For my American readers who might lose their health insurance

Posted on March 22, 2017

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I have no idea what’s going to happen in healthcare, nor do I think anybody can predict it. It’s been called “Dead On Arrival,” but a bill which could cause tens of millions of people to not have / have less health insurance is being seriously considered. It’s hard to ignore that as someone who works in human health, and we all saw what happened November 8th, 2016, despite the predictions on November 7th.

Under this bill, I would go from having no help paying for my insurance to getting thousands of dollars in tax benefits. I’m a healthy 30 years old with enough money to pay for insurance. In fact, when we’re talking about taking that money from programs like Medicaid, which help low income kids (and 1 in 5 people on Medicare!), I’d prefer to.

I recently had a daughter in the NICU. That bill was more money than 99% of people having kids have in the bank. I can’t imagine if I were poor, my kid hit some annual per capita spending limit (like being proposed in RyanCare) after a day, and having to even consider that situation while seeing my kid hooked up to four different electrodes, IV, shot after shot. And then for those who need care for years, being told “Sorry, you’ve hit your annual limit” after a single operation. Because they were born into that situation. 

Medicaid covers almost half of all newborn deliveries!

The American Health Care Act claims to maintain no pre-existing condition discrimination, but it only does that for wealthy people. Being poor is a pre-existing condition Paul Ryan doesn’t care about.

 

There are two people eating shrimp. One poor; one wealthy. Both are eating more than needed, but hey, it’s there. They aren’t sure how it popped up in front of them, they know it’s paid for somehow, but on the surface it’s practically free food. So dive in, amIright?

Then an ocean full of gel and the weakest eye brows you’ve ever seen walks in, looks at the poor person and says,

“Hey, poor person, the ocean called and they’re running out of shrimp!”

The rich person eats that up too.

“Hardy har har!”

The poor person, scrambling in their defense, trying to look at this person but blinded by the reflection of all their gel, musters up,

“Oh yeah lazy eye brows?! The jerk store called; they’re running out of you!”

The rich person, in their gluttony, can only go,

So Mr. Gel takes an arbitrary amount of shrimp from the poor person. “That’ll help the ocean!” he declares.

What eye-brows-so-lazy-you’re-not-sure-he’s-awake ignores is the rich person hasn’t been put in check. If anything, there’s more shrimp for them to gobble up. Shrimp cocktail satiates no one! Plus, the poor person, while it might not be ideal, can get shrimp regardless. If you’re in an emergency, the ocean doesn’t discriminate based on rich or poor. You can dive down and get it.

So lazy eye brows, who is so pale you almost forget he’s there, his efforts are futile. His approach will lead to the ocean having less shrimp, one way or another. He’s not only the jerk store’s best seller, he’s the ignorant store’s too.

It can be almost intoxicating to constantly point out hypocrisy, but I’m not sure how valuable it is.

So yeah,

-Call it free market when you give businesses tax breaks

Yet,

-Call it entitlements when you give poor people tax breaks

Or,

-Call it competitive advantage for rich people having lower taxes

Yet,

-Call it handouts when you say an infant born in the NICU, to opioid addicted parents, in an area with shitty schools, should be guaranteed help.

Or,

-“We’re returning healthcare to the free market”

Yet,

– “We’re keeping the provision insurers can’t deny those with preexisting conditions”

Or,

-“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care, aka Obamacare, will be fully repealed”

Yet,

-“We’re keeping the major patient protection pieces of the Patient Protection Act”

Or,

-Entitlements are bad

Yet,

-I’m Paul Ryan and I used them to pay for my college

Or,

-Poor people are where they are because they’re lazy. Rich people made their own way

Yet,

-I’m Paul Ryan and got a job working for my relatives.

Yes, it’s infuriating. And it can go on forever. Each statement above is a Daily Show episode.

Then, when you have no idea how to improve healthcare? It becomes,

-“We’re giving it back to the states and only giving them X much. They’ll innovate.”

As if you’re doing us all some favor. What Paul Ryan has really been saying is,

“I have no idea how to handle healthcare. Nor do I seem to have any clue how it works. For heaven’s sake I think P90x works through muscle confusion! The only thing I know is I have still healthcare despite having the prexisting condition of being 100%, unadultered, gloriously tender, grade A piece of shit.”

Source: Wannabe Wonks

 

was pretty fucking poor my first year out of college. I made $13,000, commuting over an hour per day, living in Southern California. (Pretty much most expensive housing and gas in USA.) I once spent two hours deliberating if I could afford a $60 hubcap. I couldn’t decide if I was the type of person who would spend money on hubcaps, or put that money elsewhere. I nearly had to have a tooth pulled rather than a root canal because I couldn’t afford the root canal. I finally gave in and called my parents asking for help. I couldn’t afford a printer so once a week I’d walk to the library to print client’s programs.

I have zero regard for people who paint a brush going “Poor people are where they are because [insert some reason it’s their fault].”

-> Most on medicaid are not milking the system.

Did I work hard to get out of that situation? Yeah, but I also had two extremely educated parents my whole life, a college degree paid by them, a car paid by them, the ability to do an internship at a heralded gym -in another city- because of them, the know-how of the internet for 15+ years because of them.

Point being I was STILL in that situation. (I was trying to start a business…)

When somebody says they’re “self-made” they’re really saying “I’m a gigantic narcissist.” Because they had help somewhere. See: Mr. Handout receiver himself, Paul Ryan.

This idea we should unequivocally go after those who are in the worst situations right now, that somehow lessening their ability to get health insurance will be the impetus for them becoming not poor, or that’s how healthcare prices will come down, is ludicrous. Yes, Darwinism is real. But this isn’t us or them. People like Ryan act as if the whole issue with healthcare costs are poor people.

Dude, healthcare prices went up faster when we DIDN’T help them,

health care spending rate by year

Yes, the recession played a role for some years.

national health expenditure 2000 to 2015

Dude, your favorite people, rich, white, males, are killing us too:

Using an obesity metric, in EVERY case wealthy males are less healthy than poor ones. You might get a blip of reduced costs by cutting out some poor people, but then it will go back up because you haven’t capped everybody else. (Nor have you capped prices.) Who should we really be telling to stop eating all the shrimp?? We’ve charged women more for health insurance based on being a woman #FreeMarketBaby. Why aren’t we doing that to Paul Ryan’s amigos? In fact, the free market wouldn’t want to cover Paul Ryan, because his dad had a heart attack at 55 #GeneticPredispositionBaby.

Pointing out hypocrisy won’t necessarily get us very far. Understanding what a person is truly voting for -Paul Ryan only enacts policies for Paul Ryan (this is where the consistency is)- might.

 

While nobody knows what will go down in the coming months, in the meantime I want to attempt to give a modicum of solace. When I was turned down from having health insurance in 2013, I found peace of mind knowing 2014 was coming and it’d be illegal to deny me, and that people were doing their best to help someone in my situation. It’s unfathomable somebody down on their luck should be kicked by having their health insurance taken from them. When that happened to me, all it did was add stress.

That “a 64-year-old with income of $26,500 would see premiums rise by an average of $4,200 and tax credits fall by an average of $8,700 under the House bill in 2026.  As a result, her net premium (the amount she pays out of pocket) would rise by $12,900.” Odds are that will make it harder for them to be part of any social mobility. Not easier.

-> It needs to be reiterated wealthy people will end up paying for these people anyways. When the poor person goes to the emergency room, with the chronic issue they’ve let get way worse than they ever should because they couldn’t afford treatment, in the most expensive healthcare location (ER), then the $50-$100,000 bill comes, the rich people end up paying the hospital in higher fees to cover those costs.

When the homeless person gets picked up in an ambulance, everybody pays for that. You can shun these people any way you want, but you can’t avoid paying for them.

To attempt to bridge that gap, if this bill or a similar variation of it passes, I will do my best to help those who the bill attacks.

I’m not a doctor but have,

  • Helped people avoid surgeries
  • Helped people after a surgery once their physical therapy ran out
  • Gotten people on lower or no blood pressure / cholesterol medication through exercise and losing weight
  • Gotten people on less or no pain killing medication
  • Gotten pre-diabetics to avoid full diabetic, helping them avoid the cost of insulin

Email me, b-reddy@hotmail.com, and I’ll do my best to accommodate.

As I said, I’d be getting thousands of dollars more each year if this bill passes. So I can afford to take a hit. (But please don’t take advantage. You do what you can; I’ll do what I can.)

Or, maybe you’re a full time employee who will no longer be offered insurance through your job, because it will no longer be mandatory under the new bill. You might be able to get insurance on the open market, but odds are it’s going to be more than you’re used to spending. Maybe you can’t afford that, but you can afford me. (Pretty much guaranteed I cost less than your premium.)

See the impact in your area with this tool. Note how many people with a job will lose insurance. 

 

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