To follow up on Tuesday’s post about Massachusetts’ healthcare, it bears repeating: healthcare reform has to make people’s lives better. In other words, people have to like this crap. And this isn’t cutting it (boldface mine; italics original):
When it came time to renew my own insurance, I asked the insurance broker, what it would cost to buy good insurance in New York State. She said, “sit down”. I held my breath in anticipation, she said, “$1300 a month.”
When it came time for me to renew my health insurance which was a barely adequate policy with a $500 deductible, the new premium came with a 32% price hike. If I wanted to keep my policy with the $500 deductible, I’d be paying $742.98 a month and if this so-called reform were the law, I’d get hit with the Cadillac Tax for what amounts to Chevrolet insurance. Mr. Obama, I was doing better, way better with, holy Jeebus, George Bush!
So, when I received my premium renewal, like millions of other Americans hit with huge price hikes, I downscaled. In order to maintain any insurance, I went deep into the land of high deductible junk insurance. I now have a $3000 deductible, I pay $500 per day (with a 3 day maximum) for any hospitalization, with no cap on this extra charge. So for example, if I am hospitalized four times in 2010 and each hospitalization is for four days, my portion for each hospitalization will be $1500 ($500 x 3 days) for all four stays! This would be a staggering additional $6000 per year out-of-pocket in addition to the monthly premium!
My office visit co-pay went from $20 to $40, and that’s if I remain in the network. Ambulatory surgery co-pay which had been nothing goes to $500 for each event. All of these additional charges were the literal price I had to pay to maintain any insurance at all. And for this, I’m blessed to pay $560.00 a month, which brings me perilously close to paying the outrageous Cadillac tax which kicks in at $8500 dollars.
…Once again, the political class responsible for this legislation, doesn’t have any idea that most Americans don’t have an extra $200-$300 at the end of the month for health insurance. And then to add myriad co-pays and deductibles on top of that, oh well, good luck to the IRS trying to collect the fines from all these hard working people.
Some Democrats should have made it clear to the Blue Dogs that they are going to be in serious political trouble with this crap. And it’s their own damn fault.
I only hope a close Senate election in MA serves as a wake up call.
Update: It appears that some Democrats are starting to realize this will lead to some serious political blowback:
But Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, said: “The view of many progressives is that the tax is unacceptable. It would affect a lot of middle-income people.”
Mr. Nadler said the politics of the tax should worry Democrats. In effect, he said, “the tax tells blue-collar workers that you should pay higher taxes and get lower benefits to help finance coverage for the uninsured.”
Yes, it does.