The largest opponents of President Obama’s signature health-program have no idea what they are objecting to. Why would the vast majority of Americans have any real insight about health insurance anyway? Most of us have always had the peace of mind insurance brings, so being empathetic of those without it is a stretch.
By focusing on Internet glitches – probably caused by the lack of modern tools or talented IT professionals we afford to work for government – hyper-focusing on Americans who’ve lost insurance no one would ever want – and turning every question about anything into an attack on ObamaCare means coming up with viable options no one finds necessary at all.
In Florida we begrudgingly pay increased premiums for all insurance, barely blinking when we receive notice the insurance on our home has been cancelled after 20 years of no claims. We are conditioned to let insurance agencies stick it to us, so the only thing to fear is change, and the idea President Obama might somehow accomplish something noteworthy.
Like many Americans, I was covered by my parent’s plan until 18, my college plan until I graduated, and then I landed a job where my employer offered me health insurance. Unlike many Americans, however, for nearly 20 years I have provided employees in my own business with health insurance coverage. The agency I run foots the entire bill for my staff, for the best possible plan, for every eligible employee – that’s just how we do it.
In the 20 years I’ve been in charge there has not been a single year health care costs didn’t rise – a lot. The game is always the same. When the insurance rep comes to make a presentation we are told: “The plan you had last year is no longer available. For the same cost, you can have a lesser plan or you can pay more for a plan that is “equivalent” to last year’s plan. Of course the “equivalent” plan has a slightly higher deductible and the copays will not be the same, but it’s the best plan available to you now.”
I have a unique perspective about the Affordable Healthcare Act in that I run a social services agency with a mission to help indigent people access healthcare. With the Florida Legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid, the only Floridians eligible for Medicaid are low-income families with children, children, pregnant women, non-citizens with medical emergencies and aged or disabled individuals not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSSI). These are probably the very people “the people” don’t want to insure in the first place.
I have clients who move to Florida from states where more than just the above mentioned are covered by Medicaid, and yes, even clients who have received a “Notice of Discontinuance of Conversion Coverage” because as “valued” of a customer as the company says they are, the coverage offered to our client is expensive and, frankly, downright pathetic.
When my youngest sister was around two or three years old, she had a large vocabulary. Her favorite word by far, however, was “no.” My mother could barely get the first sound of her name out before my sister abruptly retorted “no!” Maturity level notwithstanding, we have adults who can’t hear Obama’s name without saying the same word. They are people who never had to fear losing their own insurance and probably never had to make sure others were insured, and their focus was never on health insurance at all.
The largest opponents of President Obama’s signature health-program have no idea what they are objecting to, but they do know the impact they are having on President Obama’s approval rating – so they aren’t going to stop their attack anytime soon. While organizations like mine help people who really do want to help themselves, but often can’t because of the system, some continue to use a system that is broken – a system built for political gain.
By “they,” of course, I refer to the Tea Party – and we shouldn’t let Republicans get away with distancing themselves from their own creation. When you stand to gain by kowtowing to a group of people who’ve made “no” the answer to something as obvious as the need for Healthcare reform, the only preexisting condition is a precondition we’ve created ourselves – a precondition created to hurt the most vulnerable among us.