President Obama claims the Healthcare.gov website works flawlessly and the Affordable Care Act makes a great Christmas present for America. As a middle class American who spent 54 minutes waiting for an Obamacare representative because the website did not work properly and who does not appreciate having a monthly premium that surpasses our mortgage payment – I beg to differ, Mr. President.
The president stated during an interview with Ryan Seacrest that Americans should just "go shopping" before the end of the day (on December 15) for a good deal on coverage that starts January 1. After several hours spent scouring the Healthcare.gov website, I discovered there was not a good deal to be found. The recipe for a good deal requires that the needed item be both affordable and functional. I could find no such offerings could I find on President Obama's Affordable Care Act website.
"It's a good Christmas present for people who already have signed up for the Affordable Care Act to just take the time to go shopping. It won't take you long, and you may end up saving money," President Obama also said during the Seacrest interview.
The least expensive bronze plan I found on the website carried a hefty $1,777.45 price tag. If we keep our 19-year-old daughter, who is married and having a baby, on our policy, a "government subsidy" kicks in. The subsidized payment means that hard-working American who earns more than my husband and I do, will be kicking in hundreds of dollars to pay for our healthcare. While, at the same time, my husband and I will continue to pay thousands in taxes each year to cover the cost of the nanny state programs.
I have never been a fan of the "brother's keeper" philosophy embodied by liberal lawmakers. This country (which is a republic, by the way, Mr. President; please stop referring to it as a democracy) was built on hard work, determination, and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The few taking care of the needs of the many will ultimately provoke an economic collapse. For the first time in the history of the United States, there are more people enrolled in taxpayer-funded government aid programs than are actually working and paying into the system. More Americans are on food stamps than any at any other time in the history of this great nation. Temporary emergency assistance to aid those in dire need is an act of compassion by a kindhearted nation, but providing cradle to the grave sustenance has crippled an entire generation of Americans.
Before Obamacare became the law of the land and the Healthcare.gov website was created, my family had portable, affordable, and quality healthcare coverage. Our insurance was not tied to an employer, we searched online to find a policy that fit our needs and our budget. We were completely satisfied the coverage. Our monthly premium tripled under Obamacare. Although the policy holder does not necessarily have to foot the entire bill, some American taxpayer has to make up any difference between the list price and the reduced rate offered via a government subsidy. Our Anthem deductible was $2,500, under Obamacare, the deductible is $12,500.
The basic Healthcare.gov plan does not include any type of dental or vision care, like our Anthem plan did. The Health America One plan we had last year on the Obamacare exchange no longer exists, it has been "replaced" with an Aetna plan. Same premium, same deductible, but no prescription plan until the $12,500 deductible is met. A family in good health would likely never meet the $12,500 deductible unless something catastrophic happened and would therefore be paying out of pocket for the monthly premium, all appointments, all prescriptions, any dental and vision needs. Ponder for just a moment, the amount of money involved with the annual routine medical care for your family, as well as the cost of the monthly premium and the outlandish deductible – the idea of empty pockets do not exactly fill me with Christmas cheer.
Anthem, unlike our Obamacare plan, was accepted everywhere in our region. The "keep your doctor" claim by President Obama was not accurate. Fortunately my family is in good health, and once ever hit the $2,500 deductible. Thanks to the quality Anthem healthcare and prescription coverage, all expense were not entirely out of pocket until that threshold was reached. The first time we have lousy insurance, i.e. Obamacare, my husband contracts an infection. Something he likely picked up while being a part of a great team of local heroes who serve on the volunteer fire departments that offer the only such emergency coverage in our rural county.
He was hospitalized for one week and underwent a vast array of tests and given many medications before thankfully being cleared and told he had not been contagious. The whopping hospital bill was in excess of $20,000. The Memorial Day weekend hospitalization was the first claim on our insurance that year, so none of the massive deductible had been met. To add insult to injury, the hospital was in our network but the doctors were not. Even though hours spent on the phone with the insurance carrier finally revealed that out of network doctors are supposed to submit their bills for in network payment, with the policy holder paying any difference, when the situation is deemed potentially life-threatening, they did not. Apparently a multitude of paperwork and exceptions to the rule exist – still wading through that mess many months later.
When speaking with nurses and staff during the hospital stay and noting that we now had an Obamacare policy, I got the "bless your heart" look followed by a few horror stories about other patients who had lost their good policy due to the Affordable Care Act. While getting a breath of fresh air and checking some work emails on a bench in the ER parking lot, I encountered a woman who also needed a break from the hospital environment for a few minutes. She was at the facility spending time with her mother during her remaining hours.
During our conversation we discussed the mounds of paperwork we had both just completed.
"My mother has Obamacare, this was supposed to be a good thing. She wanted to leave something behind for her grandchildren... I didn't have the heart to tell her that after all of these medical bills are paid, there won't really be anything left," she said.
I shared a bit about how awful our Obamacare plan was and what kind of coverage we used to have." A relative waved to her from inside the ER doors; as she started to walk away, she turned back with watery eyes and said, "I apologize to you for voting for Obama, I don't know what I was thinking."
Since we had reached our deductible courtesy of the hospital stay, we thought now would be a good time to get any checkups taken care of to avoid more out of pocket bills next year. After searching online at the Obamacare insurance provider's website, I gave into frustration and called for more assistance. Why did I need help? I could not find either of the two types of doctors necessary within a 65-mile radius. The friendly girl on the other end of the phone said we could file for an exception due to the distance involved with reaching the doctor. "The doctor" was a man we had never heard of, not the doctor we would have preferred to have kept. Upon checking with the doctor to see if he would be willing to complete the out of network exception paperwork, step number one in the process, we discovered that his healthcare facility was not in our network either – and there is no exception paperwork to correct that issue, the facility would still issue an out of pocket bill for the visit.
The Obamacare ghost of Christmas present was not as frightening as the Healthcare.gov ghost of Christmas future. Sheryl Bennett, the Obamacare representative it took me 54 minutes to reach, worked on the login lock problem – it only took another 37 minutes to remedy that issue. Part way through enrollment process the Healthcare.gov website locked up due to high traffic.
Once I was finally able to get back on Healthcare.gov, there was a application correction needed that would not save – back to calling the Obama Affordable Care Act help hotline. "Due to a high volume of …" you get the picture. I left our phone number to "hold our place in line" and will hear back from the Healthcare.gov folks some time in the next five to seven days.
When the pay more for less Obamacare plan is finally solidified on the Healthcare.gov website I will likely feel like decking something, but it won't be the halls. *No Secret Service agents, that is not a threat against the president – but I sure am looking forward to the day he packs up and leave the Oval Office for good.
The Healthcare.gov Obamacare policy will not come adorned in shiny Christmas wrap and a pretty bow. It should, however, arrive with a warning label about voting Democrat.
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