This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.
It says a lot when a Republican defeat saves lives. That happened today, when the GOP-majority Congress declined to gut the current system for health coverage, a.k.a. Obamacare. Apparently, some constituents in Republican districts don’t want the proverbial rug pulled out from under them when they need to see a doctor, and they made that clear to their elected officials. Then, by some weird twist of fate, a handful of Members of Congress listened to constituents instead of obeying the spoiled rich kid in the White House.
We’re safe, for now. Safe where our health coverage is concerned, anyway.
I’m grateful for my health plan, which I couldn’t have gotten before 2014. I used to have something much less “functional,” and the coverage kept getting more restrictive until the current PPO replaced it. Still, in my case the glitches with the old plan were minor, compared to what some people go through.
I had some stressful experiences, though. A false alarm with one eye (symptoms of a detached retina, which fortunately turned out to be something less serious) in 2012 made it obvious the insurance I had back then was inadequate. In that instance, I repeatedly got the runaround on the telephone from different people until a kindhearted triage nurse assured me I could stop farting around on the phone and go to the ER. Clinics whose doctors could have evaluated and treated a detached retina couldn’t accept me without a referral, and I didn’t have a referral. Until the nurse intervened, I was told by multiple people that without treatment I could lose my sight in one eye and they couldn’t help me.
Many people had no medical insurance of any kind before 2014, and some still don’t have coverage. They’ve fallen through the cracks because of political compromises forced by the GOP in passing “Obamacare.” We still have no Public Option, and the Public Option is essential for making universal healthcare work as well in practice as in theory.
I’m fortunate to be one of the relatively healthy people with a decent PPO plan. Currently, I pay more in premiums than I need for my care, and I refuse to complain about that. Healthy policyholders make it possible for seriously ill people’s claims to be paid, and seriously ill people have it a lot worse than I do.
If anyone in my situation has grounds to complain, it’s the person who can’t afford premiums in the first place. If the GOP gave up on tax breaks for the wealthy and allowed a Public Option, just maybe we could stop treating healthcare as a business and begin addressing it as a basic human right.