Thank You Sir May I Have Another! (Affordable Care Act)

November 1, 2013 — 3 Comments

aca

NOTICE: If you care to debate I am happy to carry on an informed civil discussion on the topic of the Affordable Care Act…but I will not engage in mud-slinging, name calling or any outright nasty hatred here….take it to your Facebook wall if that is your bent.

So these are just the facts as I now understand them for me personally.  You may have found different results (and I’d love to compare) but most I have talked to are seeing similar results.

Just so everyone understands my position – I have chosen for years to maintain a high deductible plan tied to a health care savings account and basically became self-insured for the majority of my family’s health care costs. It is important to understand I chose to do this because for the most part we are a healthy family.  I sat down and took a look at all of our out-of-pocket medical expenses for the 5 years before getting on my current plan and realized that the average amount of out-of-pocket cost over those 5 years was less than the difference in premium I would have to pay to get a more traditional co-pay plan.  It made more sense for me to fund a HSA account monthly with that difference in premium, take advantage of the HSA tax credit and in the end effectively keep my health care costs lower.

This was wonderful for me. I had a plan that covered all the things I wanted it to for me and my daughters and at a price I was willing to pay.  I think that’s what we all would call….a free market success.

Before you say it – I understand that a lot of people can’t afford a high deductible plan like this, as you are exposed for that deductible amount but I had the ability to fund the HSA for that amount so it was nice to have the option to do it.  The overall benefits of the plan, tax savings and lower monthly financial obligation are by far the best situation I have ever had…anywhere…when it comes to my health care coverage.

Well guess what?!?! Those days of choosing what works best for me and my family in our situation and fits our needs is currently over.

I am one of the millions whose independent health care plan is being cancelled on January 1st 2014.  My perfect plan for me was not eligible to be grandfathered under the ACA law.  My carrier did what they were supposed to do and mapped me to a new plan with comparable coverage.

Are you ready for this….?

If I stay with my current carrier and chose the mapped plan (which is the lowest plan available that matches my old plan the closest) my health care premium will go up…

208%

and my deductible will increase $1,000 on January 1, 2014. So if I were to meet my deductible in 2014 my effective health care cost increase would be 132% over 2013.

So maybe there will be a lower cost plan on Heathcare.gov but as we all know I have no way of knowing this because we can’t sign up on the site for all the reasons the nightly news keeps telling us.  And even if I could – as a consumer – I am not comfortable giving HHS all of my personal information to have it maintained by an incompetent agency (IRS) on a system already proven to be hackable and admittedly (by its builders) never fully and appropriately tested just so I can see what the policies are and what they may cost.

As a long time resident of the cyber community – I would never shop, buy or return to a site that forced me to give them sensitive personal information prior to seeing what they offer and at what price.  And when I later learned that this standard operating procedure of “browse before you buy” that all reputable internet retailers use was actually built into this site but turned off just before launch just raises all kinds of concerns for me.

So here we are – one month after it’s less than stellar coming out party – and there are deadlines plus fines looming over our heads.  As the buyer of this product what are we supposed to do?

I have heard from some on capitol hill that my plan is probably being cancelled because it was “a lousy plan” and that I’ll find a better, more affordable plan on Healthcare.gov.  Even according to our President there is nothing to be concerned about – all I have to is “shop around”. My first reaction is who are you to decide for me that my plan was lousy? Just looking at what I have been able to see so far – none of the new plans mandated by ACA come close to the kind of plan I want or had.  I can tell you right now…I do not need some of the mandated coverages like pediatric dentistry.  Why is it OK for the government to tell me what I need or don’t need.  And Mr. President, please come  back to reality and be honest with the American people.  Stop pretending nothing is wrong.

Look, I get the altruistic desire to care for those less fortunate than ourselves.  And I understand that those that support ACA believe many more will benefit than will be harmed by this law. But what I believe is falling on deaf ears and what millions of us feel is being ignored is you are taking away our ability to choose for ourselves.

This, once again, is imposing ideological policies on us under the guise of helping others.  Now we no longer get to chose how to manage this part of our lives. We do not get to decide what is in the best interest of our families.  The government has decide we are not smart enough and not responsible enough to make these decisions about our own health.

I am 44 years old.  I have done as many of the right things as I know to do to become a successful, contributing member of our society. And while there are already many things today that are forced obligations for us to contribute to the greater good, most people I suspect are not aware they are there, where they came from or how it affects them. They’ve been there so long that we just accept them as normal.

The Affordable Care Act, to me, is the next one in line – it is a “new normal”.

It is unfortunate that there are no leaders in our country anymore.  At least no leader willing to…well lead.  This isn’t a Republican problem, This isn’t a Democrat problem.  It is an American problem.  Our country has become a class system based on entitlements and I believe those who want and like the entitlements finally outnumber those that chose to fend for themselves.

I don’t pretend that I have a solution.  I am just a disillusioned American looking for answers and a glimmer of hope.  Because what we have now – the idiocy and inability to work together in Washington from the top down, is a disgrace, disappointing and an embarrassment.

As for the Affordable Care Act….Mr President, members of Congress…delay this thing!!  It is not ready!

 

Tommy D

Posts

3 responses to Thank You Sir May I Have Another! (Affordable Care Act)

  1. Not really up to debating, but I wanted to illustrate a positive side of the new law that hits really close to my family. My father passed away last year, leaving my mom on her own. She had been on my father’s insurance since they were 18. Well, a few years ago my mother was diagnosed with kidney failure. She received a transplant a couple of years ago, but still must take anti-rejection meds for the rest of her life. ……… Since my dad’s passing, shehas been struggling to pay for her medication and her doctors visits. A free market insurance option s not available to her because of her pre-existing condition. However, thanks to the ACA, she will be able to get the much needed insurance and will finally be able to manage her disease with the responsibility it needs . Without the ACA, she would not survive two more years according to her doctors. (Her current kidney function is 20% and falling, she will need dialysis before long.

    So, I am okay with my extra expense if people our my mom are helped. Remember, the ‘free market’ would not do anything for someone in her condition.

    • Hey Adam – thanks for sharing. I am certain it is a comfort to know your mom is taken care of. I know that I would have similar feelings. I do not deny that there are those in our society that need our help and it is our responsibility – as a people – to do that. I believe that to be a principle philosophy that has been around long before there ever was a US of A.

      I don’t believe that the free market is the problem though. Yes there are things wrong that need to be fixed…as in your situation the pre-existing condition policy that exists today….for which ACA does address. But I think this could have been addressed without necessarily imposing universal health care polices on all people…removing the freedom of choice.

      Again…I don’t have have the answer. And in the end some version of ACA may be the solution we seek. But what we are facing now does not solve the problem at large and I fear will actually have larger negative impact on our economy, our citizens and our future.

  2. Very well said Tom

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*