This is Personal: ACA, ObamaCare and the GOP

Friends and especially FAMILY – Your votes matters to my HEALTH.

This is extremely personal for me.

If you vote Republican, especially for ones that want to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, “ObamaCare”) – you will hurt my health. (BTW – ObamaCare is NOT insurance, it is laws. Some states have not fully enacted the ACA due to partisanship and obstructionism.)

If you vote for candidates and support repealing the ACA, and currently have insurance via your employer, you have a misunderstanding. You are NOT using ObamaCare (except for things like children being able to stay on your plan till 26, covering preexisting conditions, free birth control and other zero cost preventive care). If you get insurance via your employer, and think the ACA is bad – then you don’t understand the complete scope of the law.

I am currently covered via a individual plan directly purchased from the issuer, a for-profit insurance company. It is a gray area if this is a Covered California (CA’s health exchange) or not, but fully satisfy the requirements for the law. And because of the ACA, this plan fully covers my pre-existing conditions like my depression and Psoriatic arthritis. My Remicade cost between $4,000-8,000 per treatment every 6-8 weeks.

For states that did not expand medicare (and fully accept the ACA), they attempted to force the law to fail, and it is working. Some far-right Republicans have intentionally obstructed the ACA, using the people they represent as pawns. There are issues, and instead of attempting fix it, they have tried to repeal it over 60 times. If congress would actually attempt to fix the areas that aren’t working well – and help the people that fall into the cracks of the law – then it would work extremely well.

I’ve been “self-employed” for the past 2-3 years. I was on COBRA, buying a plan from my former employer, Netflix. I haven’t finalized the math, and had a major medical issue this year – but if you add up deductibles and premiums and copays – my out-of-pocket costs of my Employer plan (when I was paying via COBRA, not as an employee) – cost the SAME as the ACA plan I have in California. (I got the most expensive, best, biggest plan in both cases.)

For someone that has a chronic condition(s), regardless of the plan – silver, gold or platinum – my out of pocket costs with premiums, copays and deductibles will cost me $15-20k/year of for-profit USA health care. The affordable care act an absolute must, but must evolve to actually be affordable – and I’m not talking about premiums. The ACA got us insurance, but did nothing to control the for-profit health industry.

Ultimately, I personally think the United States will need to move to single-payer health care, evolution of the ACA. (My theory is that it will take 30 years to phase in – but that is a different story.) And going a step further, health care organizations should not be permitted to operate as *for-profit*. For-profit companies that have stocks traded on the stock exchanges, the CEOs primary goal is to create value for share holders – NOT providing health care. They want your money, not for you to get better.(*)

(*) Not to offend the nurses and doctors – health care provider is your for-profit employer, not the health professional working at this companies that directly care for patients.