Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
The health reform I want and will continue to push to achieve is public, universal, single-payer -- improved and expanded Medicare for all for life. I hope that has been made clear not only in words written and spoken but also in the life I have lived through my fight against cancer and my husband's fight against serious artery disease.
But this Christmas Eve, I have thanks to give that through the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, my health insurance coverage with cost half as much in monthly premiums, the coverage will be more comprehensive, and the deductibles and co-insurance will not force us into another bankruptcy. I will need to change providers as I have elected a Kaiser plan for my coverage, and I will have co-pays for doctor visits that will be higher, but overall I can breathe a bit easier and begin 2014 with less stress related to making sure I keep myself covered.
Do I wish that my employer, the small non-profit Health Care for All Colorado and its Foundation, had the resources to cover me? Of course. Do I wish that the coverage I have now that allows me broader access to more providers was less expensive than the $875.97/month premium? Yes. And Medicare for all for life would not have been so complicated to implement either. It was really complicated for me and after working through several unacceptable glitches, I was able to enroll in the coverage I wanted. But my reality is that if I am to stay relevant in the fight for access for all without financial barrier, I must take advantage of the parts of the ACA/Obamacare that help my family and help me.
This Christmas, I really wish the mainstream media would stop the fear and intimidation tactics about the ACA. People will find out -- even those for whom premiums may rise a bit -- that the new law requires coverage for many things (preventative and otherwise) that insurance companies got away with not covering under pre-Obamacare plans. Yet I never -- or rarely -- hear the MSM acknowledge that. what the CNNs and Fox News folks want to to ramp up controversy and distrust so that they cam ramp up their own ratings and begin their own pre-election cycle binge of inaccurate reporting. I hate that. this issue -- access to health coverage -- is too important to allow these kinds of games to be played with the information that may save more lives and keep more people from going broke.
Speaking of which, light a candle tonight or say a prayer as we close in on a year end with more than 45,000 dead due to the greed of our current health care system and more than 700,000 gone bankrupt. That's a lot of non-Merry Christmas for a lot of hard working, decent people who did nothing wrong but get sick or hurt in this ugly, greed driven system.
Larry is dozing on the sofa, the turkey breast is in the oven, and my first Kaiser health premium is paid ($456) for January. My stress levels are down, and now I can put even more energy to the fight to win a single standard of high quality care for all without financial barrier. We will win it before long, but not without honesty and clarity about what we face and what the realties of the ACA/Obamacare really are instead of what creates the most controversy and profits for the media giants. Merry Christmas, all.
December 24, 2013 -- Today's count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:
The 2013, to date, U.S. medical-financial-
industrial -complex system dead: 44,431
The 2013, to date, U.S. health care system bankrupt: 703,236
** These figures are calculated based on the Harvard University studies on excess deaths in the U.S. due to lack of insurance coverage or the ability to pay for needed health care, and the Harvard University study that calculated the high percentage of personal bankruptcies attributable to medical crisis and debt in the U.S. 123 people die daily due to lack of coverage or cash to pay for care; 1,978 go bankrupt every day due to medical crisis and debt though the majority had insurance at the time their illness or injury occurred. This statistic is also based on the 1.2 million bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2012, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and calculating those medically-related bankruptcies from that number.http://www.healthcareforallcolorado.org/endorse_right_to_health_care
Follow Donna "American SiCKO" Smith's blog daily at: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/
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