Letter: The Future Of Healthcare

I am an Obamacare beneficiary? Victim? Supporter? Not an opponent? Not a supporter? I am definitely not a “repeal” person. My small office was never required to offer health insurance, pre- or post- Obamacare. Every year, pre-Obamacare, the cost of the health insurance offered for the small office I worked in was increasing for the employer, and the cost to me as an employee was increasing in deductibles, out-of-pocket and caps on coverage. I never had to worry about pre-existing conditions, over the years, yet I had them.

Post-Obamacare, I joined the “class” of older, pre-Medicare, not eligible for Medicaid, individuals, who had to look, review, study, the plans on the “exchange,” and check out my subsidies (which I never had to worry about until my employer dropped group coverage). Why? My small office dropped group health insurance coverage, simply because the boss had reached Medicare age, and Obamacare didn’t require a small business to continue group coverage.

Thus, I had pick a plan that had me, an over 50-year-old woman, with pre-existing conditions, not earning enough to pay full price for insurance, but not eligible for Medicaid, finding insurance through the marketplace. Absent the subsidies, I would never have been able to afford health insurance, even when Obamacare began, much less if it hadn’t, and my employer dropped me. Over the years since, I keep changing plans, hoping to afford coverage, while my deductibles increase, and my out-of-pockets increase and what is covered is decreased. It is similar to the suffering my small employer suffered (and I suffered as a group insurance beneficiary) and Congress never fixed, even under Obamacare.

Over my lifetime, I have always been a person who supported “socialized medicine,” i.e., the thought that healthcare is a “right” and not a “privilege.” After all, why should any person who can afford healthcare be given the right to survive, when those who cannot are left to die? In the thought of “happiness,” living must not be an option but a basic requirement for those with no other chance.

Over my lifetime, I have worked since I was a child, pre-teen, post-teen and adult. I have never not worked since I was able to work, born of a poor family. I mowed lawns, I picked weeds, I babysat, I sold flowers on corners, I picked up garbage, I did all I could to earn money to support myself and my family. At what point is it fair for me to suggest that even one, as lowly as myself, is afforded the basic right to survive?

I would not call myself an Obamacare supporter. After all, I would love to go back to employer-provided healthcare, but I am not even so sure about that (increasing deductibles, out-of-pockets and caps on coverage), which sort of sounds like “Trumpcare” or “Obamacare Unfixed.” I still support socialized healthcare and not privatized healthcare profit.

When the GOP and the Dems get done, will I have any healthcare, or even a right to the same? After all, tax cuts for the rich are more important, and I might die a slow death as a result. Pay attention. Your life could be next.

Patricia D. Curry, The Acreage