On several occasions I have considered sitting down and writing just how untrue the claims that #Obamacare is “Affordable Care.” The time has come to uncover the truths and falsehoods, as I have come to learn first hand. I am an Independent voter, with no Party affiliations. It seems that I should disclose that before I get into the commentary I am about to lay out. None of what I portray is driven by political or personal motives nor is it intended to promote or advance a particular agenda.
Let me begin by explaining who I am, my background, my qualifications and to explain why I have concluded that President Obama’s healthcare program is anything but affordable. I am a 54-year-old, divorced male with two children; a college graduate (B.A. degrees in Political Science and History) with some post-graduate education in Business. I worked hard as a white collared executive for over 30 years, climbing the corporate ladder, providing for my family and achieving the ‘American Dream’. Fortunately, we never had to rely on anyone else for assistance.
In 2009 I had a debilitating stroke concurrent with diagnoses of epilepsy and diabetes. Left permanently disabled, unable to work, I lost my health insurance and now had to embarrassingly seek financial assistance and medical care through alternative channels. Asking for assistance from the government was never a consideration; nobody I knew had ever had been in such a predicament. I had been a philanthropist most of my life and it simply was not on my radar. For the moment I was fortunate, charitable organizations covered the cost of my initial hospital stay as well as subsequent medical and rehabilitative services.
Now it was my turn to experience the bureaucratic process of applying for Social Security Disability. It was an arduous task that would require the assistance of doctors, social workers and lawyers for almost 2 years to be found eligible. During this period I had to turn to family, friends and professional volunteers for assistance and care. In November 2011 I was certified as disabled,however it was effective December 31 2010, rather than November 2009 when my disability had begun. Very grateful for my benefits, I understood the difficulties of challenging the date and elected not to take any further action. It is important to take a moment to explain how Social Security Disability (SSDI) works. A person must be disabled for 6 months from their eligibility date before monetary benefits begin. In my case that was July 1, 2010. Additionally, Medicare benefits require a 30 month waiting period and will not begin for me until July 1,2012. For individuals who have SSDI benefits that fall below the Federal poverty line, which excludes me, Medicaid will cover their medical expenses from the onset of their disability. For people like myself that by ‘government standards’ either worked too long and/or earned too much money there is no option but to wait for Medicare to begin.
In September 2011, left with no other options, I started to explore and apply for ‘Obamacare‘. The process was very difficult and almost impossible to understand and execute. I could not have done it without assistance. I wonder if individuals who do not have the benefits of a higher education, life experience or access to outside resources could ever figure out the program’s benefits, costs and how to apply. Yes, there is a web site that is difficult to find and navigate. How could that be, after all, ‘Obamacare‘ was designed to offer the average American, with or without a pre-existing condition, easy and affordable healthcare. ‘Obamacare‘ is neither easy to understand nor is it affordable.
Using myself as an example I have to pay monthly premiums and deductibles of almost $10,000 dollars, per year, before the program’s benefits begin. A substantial amount of money which neither the average American nor I can afford. Further, the program only covers a percentage of the medical costs. For those who understand the terminology, ‘Obamacare‘ is a major medical program, not an entitlement as some Congressmen have referred to it. It’s expensive and unaffordable for the average American. Obamacare is designed to help with catastrophic health matters. I question why anyone in Washington D.C. would jeopardize their reputation and possibly their political career fighting for a program that fails to deliver “Affordable Healthcare”.
‘Obamacare‘ does have its merits, however, it is certainly not affordable nor is it easily accessible. In many instances it will allow the average American to get discounted healthcare, once they have satisfied their deductibles and paid the monthly premiums. For me I have decided that the program is too expensive, consequently I have dropped out after 5 month and I am not certain how I will bridge the gap until Medicare begins in July 2012.
#BarakObama #nyt #congress