Friday, January 3, 2014

It Would Have Hurt a Lot Less if He had Said 'F*** You' To My Face

I've now been off my medications for my Hashimoto's disease since before Thanksgiving. I had no choice really. I was having some extreme crashes and almost blacking out 3-4 times every single day. That was the worst symptom on the generic Mylan I was taking. There were many others including not being able to sleep through the night, having my fingernails break off, headaches, dizziness, hair loss, etc. The list goes on and on.

I tried getting my doctor to change the prescription but he insisted on a visit to his office. So then I went to the pharmacy and asked what they could do for me and they too requited a new prescription. My specialist had written that I required brand name Levoxyl which was now discontinued and thus he couldn't substitute anything else. So I went to a Minute Clinic and they couldn't help me because they didn't offer services for patients needing ongoing care. I exhausted my options and was ultimately left with no other option but to see a doctor and I was advised I would need to start over with my care. This includes blood work, scans and more as my only option is to switch to a different class of medicines for this issue (long story with many medical words).

Being anti-Obamacare (yes, I know it's really called the Affordable Care Act), I reluctantly signed up as I was being forced to. Obama basically put a proverbial gun to the head of every American citizen regardless of income and forced them to do it. Obey his ideal - which clearly isn't working and hasn't since it's inception - or be forced to pay fines every month.

I tried to face it with an open mind. Maybe it wasn't as bad as the news reports I'd heard. Maybe the cancer patient who was on the news who said his monthly payments and deductibles were so high he couldn't afford it and the burden it would put on his family was not worth it to him. He indicated he was going to have to discontinue his treatment altogether or be forced to pay almost $15,000 a month. Hardly affordable eh? Maybe he was an anomaly. So I decided to just go through the process and see what happened.

The site was a nightmare to navigate. First, I chose a password that was too long (my mistake) and instead of telling me that I needed a different password, I was advised to come back later, there was a problem with the site. Determined, I simply tried again right away. I got through. The sign up process was a royal pain in the ass. Each question had its own screen that had to load and it was not moving that fast. It took me almost an hour to just enter personal details like names, dates of birth and income levels. But I persevered, determined I would not miss the deadline and be one of 'those' people.

I almost instantly received a noticed that my eligibility results were ready. I hesitated as I clicked to open them. It said something worse than I had feared and I'm still in disbelief at just how screwed up the system is and it baffles me to think how many more Americans are just like me. How many people will be forced to deal with what I'm now faced with? (Keep reading, I'm going to explain!)

I was advised I needed to apply for Medicaid which was not a shocker. Then the very next sentence says that the state of Virginia has decided not to extend Medicaid to people like me and thus, I'm exempt from carrying medical coverage now. This is not a total shocker. I expected the Medicaid thing and feel blessed I no longer have to be burdened by this ObamaCare crap.

Then the next part floored me. If I chose to purchase health insurance, I do not qualify for any subsides at all....because I'm exempt and should be on Medicaid. This makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE! I'm too poor to pay for healthcare and thus I don't deserve any help in doing so should I wish for my family to have access to healthcare? Really? In what reality does that make sense?

Determined to see if things were really as bad as they say, I decided to check out the dreaded Marketplace anyway. It left me in tears. There's no other way to describe it. I left that marketplace feeling hurt, defeated, and helpless. This is what I was faced with. These are screenshots from my computer of what the offerings were to me. Keep in mind, I make less than the $65,000 a year required to qualify for the fiasco.

This is the top half the page showing the different plan categories. Now I must explain, the $501 plans include limited services. This only covers checkups and routine care. It did not provide access to ongoing medical care for persistent issues or the regular EKG's, X-Rays and MRI's I'm subjected to. This plan is for healthy individuals. But it gets worse!

This is the bottom half of the screen shot where you can see the deductibles that go with those plans. So, if I'm healthy and can purchase the $501 plan then I still have to pay up to $12,588 in deductibles before the insurance plan will really kick in and help me.

I went through the plans. I looked at many of them. To get the coverage for things I need on a routine basis, it would be cheapest for me to get the $4300 or higher plan. That's the per month cost. So if we figure that up, it would cost me $51,600 a year for healthcare and approximately $12 every time I saw a doctor. If I took the $501 plan (which would be worthless to me) then I would need $18,600 for one year of healthcare and would still have to pay a per-visit fee every time I saw a doctor.

Sounds quite affordable doesn't it? Not really. It would take approximately half of my taxable income (before bonuses, etc.) to pay for the cheapest plan. Then I would have to pay additional money for the testing, most of which wasn't covered and varies by clinic/doctor additionally. So much for affordable right? Clearly this plan is just another way of fleecing Americans out of money they can't afford to spend.

I didn't even mention that both my primary care  doctor and my specialist walked out of their practices over ObamaCare. Yay me! Not that I can go there anymore. I don't qualify for health insurance and they don't give out free medical care or provide sliding-fee scale services. It was a private hospital, the best medical care in the state. I had been there since 2006 and was more than happy with the service. Now I'm just screwed.

I checked out what is available to me. There are 2 free clinics in which I make too much to attend. There is one sliding-fee scale clinic that is already overwhelmed. Still, I can apply there. This is what I've been reduced to. Thank God I didn't make over $65,000 and I'm now not forced to pay for this crap.

I'm sure there are people out there benefiting from ObamaCare. I've not personally encountered one though. I've just heard that they must be out there. 

Here's stories of other Americans currently being bent over and screwed by a government that couldn't care less if they exist....

The Washington Free Beacon: Self-Employed Handyman Becomes Latest Obamacare Victim
The Weekly Standard: Employer Forced to Terminate Cancer Victim's Health Care Due to Obamacare
WND: Americans rally around young Obamacare victim
InfoWars: Obamacare Claims Another Victim as Company Forced to Close Down

ObamaCare is not an answer to a prayer. It's a forced regulation, more reminiscent of Socialism than Democracy. America is fast becoming a socialist nation. Our freedoms are routinely being taken from us in lieu of what the government feels is best for a people it no longer knows.

7 comments:

  1. The healthcare situation in the US is messed up to begin with not because of "socialism', but because of big business and private insurance. And plenty of countries are both democracies and socialist, Sweden for example. They are not mutually exclusive. What "freedoms" do you think are being taken from us? And is anyone ever truly "free"? The US is one of the most lawyer-infested places on earth. Do all these lawyers and laws make us free, or restrain us? Let's hope that the insurance-ACA battle eventually leads to single-payer healthcare for all.

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  2. I think we're becoming pretty well restrained. Not just with healthcare but more and more each day. Look at all the issues we're facing. Our government is going overboard to police us in ways we don't even need policing and is even now watching innocent people (there goes the 4th Amendment!). Our freedoms are becoming more and more restricted and the government is becoming too involved in matters that shouldn't concern it. Healthcare is just one more thing to add to their list.

    Post 9/11 US citizens can be detained indefinitely without charges being pressed in many circumstances with more routinely being added. Confidential lawyer/client communications can now legally be monitored in some situations, our DNA can be taken without out consent and stored/logged/etc. for even a simple speeding ticket. The list could go on and on. It's getting a little ridiculous how extreme laws are made and how many of them we are graciously and unwittingly welcoming these days.

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  3. Sorry to hear about your bad experience with ACA. I got the impression that you didn't like it much. I think it would take at least 5 more years for all the kinks to be ironed out, to be operationally optimal and the giant ship to stabilize, in general terms. I know it sucks but that's how we started out with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - it is never easy in the initial years.


    What popped out in my read of your account above was this sentence: "the state of Virginia has decided not to extend Medicaid to people like me". To me that sounds like the crux of the problem. Had the coverage been extended, the rest of the anti-Obamacare arguments would have been rendered moot. Seems to me that you only have your state government to thank for that. A petulant red state government that would cut its nose to spite its face.

    Socialism is a poorly understood word in US. To most people, especially Republicans, there is virtually no difference between socialism, as they understand the concept, and communism.

    How is ACA socialism when all the participants in it are private insurers? Shouldn't you limit that label to Medicare/Medicaid instead since those are the ones that the hated government provides and the red-stateers, in their infinite wisdom, love so much (though not enough to extend)?

    Reminds me of the image of a Tea-Party protester I saw on TV with a placard that said, "Keep the Guvmint Out of My Medicare." Oh, the irony!

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  4. VA can't afford to extend the medicaid. Like many other states we're struggling considerably here. Look at Detroit and California, filing bankruptcy. The economy is toast. We didn't need another expense.

    I work for the insurance companies. They were deceived into this deal as well then screwed over. I'm taking crap from Obama on both sides of this. I just left out the job part other than to say I'm looking for anything else right now. It's gotten that bad.

    I gather you don't like my definition of socilialism. I didn't misunderstand it, possibly you and I are thinking of it the same way. Here's what I was referring to, this comes from Dictionary.com (yes, I know it's not the preferred writer dictionary but it's my personal fav.) I think it fits pretty well with what I meant.

    "(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles."

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  5. Also, just for the record. I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. I think they're all full of crap and I have very little respect left for the vast majority of them.

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  6. I think 'socialism' would be an improvement over the 'Obamacare' attempt at insurance reform.
    Anyway, as a US expat I don't have to participate in Obamacare - YAY!!!!
    I'm sure I'd be screwed also as I too have a 'pre existing condition' that would render me difficult if not impossible to insure.
    Did you have problems buying your thyroid supplement in India APPI?
    Could you buy Levoxyl in India or find another brand that worked for you? (i.e. Synthroid, Tirosint)
    I'm just wondering because I usually buy meds in India to bring to friends & family in the US

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  7. "Post 9/11 US citizens can be detained indefinitely without charges being pressed in many circumstances with more routinely being added. "

    Actually not just US citizens can be 'indefinitely detained' (aka 'disappeared') by the US gov't - any citizen of any country worldwide is subject to the whims of the US federal gov't now.

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