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March 24th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

…and it’s all thanks to you, president obama!

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i am not surprised by the lineup of state attornies general who are preparing to go to war over this law, though i have already called and emailed the attorney general in my state to cease and desist with his efforts. (i’m sure the intern charged with reading those things  is probably laughing his or her a$$ off at my verbage.) i don’t want my tax dollars wasted on a groundless and absurd effort to get rid of a law which frankly benefits me and all americans. but i’m sure these folks want to put on a good show (they are, by and large, mostly elected officials) for the portion of the electorate that brung them. which, in my commonwealth, would not include me.

(incidentally, if you’re in VA and would like to share your views with the attorney general, you can find him here.)

anyway, i want to share why i think this admittedly somewhat imperfect law is still the best freaking thing since sliced bread.

1) eliminating pre-existing conditions for kids immediately and for adults in 2014. unless you have what would be considered a pre-existing condition, you would have no idea what this means to a person, to a family.

i have often joked with BS that i married him for his sugar-daddy health insurance. of course, back then, i didn’t have a pre-existing condition. now, of course, i do.  if for some insane reason he lost his job, i would personally ding my entire family’s ability to get health insurance unless his next employer offered insurance without any sort of pre-existing condition clause.

this idea has hung over my head for four years now like an ominous cloud. when i first came home from the hospital four years ago, when i should have been focusing on getting well, i was instead completely wigged out at the prospect that should i ever need to get my own health insurance, i could not any longer. my family’s health was in potential jeopardy simply by virtue of being related to sickly me. how would i provide for my children’s medical care? it truly made me sad. it truly made me feel helpless, captive to a condition that i didn’t create for myself. it’s just in my genes.  and the only way to have a fighting chance at wellness was a therapy that cost upwards of $10,000 every four weeks. without insurance.

now, there’s a law on my side.

2) lifetime caps on medical coverage goes bye=bye: yes, those of us who have freakish illnesses that don’t simply require us to take an aspirin and call someone in the morning rack up an impressive set of bills, even with health insurance. honestly, no one ever expects to get sick; but when it happens, it happens. and if it happens with a hospital stay or lengthy and expensive treatment options, eventually, one wonders whether one will hit that point when his insurer and he will have to part company. someone i love had a fairly innocuous surgery, only to go into kidney failure, a coma, and infection hell and end up in the ICU for three months. (he’s better now, fret not.) that sort of thing hits the hundreds of thousands of dollars. in a lifetime, stuff happens, and you amass these costs… it’s not pretty.

but what is our choice? let people die? sorry, mrs. jones, but we can’t pay for your cancer treatments anymore. you’ve really fought hard over these past 5 years, and you’ve beaten certain odds impressively. but you’ve hit your cap. you’re done now. good luck and goodbye. GOOD LORD, it must never come to this. but i suspect for some people, it has.

and now, G-d willing, it won’t.

now a lot of people are up in arms over having to have health insurance. honest to G-d, people, you’re required to have home and car insurance by law. yeah, maybe it’s state law, but probably because that’s how it panned out at the time. who the fuck CARES whether it’s federal law? if you need to be prepared to pay somehow when your home is destroyed by fire or your car takes out another person’s car, then why the HELL shouldn’t you be responsible to have insurance about a certainty: you will one day become ill. maybe seriously. i, for one, really hoped for a public option to make things even easier for people who truly cannot afford insurance.

oh, right. it’s socialism, requiring people to buy health insurance.

let me give you a little lesson, john and jane q. teabagger. THIS is what socialism is all about. (i know it has some really big words, and i know because glenn beck isn’t providing his own special narrative that it might be difficult to understand. but i have faith in you: give it a go.) guess what: no one has taken private health insurers out of the loop. you know, health insurers are companies trying to take part in that great concept you know and love called capitalism? barack obama won’t be out there, lining people up and pushing them into some government clinic. it will still be your doctor, your country, your world.

and yes, i know the economy is awful right now. but if i have to hear one more bit about small companies possibly dying on the vine because now they have to provide their employees health insurance? well, maybe it’s that great capitalistic system telling you that you ought not be in business.  i mean, so you should be essentially using other people to make money for yourself — but not take care of them? i’m, sorry, but i don’t think so. this is a new cost of doing business. (and i’m sure a lot of you will find tax lawyers who will, in turn, find loopholes so you can escape this somehow. i’m counting on it.)

there are failings in the law, to be sure. for one thing, as i mentioned, i wished for a public option. while it wouldn’t directly benefit me, it benefits all the people who might not otherwise have the wherewithal to be insured. and i would be smacked upside my head by my BTD if i didn’t mention tort reform.

but hell. it happened. and i’m hoping that we, as a society, have not sunk to the depths of caring only about ourselves.  i’m thrilled beyond words that our elected officials — at least, SOME of them — actually put their necks on the line for something bigger than themselves.

and i feel good — really, really, good — for the first time in a long time.


5 Responses  
  • Christina writes:
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I’m singing with you sister – you know that! Your family is a classic example of why reform was so desperately needed.

  • Phil Goldwasser writes:
    March 24th, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Now all we need is for them to say that there needs to be parity in Mental health and physical health insurance (for all people). Currently, insurance policies for people who work in companies of less than 50 can cap the amount they spend on Mental Health payments at a ridiculously low amount. For companies of over 50 employees there needs to be parity between the two kinds. For example, our insurance company will only pay for 20 visits for our son to see his therapist. Plus that therapy is $180 per session. The insurance company says it should cost $140, so they will only pay 80% of the 140 after our $1000 deductible. Plus, and hold on to you hats, those sessions that we have to pay out of pocket because of that very large deductible? They go towards the 20 sessions! So in reality, we are only getting the great benefit of about 12 sessions paid for by the insurance company!

    The insurance company also requires approvals to go the therapist. They give them out in blocks of 5 sessions, and then the therapist needs to request more sessions. So Marsha’s therapist requested more and got approval. Of course what no one realized is that they will approve sessions even after the benefit has run out. We thought that they were just oking payment of extra sessions, and we have letters saying that they are authorizing payment. Turns out, that one arm of the insurance company does not know what the other arm is doing! So they routinely give out authorizations when they know that they will not pay for them!

    Anyway, sorry for running at the mouth here, but although I love what the new law does, it is just not nearly enough! The fear is that if they required small business coverage to have parity, the premiums would go up and the small business would just stop covering mental health (which they can do today). I believe that in the new law is something that states that all insurance policies MUST cover mental health, so now the small business cannot take that out, so maybe, just maybe someone will figure it out that now they can require parity for mental health insurance.

    There are times that I almost wish my son had a physical problem ranter than a mental health problem, and the fact that I can even think such a think makes me hate the system and the insurance companies all the more so.

  • alejna writes:
    March 24th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I feel pretty good about it myself! (I’d feel better about it if it weren’t for all the venom being spewed about it from so many directions.) It’s a big step in the right direction.

    Thanks for this post!

  • Cold Spaghetti :: Just Posts: March 2010 writes:
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    [...] wreke of wrekehavoc with i feel good [...]

  • The March Just Posts « collecting tokens writes:
    April 15th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    [...] wreke of wrekehavoc with i feel good [...]


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