Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sometimes You Get Sanity Where You Least Expect It

This isn't a political blog, which is probably a good thing, since if it were, it would be from the perspective of a knee-jerk liberal. (Some of my best friends are conservative--I like them as people, so I forgive their political persuasions. I consider forgiveness and tolerance to be liberal traits!)

But is there any issue with more impact on the budge than healthcare?

I am lucky to have always worked in fields where my employers provided medical benefits.

My adult children have not been so fortunate. Only two of the five have employer-provided coverage. One is covered under Obamacare because she is 22 and I can carry her on my insurance until she is 26.

As of today, I can stop worrying about my youngest child because she will continue to have coverage under my insurance plan. And if the two older, uncovered girls can hold out more-or-less-healthily until 2014, they will have insurance as well.

Then there's my clientele (I work for a non-profit that provides services to folks who earn less than the federal poverty guidelines) who win big-time. I'm in a state that provides pretty good insurance to people on Medicaid, but for those who are not handicapped or do not have children (thus, aren't eligible for Medicaid), it's either no medical care or the very expensive emergency room visit. Neither of those options are any good.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am (not to mention, surprised!) by the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare. I've just never understood the political animosity directed at what should be a fundamental right of our citizens to adequate health care.


Anonymous said...

OMGOMG OMG this was my exact reaction!

And even more-so because I'm an economist and their reasoning is actually bona fide economic reasoning. The mandate is actually a tax. It is 100% equivalent to a tax (on people who choose not to have health insurance) mechanically. You don't get jailed if you refuse health insurance, you just get a fine which is really a tax. The mandate framing is hoping that people will be more likely to do it even if the fine is really a slap on the wrist.

So yay! Still a bit in shock. My faith in the judiciary has been restored (at least somewhat).

Barb said...

This just goes to show that stacking the court is a futile effort. the most conservative court in our has upheld roe v wade, and now this. thankfully the judges vote on constitutional grounds most of the time,

I am also grateful that my 22 year old with no insurance will be able to remain under my coverage, and that as someone with pre-existing conditions I will not have to worry.

Anonymous said...

My son cant afford to pay for benefits or move out since he is a first year teacher so thank the good Lord he will continue to be covered by us. My girls are 20 and 17 so we are good for now.

Living without health insurance is scary..I know I have done it before


Anonymous said...

"Some of my best friends are conservative--I like them as people, so I forgive their political persuasions. I consider forgiveness and tolerance to be liberal traits!"

Wow, with a condescending attitude like that, you should add intellectual arrogance to that list as well!

"I've just never understood the political animosity directed at what should be a fundamental right of our citizens to adequate health care."

If you can't understand the opposition then it's likely because you're incapable of reasoning or unable to comprehend the full consequences of the law.

Grace. said...

So, Anon (and aren't comments like this ALWAYS anonymous!), a sense of humor might add to your world view.

I didn't intend my post to be condescending or arrogant--rather, I thought it important to point out my own political biases.

I see the consequences of the law as largely good (nothing is ever completely good) and a heck of a long time coming.

MY conservative friends DO have a sense of humor, which is another reason I appreciate them.

Florence said...

I was certainly expecting the Affordable Care Act to be thrown out but was pleasantly shocked to find it was upheld. It is a step in the right direction in that more people will have at least some access to care but it is still a long way from what we need. You can trust though that the Republicans will turn up the anger, hatred, and vitriol and do everything they can to repeal it or make implementation as difficult as possible. I pity people whose attitude is "I've got mine and I don't give a flip if you go without."

Linda P. said...

I'm shocked, too, and hopeful that this signals a time when we can all work together in a more bipartisan way than we've seen in the last 6-8 years. I live in an area and work in an industry that tend to be very conservative, and I've heard much clamoring today about the "tax." I say we've been unofficially taxed all along when all don't have access to healthcare. Studies show that hospitals and states pay for more their sickest uninsured patients, ones with multiple chronic conditions they couldn't afford to treat because they had no insurance. We end up being taxed for that, either through higher medical costs ourselves, higher taxes within our states or other methods. So, if you leave out the human right and common decency arguments, which I of course don't want to leave out, it benefits us all if the person standing next to us in line at the grocery store doesn't have untreated tuberculosis or isn't likely to soon require 30 days of unpaid hospitalization due to complications of untreated Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Janette said...

I'm thrilled!
I will miss Catholic hospitals and hope something will be worked out so they can continue.
Otherwise, thrilled.
Do you think undocumented will be forced to buy insurance as well? That sure would help out the West and their hospital flood. I know in Hong Kong everyone had to have insurance- including those who did not belong there. It was an interesting dance!

Sharon said...

I'm wondering how my co-worker is going to react when she decides she can't afford healthcare and then has to pay a *fine*. (She would prefer to spend her money on cigarrettes, but that's a whole other issue). I think there is some pretty awesome stuff in the bill, (and I float the conservative side most of the time), but I'm a bit worried about what my doctor's office is going to do, and how it affects the actual care. I hope they work all of that out before it turns into chaos.

DeeDee said...

I'm grateful. I can hope now that my daughter will get the care she needs to reach her full potential. Without the Affordable Health Care Act she'd be in big trouble immediately after high school ends.


Maura said...

Grace: Great post! I had to chuckle at the "Anonymous" post as well. Just exactly what IS the opposition to the healthcare bill? If people choose to spend their money on things other than health insurance, then they SHOULD be fined. Who ends up paying for these folks in the long run?????? WE do. I have yet to see a clear cut reason why those against this ARE in fact against it. That said, there are those who are TRULY in need of health insurance that can NOT afford it. In this great country, that is a disgrace.

Debbie M said...

@Maura, I went without insurance for several years after graduating from college. During that period I either had no money at all or I chose to prioritize food (home made), shelter (with roommates) and clothing (from thrift stores) over insurance. I did not buy cigarettes or even movies or fast food.

Grace. said...

Debbie--you are very like my own children, who did not and do not prioritize insurance directly after high school or college. Neither of the two who are currently uncovered smoke nor do they appear particularly wasteful. But neither do they understand the importance of health coverage when they don't have much money. That's why I'm grateful I can continue to cover the one child still under 26 (my insurance previously only covered my kids until age 21) and that my older children who work but don't have employer-provided coverage, WILL have coverage in another two years. I don't think I got the importance when I was a lot younger and a lot healthier but these days, I definitely GET it!

priskill said...

Yes!!! This is a giant step for us! I, too, carry a 22 year old on my health care since her first real job doesn't offer any to speak of. But I support the law anyway, since it is both inhumane AND more expensive (in the long run) not to.

And everyone does have the inalienable right not to participate, as n&m stated so nicely. The tax/penalty/enforced consumption of broccoli is pretty tame, as they showed. Thrilled and shocked that this passed!

Banjo Steve said...

Call it a tax or a penalty, hopefully the money will go toward (somewhat) allaying the costs that the public incurs when non-insured people use the emergency wards to treat the flu - instead of going to a doctor.

Living Almost Large said...

Can I add that some people weren't approved until now for insurance? Called preexisting conditions which make it impossible to insure? Many people appear healthy but due to genetic conditions are impossible until now to get private insurance. I count myself and my DH as some of these people.

Not to mention the prohibitive cost of maternity riders on these policies.