Since its enactment, I’ve always acknowledged the fundamental flaws in Obamacare. However, because of the law, I was able to stay on my parent’s health insurance until I was 26. By then, I had a full-time job with excellent health benefits, including medical, dental and vision coverage. Frankly, my health coverage was better than that of my parent.
As millions of Americans grappled with skyrocketing health insurance costs as Obamacare was being implemented, I never really had to worry about it. My employer covered 100 percent of my premium, I had a relatively minuscule deductible, and my co-pays were a non issue. That was then. This is now.
Recently, I was laid off from my job. I am now among the millions of Americans trying to figure out which health insurance plan to buy, all the while becoming more and more frustrated by the actual “coverage” included in them.
Because I no longer have an employer-sponsored plan, I’m left with plans on the individual market, where the cheapest premium I’ve been able to find thus far would cost me less than $100 per month.
Sounds great, right? Wrong.
That’s because with any plan with a monthly premium I can actually afford, the ridiculously high deductibles (ranging from $5,000 to nearly $10,000) basically ensures I’ll never even be able to use the coverage I buy.
The alternative isn’t much better. I could choose not to purchase health insurance and pay out of pocket for any medical expenses. However, I would then be stuck with a $1,000 penalty come tax time, and God help me if I’m forking over to the federal government one more penny than I have absolutely have to.
Now, keep in mind that I am a relatively healthy 27-year-old single male. I’ve never had surgery. I’ve never so much as broken a bone. I’m what many policy wonks might call the type of person who would “balance the risk pool.” In other words, the relatively low expense of my health care costs balance the costs of older, sicker individuals, at least that’s how the system is supposed to work.
Newsflash: it doesn’t.
This frustrating and, frankly maddening, experience has reminded me of the very real problems with Obamacare that remain unsolved nine months into the Trump administration. If only Republicans controlled the House of Representatives so they could repeal Obamacare. If only the GOP held the Senate so they could get rid of the massive health insurance company boondoggle that is Obamacare.
If only there was a Republican president to sign the repeal legislation into law….oh wait.
While Republicans whine about how horrible Obamacare is while not bothering to fix it, many Democrats claim the law is “working” and that “millions” more Americans have health insurance because of the partisan law. What bull.
As I’ll soon be reminded along with countless other Americans, just because one “has” health insurance doesn’t mean they can use it. You know, kind of like how many lawmakers have a brain but apparently can’t use it.