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escribacat On December - 2 - 2010

I think the time I squander over on HP is having a negative impact on me. The atmosphere there has become so negative and so bursting with outrage generated by incendiary headlines and slanted stories, even “Obamabots” like me are joining the hissy fit class.

Take yesterday, for example. As many of my online friends know, I have long been one of those “untouchables” of our society — someone who is self-employed and who can’t buy health insurance, in my case because of a history of back problems. I’ve actually never had back surgery, but I’ve had a few cortizone injections in my spine and I’ve been through a couple of episodes where I was basically crippled for months and months. That puts me in the “high risk” category for insurers, who know they’re not going to make much off me. This “high risk” category is basically for a wide range of people — from high blood pressure and acne to Stage IV cancer. The truth is, the insurance companies only want to insure healthy 20- and 30-somethings.

So, unlike the huge crew of disappointed progressives who continue to call Obama’s health care reform a sell-out and giveaway to the insurance industry, along with all the rightwingers who are wailing about losing their “freedoms,” I was overjoyed when HCR passed. In fact, I was stunned and amazed, considering how miserably the Clinton effort failed. I consider it the most significant piece of social legislation I’ve seen in my adult life. This is probably the main reason why I continue to be an avid Obama supporter. He got it done! I truly can’t understand why so many people don’t understand how difficult and astounding that achievement was.

As part of the HCR package, they put together in a very short period of time a temporary high risk-pool called GettingUSCovered. This insurance will only be around until the Exchange is put together in 2014. I checked into it and found that my premium would be $397 per month for someone my age. Okay, not cheap but not nearly as bad as the last COBRA coverage I was offered when I was laid off from my last regular job back in 2007. They wanted $670 per month — and that was three years ago.

So I signed up and a couple weeks ago, had my first full physical in four years. I got some medication I should have started taking four years ago too. I’ll be getting some other tests I should have gotten several years ago. I got a lot of answers to questions that had been bothering me. I got a flu shot and a tetanus shot. In a strange way, I feel once again like a full-fledged member of society.

Then yesterday I got a notice in the mail from GettingUSCovered. The notice said that my premium had changed. I was in a hurry and I scanned the new premium table. Instant consternation, outrage, indignation, disappointment, and resignation from my Obamabot status. What I saw on that sheet was that my premium had been raised to $543 per month!

Well, when I get mad, I take the dogs to the dog park. So off to the dog park we go — I and my two greyhounds and my extra foster greyhound, Roxy, (but that’s another story). I tromp up and down hills, huffing and puffing my consternation, outrage, indignation, disappointment, and resignation from my Obamabot status.

A couple hours later, I got home and looked at the letter again. Grrr!!! I immediately wrote an email to CoveredColorado, asking if I could switch to them. CoveredColorado is the state-run high risk pool with pretty crummy coverage — I didn’t sign up for it before because it looked like a complete waste of money. I told them that USCovered had already raised my rate by 33%. Grrr!!

Next, I thought about writing an irate column for PPOV, going to HP and confessing to all the far-lefties that I always argue with over there that they were right after all, and writing a nasty letter to the president and whomever else I could think of.

Before I coule get going on all those plans, I got a reply from CoverColorado. They said that my premium hadn’t gone up. In fact, it had gone down to $393 per month.

Huh?

I slunk over to the table where the letter lay. I looked at it again. I realized that I had been looking at the “Smoker” column. Smokers pay a lot more. I’m not a smoker. They were right. My premium had gone down by four dollars.

Ooops.

I wrote them a nice thank you note and told them how stupid I was. I was very embarrassed.

I am pleased to say I am still insured with GettingUSCovered and still an Obamabot.

49 Responses so far.

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  1. VegasBabe says:

    Poor Obama. Ya gotta feel sorry for this guy, really. One wonders how many of us “obamabots” are really out there, just waiting….just waiting for one thing to go wrong, one personal issue that we hold dear to get screwed ….. waiting..warning, “don’t do it fella”….”gone just about as far witcha as I’m a goin”….
    Wow.

    • Kalima says:

      Hi VB, good to see you.

      I don’t feel sorry for your President, I feel sorry for everyone who has somehow forgotten the years from 2001 until 2008.

      What I feel for your President is anger, dismay and disgust on his behalf.

  2. PepeLepew says:

    I’m glad things worked out for you!

    My mum won’t move back to the States, even though all her grandkids and great-grandkids are in the U.S. because she is convinced that her myriad pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. We try to tell her the law has changed, but she is convinced otherwise.

    And, on another topic, what is that THING in your header image?

  3. AdLib says:

    Actually, how often do you have the pleasure of finding out something unpleasant didn’t really happen?

    If only I could have woken up in 2001 and found Gore was really elected.

    So glad to hear that the HCR has helped you. That’s one of the things Obama needs to be out there promoting, all of the people now being helped by this plan that the GOP want to destroy.

    It’s so absurd, almost beyond believability that this party can openly boast about wanting to take SS, Medicare, health insurance, unemployment insurance and so much more away from Americans…and there’s no outrage from the public or the MSM!

    • escribacat says:

      Adlib, I did spend the rest of the day in a very interesting state of mind — a happy glow that things still are what they seemed to be and it wasn’t a con…and that I could continue to pay for the insurance.

  4. Kalima says:

    O/T maybe, but still about healthcare in some respect, I have just received the new pillow I ordered 2 days ago, I’m quite excited.

    After years of searching, rehabilitation, endless steroid injections, of stretching and pulling of neck bones during traction over the years to no real or lasting avail, I have also spent money on pillows, both shop bought and custom made to ease my curved bones and the spurs on them, when I’m trying to sleep.

    A few days ago after midnight I turned on the tv hoping I’d find something to bore me to sleep, when I saw a pillow that was smaller than usual, filled with a new filler from Denmark, washable, able to throw in the dryer and will never lose it’s shape. The revolutionary new filler is called “fossflakes” and I have just done a 2 minute test run. After years of fruitless searching, I think I’ve found “the one” and as a bonus, it was less than a third of what I have payed for others. If I didn’t have to do some cleaning because I’m going out tomorrow night, yes out of my front door and into the wilds, I would try it now. I’ll let you know how I slept after I wake up tomorrow. This could mean the difference between waking up like grumpy bear, or being nice like sugar and spice. Wish me luck.

  5. Questinia says:

    This is me to a “T”. That “never mind” moment I know so well.

    I am really taken by the story because it is the first time I’ve heard someone having such immediate and positive change in this area. I’m so glad you are taking care of yourself e’cat! You need to get this story out more.

    • Khirad says:

      Yup, we’ve all done that. I think we go into a panicked freeze in such cases as this -- zero in on the bad. It’s common to humans in general to focus on the bad over the good.

    • escribacat says:

      I’ve posted my story several times over yonder, about finally having insurance. I’ve had some pretty snide responses, to the effect that I’m selfish and greedy, I only support it because I only care about myself. One pompous fringe leftie informed me that she would make sure everyone in the world had insurance before she took it for herself. Gawd.

      • choicelady says:

        Escat- that is the constant theme of the Dark Side Over There. I also add my congrats -- I am DELIGHTED you’re now getting coverage and can afford it! I think boomer said the same. There are many stories I’m getting from our members saying how grateful they are finally to have coverage. The Leftie Lady is a Loon -- taking care of your own health is NOT, as Ques notes below on breathing, an immoral issue. Of course we all want single payer, but how is covering a large number of people a sin, you being one of them??? It’s NOT. If ideology trumps moral good sense, then let the ideologues squirm as they may. That IS their choice, but their imposition on you is just plain stupid. Eff ’em all. They’re what make the Left look so stupid. And the trolls? Never mind.

      • Questinia says:

        What?! I am gobsmacked. Interesting how people have such emotional anorexia on both swings of the pendulum.

        HOW DARE YOU BREATH FRESH AIR WHEN THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO BREATH POLLUTED AIR!!

        FRESH AIR IS NOT A RIGHT, IT’S A PRIVILEGE. PRIVATIZE FRESH AIR!!

        • Kalima says:

          While we are on the subject about privatization, how about a huge fee for using public toilets, and a fine for doing it in the open, like a field or behind someone’s car when you’re drunk. I say tax the very ground we stand on, and extra for every time we look at the sky.

        • escribacat says:

          ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

          • Questinia says:

            How DARE YOU LAUGH when Kalima’s not laughing!!

            Gonna have to tax you a Smiley Tariff of $2,879,000.

            It will go to help all the people of the blogosphere who aren’t laughing while you, so selfishly, laugh.

            That’ll teach you to be mirthful!

            • escribacat says:

              Okay. From now on, I refuse to laugh until everyone else in the world is already laughing!

            • Kalima says:

              I was laughing, really I was. I just forgot to type my Smilely face, that’s all. Honest, look!

              :) :) :)

              :) :)

              :)

  6. Kalima says:

    I was just drinking my morning cuppa as I read your post. Oh no I thought, escribacat is one of Obama’s staunchest supporters here for the HCR bill! As I had to leave my computer to feed my brood, I had this sinking feeling below my navel as I battled the sudden deluge of heavy rain outside.

    Now back at my computer I was able to finish your post, and let out a huge sigh of relief to find that you are still insured. Great news about your first check up in 4 years, and that finally you will get some relief from the back pain I know quite a bit about myself. I’m so very happy for you. :)

    I share your disbelief in the moans and groans of those who fail to see what the President has achieved with this bill, and have felt quite often that I want to deal a few smacks to some heads when I read through their complaints. What Obama managed to do will go down in history as one of the greatest changes in your country’s history because he was the one who in the end wouldn’t give up, or take no for an answer. If it’s starting to work in a positive way for you e’cat, it must also be starting to work for many more people. Instead of criticizing him, they should be praising him, but we know that some people will never be satisfied until they get blood out of stone.

    • escribacat says:

      Kalima, You know, what really was going through my mind as I tromped around angrily with the dogs was that this country was simply hopeless. That if a non-profit insurance organization had to raise the rates so drastically — obviously due to out-of- control healthcare costs — there was no hope for us. And finding out that I had mis-read the letter actually hasn’t solved that dilemma for me. What I still don’t understand is why do Americans pay so much more for drugs and other treatments than other countries? Is it just the liability insurance? Are American doctors greedier than Japanese doctors? Are our drugs and treatments really five and ten times better than everyone else’s? Do other nations impose a limit on costs whereas we don’t? Do we over-care here, with too many tests, too many drugs, unnecessary surgeries? How did we end up like this? Throughout all those months and months of debate, I never heard an answer to this question. Why do we pay so much more?

      • Mightywoof says:

        I don’t know how other countries do it, e’cat, but in Canada health care is under Provincial jurisdiction but partly funded by the feds. In order to get federal funding the provinces have to agree to minimum coverage standards. It is also portable with, at most, a 3 month wait if you move to another Province -- but all medical costs are covered under your old Prov. plan until yoiur new Prov. plan kicks in.

        The doctors’ fee-for-service payments are negotiated through their medical association and the Provincial government -- for covered services there is no payment from the patient -- the physician bills the Province. For uncovered services you either have private insurance through your employer or you pay out of pocket

        Drugs prices are also negotiated by the Province with the pharma companies so their ‘cheapness’ is a bulk discount. There was talk about the Feds taking over this negotiation so that the discount would be even larger but I have no idea if that went anywhere.

        My hubby had prostate cancer close to 6 years ago; he was diagnosed, biopsied and operated on within a matter of weeks and after a two day stay in hospital, many followup visits and annual checkups for 5 years with his surgeon it hasn’t cost us one red cent …… and Canadians still manage to have better health care outcomes for less per capita cost than the US

        I’m glad to hear you finally have reasonable insurance and that you can get medical help for your back problem -- yaaaaay for Obamacare!! It can only get better from here on in

      • Kalima says:

        Even with the passing of the bill I think that the misuse and profiteering by unregulated insurance companies over decades will take a long time to unravel e’cat. They abused far too many loopholes, to close them all could be a huge job.

        I also think that your drugs, medical treatments, and hospital stays are ridiculously overpriced compared to other countries, maybe because for the American people it just became the norm over the years, and nobody thought that they had the right to complain as long as they were covered. You know, like a classic case of abuse, eventually the abused think it’s normal, and expect it as if it’s their own fault and can’t be changed. So your major, crooked insurance companies are the abusers, and people who need their help are still being abused by either refusal or inching up the dollars on existing policies. A win win situation until now, or that is what I hope to see in the near future, a voice for the people, and a stranglehold on the filthy and immoral profits.

        When KQ was writing his excellent posts on HC, we discussed the Japanese system quite often here, it’s quite simple really. We pay a portion of it in our monthly tax deductions, and the government picks up the rest. If I go to my hospital, I can expect to pay only 30% of the bill. If I have to be admitted to the hospital though, I pay my share of the cost of the room which on average works out at ยฅ15, 000 (sorry I don’t know the dollar rate for today but will guess) which is roughly $180 a day.

        Our national health insurance doesn’t cover cancer or other major diseases, you need to buy private insurance for that, I think we pay about ยฅ!0,000 a month for that, $120.

        We have all the latest medical techniques here, and also the same medication that you have over there once it’s approved, which unfortunately could take as long as 5 years, but we get it eventually. So the only thing I can think of as to why yours is more expensive over there, can be summed up with three words, greed and the company profits. That is not only a disgusting way to take advantage of people who need care or advice from a doctor who takes an oath to do no harm, but it is also sad when you think how many productive lives have been lost this way. As I said, it makes me want to smack someone really hard until their ears ring.

    • Questinia says:

      Agreed, OG. We may need to toot Obama’s horn more, seeing as he tends not to.

      • Kalima says:

        He’s a very modest man, it speaks volumes about his upbringing and his time so far in the Washington climate that is loud for the sake of being loud, with nothing much to say or offer as an alternative to all he has done, and will continue to do if he learns to really fight back. He would make a wonderful diplomat. :)

        As an “honourable” U.S. citizen, bestowed on me yesterday by boomer, I toot my horn for him and for all he has done so far, yet to be thanked for, and all he can hopefully accomplish in the next two years of his term, or even better, 6 more years. TOOT! TOOT! TOOT!!

  7. bitohistory says:

    E’cat, I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel. You too can misread a statement. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Really good that you now have health care. Going to the doctors or the CC is not high on my list of fun things, but I am glad I can go.


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