why are we perpetually punished by politicians over healthcare in this country?

I just completed my open enrollment for next year’s health insurance. My premiums will double each month starting in January, 2020.


I am literally back to the pre-Affordable Care Act premiums yet the Affordable Care Act is still in place. I don’t live below the poverty line yet I am punished for being solidly middle class and these premiums make you feel like you are dancing on the edge of precipice of living at or below the poverty line, and why? Why does it have to be this way?

I didn’t necessarily wish to embrace the Affordable Care Act at first if I’m completely honest. But it did make it much easier as a self paying insured to get insurance that was a bit more affordable for a couple of years.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, I was self-pay. The reason I was self-pay in corporate America is because my employer at the time was not required by law to offer employees insurance. Before that job I was always covered under employer plans. Now as a self-employed person I continue to be self-pay. I’m fine with that. But whether you are self-pay or through an employer plan health insurance is crazy expensive. And does it have to be?

Now before I became self-pay, the employer plans had already started to slip. We were paying more and getting less. And that has nothing to do with what the employers actually allowed to be covered via the underwriting. It has to do with what the insurance companies gave us out of the generosity of their hearts. Their hands are outstretched for premiums, but what about the quid pro quo? Do we fairly and equitably get what we pay for? And what about the medical providers? Have you ever looked at what they actually receive versus what is paid into the insurance companies?

We have had a healthcare system in this country that has continually broken down by bits and pieces over the decades because there is one consistency that is never addressed: the insurance companies themselves. There have never been any comprehensive reforms of the insurance companies. Yet corporate executives keep their private jets and other perks, right?

I will pay my insurance premiums. I always do. But I will be forced to economize in other areas.  I have no other option for benefits, so I will make do. I am a rule follower not a rule breaker, but I don’t think the rules are fair and equitable with regard to health insurance in this country or in Pennsylvania.

I don’t cheat at life, I pay my fair share. But when it comes to health insurance in this country I feel like I am cheated at times, don’t you?

As a cancer survivor and still active cancer patient I have paid extraordinary amounts of healthcare related expenses for many years at this point. And that is in addition to monthly health insurance premiums. And I’ve paid it all off. It takes time, I have to do payment plans, but I’m not asking for handouts. But year after year when open enrollment rolls around I feel like Sisyphus with the healthcare rock to roll up the damn hill.

I don’t think as Americans we should be punished every open enrollment period for having health insurance. We are told by law we have to have health insurance, I also always had health insurance before it was the law to always have health insurance.

Yet, I look at elected officials on both sides of the aisle fighting about health insurance and everything else in this country. As taxpayers we pay towards their health benefits that they don’t really pay for. But they want to tell me how I’m supposed to spend my money on health insurance just like they want to have control over a woman’s reproductive rights? And I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, that’s bullsh🤬t.

Americans, average everyday Americans, are the perpetual pawns of politics and politicians. Depending on which party is in power, you get something for a few years, then the next administration takes it away and so on and so forth. It’s a vicious cycle without end and there should be an end to it.

We didn’t ask for political parties to battle it out and for politicians to beat their breastbones telling each other how fabulous they are at our expense.

Elected officials aren’t so fabulous because they won’t sit down and figure this out. It is just a perennial game of whomever gets all the toys wins with regular every day Americans as the losers in perpetuity.

I am grateful I am able to get health insurance. But not everybody can. And the prices go up but the services don’t necessarily coincide do they? 

I will note for all you far more conservative than me, I have never ever expected someone else to pay for my health insurance. I just would like it to be priced fairly and consistently.

We need real and lasting healthcare reform. Not more extremes in politics.

Rant over.

that racket called health insurance

DSC_5328Usually a post like this would end up on my breast cancer blog. But health insurance in the USA is a somewhat universal affliction.

I am one of those people who am not thrilled with Obamacare. I have always had health insurance and I still do not see the long term efficacy of the Affordable Care Act….unless of course everyone in Washington DC stops playing politics and things like reforming the actual insurance companies occurs. (A gal can dream, right?)

Thus far it has been more aggravation, increased costs, and abject confusion. And I am one of those people who has always had health insurance. So why do I feel punished by the Affordable Care Act more than helped?

Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes, says the government. But that isn’t saying they can’t charge the unreasonable rate hikes does it? And it “keeps young adults covered”, and well while swell back in the insurance dark ages as a young working adult….I had and kept health insurance.

It ends denial and such on pre-existing conditions. Well o.k. if Obama says so…I still think the insurance companies have trap doors and escape hatches yet to be discovered.

The Affordable Care Act is a long and convoluted document which makes the Dodd-Frank Act (Wall Street reform in layman’s terms) seem like a light beach read(well maybe it is because how is that “reform” working out, anyway? )

This time last year (2013) my insurer (Aetna) said come this time this year (2014) all of their prior plans were going bye-bye, and we would have to choose one which was ACA (Affordable Care Act) compliant. Well my holiday is over and my day of Obamariffic reckoning is here.

First I got the letter that I knew was coming but still left a pit in the bottom of my stomach: my current health insurance plan was being canceled. I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor, so anything which messes with coverage at all makes me very nervous.

So after a few conversations with Aetna, I chose my plan today. I had to make sure all of my doctors and hospital system were in the plans I was looking at. Once again I had to apply. (You would think if you were an existing subscriber some basic data would automatically populate but no it doesn’t). So I got my little letter of acceptance. I stuck it with my certificate of prior coverage also issued by Aetna.

Now comes the kicker.

What kicker? Pay now, pay more now.

So my new insurance is considerably higher. It has no more dental, and won’t cover the basic annual eye exam and an annual pair of glasses. There is also a deductible hump to be covered. My shiny “gold” plan isn’t all bad, but I am not all comfortable, either.

What else? Oh super fun: I get to pay my current premium December 1st and my new plan premium December 15th. I guess it will be a Merry Christmas indeed….for the insurance company.


I get that I have to pay for the new plan premium, but couldn’t they do that on say December 31st? As it stands right now it’s like “honey guess what you are getting for Christmas? Double December insurance payments!!”

So exciting said NO one. EVER.

I keep waiting for health insurance to get less complicated and even out in price.  All it does is get more confusing, more layered, more expensive.

Health insurance is another thing ruined by politics.

Sorry for the rant.  I just think we deserve a level playing field and the Affordable Care Act without truly reforming insurance companies misses the mark somewhat, doesn’t it?

dolittleAnd  for more interesting reading check out the article in The Atlantic dated today November 20th. (CNBC too) Also an interesting read? The Forbes eBook on Obamacare, and a CNN online article from yesterday. The video is fascinating.

At the end of the day, do we next as Americans have to worry what impact the recent national elections will have on all of this hot mess called Obamacare??? And then where will we be? The ordinary human equivalent of a push me-pull you? What happens if the darn thing gets repealed? Somehow, I think that would create an even larger mess.

Who’s on first? Who the heck knows……