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View Diary: My Daughter and the ACA: Why We Still Need Single Payer (32 comments)

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  •  ACA was better than nothing but ... (22+ / 0-)

    I agree that what we really need is a national healthcare system, not a system that relies in any way on insurance companies.

    For a number of years I lived in Massachusetts and was subject to the law mandating everyone to carry health insurance coverage. As a freelancer, this was often difficult to do. I was lucky; since I took a full-time job for a while I was able to keep the coverage I had there under COBRA. It was very expensive but I had decent coverage. I say decent because while it was one of the best providers available, over time my policy covered less and less. My employer (a small business with around 10 employees), in an effort to be able to continue to provide any health insurance to its employees at all, had to downgrade plan coverage a number of times. As a result, my copays went up drastically and medications that had been covered no longer were. I was paying so much out of pocket that I wondered if keeping the expensive insurance I had was really worth it.

    I looked into the state-provided healthcare option (which a friend - also a freelancer - was using) and found that it wasn't really an option at all. My doctor advised against it, saying that most doctors and hospitals did not accept it. So, despite being surrounded by some of the best hospitals in the world, had I signed up for that plan I would not have had access to any of the care they provide. I have no idea where I would have been expected to go, but I didn't want to find out.

    Now that I live in Washington state, I'm not sure what my options for health insurance are. Frankly, I've been too afraid to look. Most friends here who don't have plans through full-time employers simply don't have any coverage. I can only assume that, as in Massachusetts, individual plans are insanely expensive. Some time soon, I'm going to have to choose something though.

    Fortunately, I have always been in very good health and my use of health care has been almost exclusively preventative. As I get older, I realize that this is more important than ever. I want to preserve my health for as long as I can. The thought of what could happen were I to get really ill is frightening to say the least.

    ACA does a lot to force insurance companies to provide the kind of preventative care I need, but for patients across the healthcare spectrum, your daughter and I alike, any option that involves health insurance companies will never be truly in our favor. As much as I would like to believe it's possible, I actually doubt that the US will ever see the kind of national health care that is available in Europe and elsewhere (for some interesting historical perspective on how national healthcare became to be demonized by many, this New Yorker article is amazing). One thing I am absolutely sure of is that if the Republicans are allowed to have their way things will only get a lot worse.

    Stop it. This is hard.

    by angelama on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:28:55 AM PDT

    •  The New Yorker is great for articles on the health (4+ / 0-)

      care situation. I've been following the magazine since the introduction of health care to the debates in 2008.
      Dr. Atul Gawande has a series of articles starting in June 2009. I learned more from him than I did from any congressman or news person debating health care.

      •  Gawande is terrific. Such a great writer! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lonespark

        Also the New York times has been running fantastic articles on many aspects of health care by many knowledgeable people.

        Also good is Berwick who served for a while as CMS head — though the Senate would never confirm him.There are many people who are seriously working on improving quality —which in itself reduces costs of care.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:09:25 AM PDT

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        •  I still remember his visit (0+ / 0-)

          to the Northwest Kidney Center, the world's first and oldest dialysis clinic group. I was still in training for doing home hemodialysis, and by the time he got up to the home program's floor, I was already on the machine. He came in to watch me operate the machine by mysrlf, and I gave him a bit of a rundown on what I'd learned to do, how I interacted with the machine, how much better I felt on 5-days-a-week longer dialysis than I did going into clinic three days a week and dialyzing there, and other such things from a perspective I hope he never has: that of the patient. I understand he left extremely impressed with home dialysis, which has been very much to the good of the dialyzors that are affected by CMS' actions.

          Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

          Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

          by Kitsap River on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:00:32 PM PDT

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