Healthcare Theater of the Absurd: I’m an Obama supporter. But Obamacare has hurt my family.

This poorly reasoned self pitying whine appeared in the Washington  Post.  In it the author bemoans having to pay about 13% more for insurance  than she paid in 2013.  Part of that was the yearly increment of insurance and part just and increased payment for better coverage.  The author and her spouse are in their late 50’s he has prostate cancer and a history of  heart surgery.

Since his heart diagnosis in 2005, Jim, who probably couldn’t have found a policy as an individual because of his condition, had been covered by small-business group insurance — because his self-storage business in Banning had one other employee. But his work, and his coverage, were always subject to change.

I remained vulnerable as a freelance writer and part-time university professor who had to pay for her own health insurance. I also had had a few health hiccups, including surgery to repair a herniated disk from spinal degeneration, and so I lived with the daily realization that one bit of bad health news could cause my policy to be canceled

Absurdly she complains

We have no choice to opt out of the required pediatric dentistry or maternity coverage we’ll never use, so we’ll eventually have to settle for less generous policies, with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

But she notes that in the first year of coverage it more than returned the additional cost in better coverage for her husband’s cancer–which in turn was funded by people who had no need for cancer treatment.  But that’s the way insurance is supposed to work.  Read the article for more:

Medicynical Note:  Yes the system, thanks to the republican opposition to a simple single provider approach, is convoluted and complicated.  Yes you have to have comprehensive coverage that includes some things that you don’t really need at this time.  But in this woman’s case she and her spouse get guaranteed insurability at an affordable rate.  Pre-health reform it was normal for people with illnesses like her husband’s to have their insurance cancelled or their premiums doubled.  Paradoxically in that non-system the goal of insurers was not to cover sick people so as to maximize profits–health care is really not their primary concern. 

The Affordable Care Act has enabled millions of uninsured to get coverage but it does need to be viewed as a first step.  The process needs simplification; insurers need to become more efficient (their 20% or so profit is unacceptable); and yes costs need to be controlled.  It should be noted that this year we had the lowest increase in health spending in 30 years.

But despite the progress, our conservative friends can still revel in the facts that the U.S. still has the most expensive, least efficient health care in the world.  We are number one in costs, uninsured and bankruptcy from medical costs.   They seem to like it that way.

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