling with them and spending 13 hours on the phone with their representatives, I demanded that the appeal be expedited. It was incredibly stressful. They were in effect telling me that I couldn’t have something that I have to take to survive. I don’t have millions of dollars or a board room of lawyers, but I continued to debate them daily. They finally told me that my “case” would have to go before a committee.

This somewhat innocent remark about a committee drove me to the tipping point. The term, “Death Panel” instantly came to mind. I remembered the warnings of the right about death panels and the left laughing at the notion. I was on the front line of this battle. I was having to deal with the quasi Socialist bureaucracy.

I told the woman doing her job on the other end of this particular call that my own distant cousins were put before a similar type of panel over seventy years ago and were subsequently put to death for nothing more than a patch on their chests and a number. She hung up on me after that. I went over the top, of course, but I had spent a month and a half at this point dealing with theses folks. Nothing was resolved.
My doctors assistant spent more time on the phone with them, trying her best to resolve the issue. I spent more time on the phone and eventually had to get a lawyer involved. After almost two months, the situation was resolved. They gave up, but if I wouldn’t have fought them at every turn, they would have persisted.

In 2017, I had to enroll with a new provider because the previous one went out of business. The new one tried to deny the same medicine, but once they could see the records from the previous insurance provider, they gave up and paid their agreed part.

This story is not about me getting something over on insurance companies. I paid my part, I only asked them to pay their part. This clearly shows, I think, just how bad it can be when government gets into the business of healthcare. This is about the massive bureaucratic nonsense that is the AFA. We must make sure that the new bill does not intrude into the daily lives of American citizens. Obamacare is tied to most aspects of our lives. When citizens become numbers and not people, we are all doomed.

I’ll have more to say about the new bill once I have time to finish digging through it.

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Writing

Many have asked me why I stopped running a blog and writing regularly.  I managed a blog and wrote regularly from 2005 through to 2013, almost a decade.  I also produced a podcast with friends from 2005 to 2012.  At the time of the ending of the blog and podcast, I was finishing up my last year of University.  To put it mildly, I was burn out.  The toll of a full-time job, academic life (sleepless nights with books and Earl Grey), a social life, the blog, and the podcast was too much.

Since giving all of that up, I finished up my college days and worked for various organizations, universities, and media groups.  I also run my own tiny photography business, but like so many other people in the field, it’s not profitable these days.  Not to say that you can’t be successful at it, but it takes years upon years of mere starvation to build up a customer base big enough to sustain a business.  I still love it, but at this point, it is just the occasional side income.

For a while now, I have wanted to start another blog.  I have been talking to friends about it for a while, but even though I have a varied background in everything from photography to criminal justice, I didn’t know where to start or what subject to concentrate my efforts on.

To give a minute bit of background about one subject I will be covering frequently, I caught spinal meningitis as an infant while in the hospital.  I’m not crying about it, but because of that, I have several health problems that will be with me until the end.  I have hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and Addison’s disease to name a few.

Due to a multitude of health problems, I am also dyslexic.  This is just an annoyance.  When I was in college and writing papers and doing the blog, I managed to rewire my brain into working correctly.  Back then, I could type out a perfectly coherent and accurate ten page report in less than an hour.  My writing ability has trailed off severely since those golden days of yore.

I was talking with a friend that’s a doctor yesterday about the trouble I’ve been having in the last year or so.  She said that there was a study published recently that proved that writing regularly actually helps the brain fight the effects of aging and slow down the progression of common problems like dyslexia.  She didn’t bother giving me the name of the study, but if I find it, I’ll link it here.

Her exact words were, “Write it, damn you, write it! What else are you good for?”  I laughed at the Joyce reference.

Having health problems is not an excuse for me, nor should it be for you.  Take those problems and use them to your advantage.  Giving up is easy, overcoming barriers is hard.  I’ve published five books.  I graduated at the top of my class, even though my family was told not to bother because I would never live long enough for education to matter.  I have been to more places and done more than most people with no health issues.  I’ve been dead twice and have been told on multiple occasions that I’d never live this long, yet here I am.  I was told twelve years ago that I’d be in a wheelchair in five years, yet I’m still walking and running.  Bust through barriers and make the most out of life!
I’m going to do exactly what she suggested and what I’ve been wanting to do for a while, write.  I’m going to write every week day.  Some posts may be about politics and the impending repeal of the AFA (Obamacare).  Other days, I may write a personal story.  One way or another, I have to do it.

It may take me a while to get back in the swing of things, but it will get better.  I’m not going to worry about stats, as I did so much in the past.  I’m just going to write.  What else am I good for other than photography?
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