What’s (so very) Wrong with ObamaCare?
We hesitate to write this because, in order to do this accurately, we have to reveal some personal information. In doing this, which is something we are not usually given to do, something we are very much loathe to do, but nevertheless we must do, in order to offer concise and persuasive analysis.
Following a seventeen-year career with a major telecommunications carrier, we were laid off in 2016 as part of a very large reduction-in-force from that well-known company. We had survived such layoffs twelve times during our time with them but, sadly last year, we suppose that our number was up. Sniff-sniff, such layoffs happen every day. Enough said.
When we joined the company in 1999, we had first-class health and dental benefits, along with a pension plan and other fringe benefits that could not be beat. The pension plan went away as the result of an ill-advised merger with another wireless carrier in 2005, but the health insurance benefits were nevertheless very good, at the time.
Then, following the Democrat-only passage of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare), things started to change- and drastically so. Our employer started to ask and insist upon acquiring very personal information about the status of our health- wanting to know such things as our weight, LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, tobacco use, blood sugar levels, etc., all under the guise of offering supposed discount levels, all in order to comply with this outright invasion of privacy. To do otherwise would have set our premiums at a level which would have made continued employment untenable. So we complied, provided our employer very personal information and ended up paying about the same level of premium we had prior to this invasive initiative. In the years that followed, our “discounted” premiums steadily went up, while the co-pays associated with our coverage increased dramatically, as did the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medication- WAY up ! All of this was because of regulations associated with ObamaCare.
When our severance package expired, we were forced to seek medical insurance coverage through what is laughingly called the “open market.” In Virginia, there is only one service provider and, in order to acquire “Bronze” level coverage for my wife and myself, we were told that our premiums would be $ 1,560.00 per month. At the “Bronze” level, no financial benefits would accrue until my wife and I had spent $ 13,000.00 out-of-pocket, mind you, in network, after which in-network coverage would be on a shared 50/50 basis.
In other words, we would have to spend- get this- $ 31,720.00 per year before any benefit associated with this coverage would begin to kick in. Given the choice of having to decide between mortgage foreclosure, which would have been a certainty, or complying with a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, which would only be of any tangible benefit in the most unforeseen of catastrophic circumstances, we basically said, “We are NOT going to lose our home to these sons-of-bitches, and we don’t care if they put us in jail for being non-compliant.”
Understand that the figures referenced above were the costs prior to the increase in coverage for this calendar year.
This is NOT healthcare. This is NOT affordable. This is ONLY a means of forcibly taking money from us, and redistributing it to the poor and the indigent, who pay little if nothing for healthcare services…
…and this is why ObamaCare MUST go- sooner, rather than later.
-Drew Nickell, 23 February 2017
© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.
author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
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