The ugly gaps of Obamacare

Insurance – an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
~Ambrose Bierce

The “Affordable” Healthcare Act threatens to price me straight out of health insurance.

I still have insurance, the policy I got when it became clear that if I didn’t get it before Obamacare went into effect then I wouldn’t be able to afford it. The deductible is higher than what the Act allows for, and probably doesn’t cover pediatric care. That’s okay, I’m a grown-up and don’t need pediatric care (in my opinion, if you have a kid, you should buy a plan for your kid, don’t foist it onto the insurance plans of adults, but I digress). Despite what my Obamacare-loving friend said about high-deductible cheap-ass plans, it does cover wellness exams, OBGYN exams, and common vaccinations. I know, because I have done, or will be doing shortly, all three of these.

But if my insurance company were to stop offering the plan and I bought into Obamacare, my premium would double, and the pittance I would be given to “subsidize” it wouldn’t cover the increase in cost. The new price of health insurance would eat about half of my discretionary income…the part of my income I only have because I’m a god-damn tightwad who buys pants at Goodwill, scavenges furniture off the curb, and eats peanut butter on toast every morning for breakfast because milk and cereal is expensive.

Help, I’ve fallen into an Obamacare gap and I can’t get out.

And you know what? I’m in the Less Shitty Obamacare Gap.

You want to hear about the Really Shitty Obamacare Gap? An acquaintance of mine has Crohn’s disease. Previously, health insurance was impossible for her to obtain on her own, but she’s got a worse problem…she makes less than the federal poverty level. Since Texas refused to expand Medicaid, she doesn’t qualify for it. She doesn’t receive any subsidies because she makes less than the poverty level, but she makes too much to obtain Medicaid in Texas. So I, making at least twice what she does, would get a subsidy (however meager), but she doesn’t. Her health insurance, were she to obtain it, would eat probably about 20% of her gross income.

That, my friends, is the Really Shitty Obamacare Gap.

Don’t get me wrong, Obamacare has done some great things. My uncle has health insurance, despite his very mild and controlled high blood pressure being a “pre-existing condition” and thanks to subsidies, he pays less than I do for my current plan. He is one of the success stories.

But Obama is calling for young, healthy people like me to buck up and fund the system, and to that I say “Fuck you.” I can barely fund myself, nevermind other people, and my acquaintance can’t even fund herself. Yes, Obama, let me put all my sound financial decisions on hold so I can pay out the nose just in case I get another UTI. Doing the math, even the cheap plan I have now isn’t worth the cost. Doubling the price to drop the deductible by $1,250 doesn’t make anything even close to sense.

But very little about this over-complex labyrinth of legislation makes any sense at all. Just try to figure out how much of a subsidy you will or won’t get.


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