Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh what a relief it is, Part Two

I feel badly for Denise, who commented on my second post yesterday that she'd given up on healthcare.gov. And I empathize with her and with the Kitten, who also commented about his frustrations with his system in California. I, too, am a bit intimidated by the choices and by having to make a decision. Which plan is going to work best? WHO KNOWS? You only know if you have to use it. You can study each one and try to figure it out, but until you actually have an accident or become ill or contract a horrible disease, all you're going on is faith that the insurance company has your best interests at heart.

Hahahahaha.

So why is this post Part Two? Because even though I still haven't gone into my account to choose my plan, I'm relieved – oh, so relieved – to have gotten through the process and been deemed qualified.

I still think the U.S. Congress is silly greedy shortsighted for insisting commercial insurance is a better alternative than a single-payer, Medicare-for-all plan. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), in a somewhat serendipitous bit of timing, introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate yesterday that would make each state set up a single-payer system, as Vermont has just done.

As is evidenced by Kitten and Denise (and me), the American people aren't happy with the ACA. There is a strong movement toward single-payer, and Sen. Sanders has long been an advocate. As has PNHP.

The ACA has been, so far, an incredibly frustrating and expensive boondoggle. I can't honestly say I'm unhappy about that, since the push for single payer is becoming stronger each and every day.

Even if we all qualified for a Medicare-type plan, we would still have the option of purchasing supplemental insurance from a private company to cover expenses not covered by the Medicare-type plan. Some choose not to do so, and are then liable for those extra expenses should something happen. My husband, a Medicare recipient, goes through the various plans each year and then picks one out of a hat. He could just as effectively throw a dart.

He's amazingly healthy for a man his age. He takes no daily medication, walks more than 30 miles every week, maintains a below-normal body weight and a smack-dab-in-the-middle BMI. He rarely goes to the doctor.

The rarely part is why he buys supplemental insurance. The what-if-something-happens. The what-if-I-need-medicine. The what-if-I-get-cancer. All very real possibilities, considering his age and gender. Seriously, though? Those are all very real possibilities for any of us.

At any rate, the push for single-payer continues, with new life because the ACA still doesn't meet our needs. I'll be checking out my options in the next day or so, hoping a plan exists that will meet mine.

Only two and a half years until I qualify for single-payer Medicare. I can only hope it happens sooner rather than later for you younger whippersnappers.

P.S. Time just announced its Person of the Year: Pope Francis, the People's Pope! An excellent choice,  and a breath of fresh air, not just for the Catholic Church but for all of humanity. You know if conservatives are criticizing him he must be doing something right.

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