Obamacare is Saving My Life. Will you let me live?

No one is born voluntarily. Even more, no one asks to be born with permanent disorders and diseases.

And because of capitalism and its inhumane nature, people like me “cost” millions of additional dollars over a lifetime in order to live. And this is largely due to being born in the United States. The United States is the only so-called “first world country” that doesn’t guarantee basic survival. Having “Medicaid for all” is the only true option. 

My entire life has been dependent on having very good insurance because in the United States one can only get good healthcare with very good insurance. Because part time professors generally do not get insurance (just like part time employees across the nation generally do not get insurance – even though we end up working the equivalent of several full time jobs), I have been on Obamacare insurance since January 2014. And starting in December 2016, I have been on insurance with the University of Houston because of how they calculate working hours and because of how they interpret and follow Obamacare rules.

My life depends on having quality insurance and quality healthcare. In the last month alone, I have had three MRIs (each one can easily cost $10,000+ before insurance), doctors visits with a half dozen or more specialists (including a surgeon), and have had a minor eye procedure. In the next month, I see another surgeon and the heart doctor. Because of how life is not valued in the United States and because of how selfish the insurance industry is, these visits are insanely expensive. I am on 13 medications now, too. 

But because I have Obamcare insurance, most of it is covered, and for what isn’t covered, I will be paying $30 a month for the rest of my life and will die one day indebted financially to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center – but they don’t need the money!  

During my time with insurance because of Obamacare, I have had easily $300,000++ in medical bills covered. 

Republicans in D.C. continue to show how little they actually care about the people they represent. By even advocating the repeal of Obamacare right now, they are seconds away from being murderers. It baffles me that anybody voted for them since they ran on something of one single issue–killing millions of fellow citizens.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda

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Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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12 replies

  1. Doc.. you bring up an issue from a perspective many of us are not sensitive to on a daily basis. Most of us have thoughts on Obamacare but most of us are healthy and don’t need it. Those we do understand need it typically can’t financially afford insurance in general. For those folks we think unless they get affordable insurance their children will needlessly suffer in some way. But folks like you have a far different story to tell. I will never be able to imagine what you have gone through in life and the courage you have been able to muster to do the things you’ve been able to accomplish that most healthy people don’t even try because of life taken for granted. I want to sympathize because that’s a human emotion but by now you’ve likely had it with sympathizers as they do nothing and afford even less in a true understanding of your struggles in life. For a moment we have true compassion, but we get to walk away at the end of the day. So, I suppose you will have to just accept me, a totally healthy person by comparison, in being just one of the many, who have no true idea what you’ve been through but acknowledge that you’ve traveled it…. and simply convey as another human being, I’m sorry, Doc.

    That being said I might be able to lend some encouragement regarding this Obamacare thing not because I know a damn thing any more than the next guy but because I value my common sense. I cannot answer from your vantage point regarding the perception of America not sensitive to life and the shortcomings of the insurance industry. But here’s my thing.
    Our biggest threat as a nation, and to humanity in general, is population growth. The many social ills we accept because the numbers are seemingly low.. like 1 percent, 2 percent, five percent, ten percent… are growing larger as the population grows. The need for some level of national health care is inevitable. When Obamacare was being debated I waited and waited for some alternate plan to come from the republican side and nothing happened. I welcomed Obamacare if for nothing else but at least something to get the ball rolling. Obama himself even said they expected some bumps and hopefully Congress might tweek things us over the years. The republican Congress and conservatives in general have done nothing but bitch.
    After six+ years of Obamacare is has proven effective for those “poor” 20+million people. You can’t just pull the plug and ignore those folks… and folks like yourself. The press is on your side, certainly the liberals are on your side, and the majority of the popular voting Americans are on your side. They need to replace it with something equal… and likely they will. If by some stroke Obamacare is just pulled for nothing else.. the groundswell of public opinion will be a bitch for sure. For me, hope springs eternal… and I suspect Congress will do the right thing… if they want to get re-elected.

    Forgive the damn long post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always enjoy your comments, my friend!

      I do hope that they will come up with something, but sometimes I don’t know. That Paul Ryan seems to hate pretty much everyone. If/when the United States movies to a “single payer”/”Medicaid/Medicare for all” program, the insurance companies might revolt! But, something will have to give, I suspect. If they don’t replace it, they’ll have people marching in the streets!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I suggest we just hang in there a bit.. and have a little faith in that parchment the Prez was talking about, and some cooler heads prevailing. But yes.. marching in the streets would be the alternative!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand what you are saying. I am a dual citizen(usa+austria). I am finishing college in Austria also for the reason that Healthcare is free and mandatory for every citizen. My mom was just diagnosed with cancer. She could never afford health insurance in the US. She would have died last Christmas if not for a health care system that provides her with costly surgeries basically free of charge. This should be a human right everywhere!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, the ACA was built on lies…

    Here is a big one: “On his Web site, Mr. Obama says his health plan ‘will lower health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family by investing in health information technology, prevention and care coordination.’ Health policy experts endorse those goals, but say they are unlikely to produce such large savings” (Baker, 2008)–Unfortunately, healthcare has only gone up under the ACA.

    Whoever wins the ACA battle, I feel it will be a pyrrhic victory for the people of the United States.

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/us/politics/09promises.html

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The politicians run on Family Values platform, yet are failing to fund basic family planning, food programs, and cut hard-won ACA. Hard enough dealing with medical issues, but adding fear that funding may stop is wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, I guess we have finally seen a Republican plan. Trump backs this plan. Another promise he forgot he made has now come to light. He said he was planning to give us a health care plan that was affordable, for all of us. As I noted before, he doesn’t do anything that won’t benefit himself or his family. Packed into his plan are tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%. Trump falls into that category. We all know this. But it is a cost born by the poor. An estimated 24 million Americans will lose any access to any health insurance by 2026 on the Republican plan. Given the fact that it discontinues help for the poor, the GOP is trying to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy 1% on the backs of the bottom-most 7%. They say that the 24 million includes those who don’t want health insurance, or at least do not want to pay for it, which includes a lot of healthy young people. But not wanting to pay for it may be the reason they give when they can’t get jobs that pay well enough to cover the co-pays, monthly premiums and deductibles on the plans that are available. AND that 24 million includes those who do not get health care plans with their employers. Well-paid employees tend to get good employer-paid plans.

    Trump promised that premium costs and deductibles would lower and that Americans would have more than one choice of insurer. No one seemed to ask him how he would accompish this feat. There has been little discussion by the press of this loss to the poor (loss of Medicaid extensions), only to the elderly–e.g., cuts in Medicare. (An exception is Bernie Sanders). The press is focused on the “middle class” but the federal poverty line (for the 48 contiguous states) has “trended” nowhere. Its rates, from 2007-2015 are: 12.5%, 13.2%, 14.3%, 15.1%, 15%, 15%, 14.5%, 14.8%, 13.5%. These numbers clearly do not assure us that they will continue to drop in the future. Worse, the poverty level of income (although it has very slowly risen over the past 10 years), when expressed as a percent of the top 1% average income, has varied from 1.4% (2007) to 2.2% (at its highest in 2009) to 1.8% (2015), with a similar lack of trend as seen in the federal poverty income line mentioned above.

    We can wipe out poverty with an extremely simple act, but seem to lack the spine (or other anatomical structures) to do so. The top 1% tend to have a computed income tax level of around 18%. The next highest wealthy people pay an effective tax rate of 23%. If we raised the tax rate of the top 1% just 1-.2%, that could essentally wipe out the poverty, couldn’t it? AND, the top 1% would still be paying less taxes than the next lower wealthy income levels, as if they needed it. Note that the tax rates I quote are for individuals, not corporations which enjoy far lower state and federal tax rates due to massive corporate welfare, via generous deductions (e.g.relief from paying taxes if they suffer a bankruptcy [note the rumored 40 year zero tax rate for Trump because of his bankruptcies]).

    We know, from the data available from the years of Johnson’s War on Poverty, that raising the income of the poor raises their standard of living and that of everyone else above them in a cascade effect. We also know, from the data taken during the Reagan years, that raising the income of the wealthy by reducing taxes for that group gives absolutely no benefit to any lower income level. Trickle down does not work. It does not increase the number of jobs, nor the number of successful small businesses. It increases the wealth of the top 20%. They did not increase the amount they gave to charity, so there was no attempt at redistribution of that wealth. The tax cuts only contributed to the increasing income inequality that our government has finally acknowledged.

    Jobs in small businesses have long been known to contribute the most to creating a growing and viable economy, NOT the large corporations, probably because of the high corporate welfare given them by both federal and state governments. After all, increasing jobs in one area by that amount, within a 2-4 year term, looks awful good on the governmental representative’s resumé. Increasing jobs by small businesses also geographically distributes the jobs more evenly. It benefits the rural areas which become decimated by the loss of one big corporation. But trickle down contributed to the migration of jobs from rural areas to cities. It has contributed the most to the creation of a large electorate willing to try ANYTHING, even believing a chronic and strategic lyer just to have a job again. As one comedian (who contributed to the book ‘The Liberal Manifesto’ on The View said today, “They are desperate.”)

    Liked by 1 person

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