For a few years now this Obamacare thing has felt to me no more than a rumor. Remember about 10 years ago when everyone really started using e-mail and there would always be a chain letter from someone in your inbox informing you how the USPS was going to start charging for e-mails because it was hurting their bottom line? Obamacare was sort of like that. I read of it, heard of it but didn’t actually think it would ever come to fruition or if it did how it would have any real affect on me and mine. We were a firmly middle class family that had very good health insurance, it wasn’t cheap but we made sacrifices in other areas to afford the best care for our family. This insurance covered all our preventative care and so on, we had affordable co-pays and weren’t bothered with 80-20 BS and never ending medical bills for every itemized finger prick in the doctors office. When we heard the infamous “If you like your plan, you can keep it” we were even more at ease in our blissful ignorance. Well, here we are in January of 2014, awaiting the arrival of a new family member in just a few weeks and the wave of hope and change is sucking all ours dry as we pay 300 dollars more a month for our insurance coverage along with higher co-pays and deductables.
It seems that all that affordable care for every one else has to be paid for by somebody. I don’t remember my little clan standing up and screaming to the crowd ” We volunteer as tribute!” but apparently we and a good number of other middle class suckers were drugged and dragged into the arena. You see, we don’t qualify for any subsidies because there’s this nifty little glitch where that magical cut-off percentage for what qualifies as “affordable” employer sponsored coverage only applies to a single person. If that person is covering his family that number doesn’t count. They’re calling it the kid glitch. Can’t afford to cover the family you have but at least they’ll give you all kinds of free birth control not to have anymore (at a time when the nations birth rate has hit an all time low, yup this whole thing will sustain itself long term, geesh). I’m all for people having access to doctors, kids getting immunizations and old people being comfortable and medicated. Between Medicaid and Medicare I thought those things were already happening though. I don’t think it was fair that if you changed jobs and healthcare plans but had a preexisting condition you would be ineligible for care. Something needed to be done to change the system. Its also not fair for it to mean my family sacrificing its needs for that to happen. We were proud of the budget we had and the sacrifices we were already making for our family’s coverage. We were self sufficient and forward thinking. We weren’t running out and getting a new vehicle because we didn’t have 300 extra dollars a month. Now we wonder where it will come from ’cause somebody’s riding around in a roomy new health plan we have to make the payment on. It’s not just scary for me and our personal economy but the economy as a whole. We’re a nation driven by consumer spending. What happens now that the middle class is scrimping just to buy health care? Less people eating out, less people buying TV’s, the new I-phone, clothes, even groceries…this is going to hurt all across the board.
I actually wrote to the White House back in November when we learned what our new premium would be. I asked how this was going to be good for my family’s health when all we could afford to eat would be high sodium, canned Spaghetti-o’s while trying to pay for health care. I got a nice form letter telling me this would really be good for everyone in the long run, really, bear with us. And that Beefaroni was also rather tasty. Inigo is right. “Affordable” Care Act doesn’t mean what they think it means; but to me it’s damn sure inconceivable.