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.
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.
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.