For the Love of God, America

After a funeral yesterday we all sat in a restaurant having lunch.   The gentle fellow across from me reported how easy it was to deal with Medicare, one simple statement, everything pretty straightforward.   I asked if he thought it a good idea to have a similar health care system for people before they reached sixty-five. He said he did, but how are we going to pay for it?  A second later he began excoriating Sanders and Warren and I saw that we were nearing the end of a real conversation. At this Sanders/Warren prompt there was a chorus of nearby voices stating how imperative it is we vote Trump out in 2020 (that chorus was joined by a Trump 2016 voter.)  

As far as the current health insurance regime for millions, Obamacare, my interlocutor agreed it was absurd to be given a menu without prices and to be billed six weeks later, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows providers and insurers to do.

The buffet most of us were having cost $49 per person, as the waitress readily told us.   Imagine if no price was given and our host simply had to wait six to eight weeks to be billed and learn that the price was $400 per person, and there was no recourse.  That’s the price, deadbeat.  If you have premium level buffet insurance, the price will be $49 per person, but, sadly, you did not take precautions.  Caveat emptor, bitches.

On January 8 I had the first of four endovenous ablations in my legs.  It had been deemed medically necessary and insurance had approved the procedures.   There was, of course, no way to know the price in advance, as per the impressively opaque 906 page Patient Protection Act.   On January 22 I was informed by Healthfirst, the company that I pay for my ACA insurance, that my insurance had been terminated.  This meant I’d be responsible for the full, non-insured price of the first treatment, whatever it turned out to be.  Several days later I managed, by very hard, stressful work and sheer luck, to get the unappealable termination of my insurance overturned.   Insurance would pay after all.

My sickening fight with the insurance company, with every state, local and federal agency, the stonewalling at every turn, another story for another day.   It is ongoing and seemingly will never have an end, until I arbitrarily give up.  The citizen has, according to everyone, no right to know the exact provision of the Patient Protection Act that protects him from the unappealable acts of a health insurance company that are later deemed “mistakes” regarding a wrongful termination of insurance.  OK, I guess that’s some form of democracy, if you’re lucky enough not to be violently sodomized by it. [1]

Anyway, the other day I got the Explanation of Benefits for the first of four ablation treatments.   The full, retail price: $5,460.    The Allowed Amount: $1,572.  My copayment, already paid: $25.   Multiply this hefty sum by four and you will understand that the insurance company had thousands of compelling reasons to terminate my policy, if given the chance.   Without insurance, the cauterization of those two leg veins would have cost over $21,000.   That’s why all Americans need health insurance, to be protected against bankruptcy if one survives the medical challenges themselves.

Which is why, of course, Mr. Trump, who promised better, cheaper, universal health care for all Americans back in 2016 has fought so hard to bring us Trumpcare. Cheaper, better, covering all Americans, brought to us all by Mr. Trump (born American and college graduate, unlike Obama!) and the incorruptible, unconquerable wall of Republican Senators and a vast army of lobbyists and “donors”.  USA!   USA!!!



[1]  I am always pointing out to the reps I am appealing to for help that I support the ACA, voted for Obama twice, realize Obamacare is a halting, but significant, step forward and that the tweaks needed to make it work better — like every other large government program got in its first few years of administration as problems were discovered–  were all prevented by a partisan lynch mob working with a klanlike zeal to prevent the n-word president from having a second term and then making sure he was able to accomplish nothing in his second term but the divisive election of a White Supremacist successor who would do his damnedest to wipe Obama’s record from history.   I get all that, but still.

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