Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Reality in Healthcare

Over the past ten years I have examined in some detail the various healthcare proposals and laws. The CBO announces a putative loss of coverage for some 20 million plus people. Why? Simple. The ACA covered people making up to 4 times the minimum wage and if perhaps you were a banjo player of "professional" graffiti artist making nothing at all, you were covered and paid a pittance.

See the following:

Artists: From the Wayback Machine only, scrubbed from HHS site! Music is my life. I’m a lead guitarist and a singer with my sister Kim in the Breeders and other bands. But, in order to pursue my passion, I had to make sacrifices, and health insurance was one of them. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, as many artists know, health insurance on the individual market was hard to come by at an affordable price. For me, having a pre-existing thyroid condition, coupled with an uncertain paycheck from touring, recording and song writing meant I couldn’t afford health insurance. And that was probably true for other artists as well. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’ve been able to afford health insurance as a single, self-employed female for the first time in my life – and it feels really good. It’s something that I can budget for. I feel empowered to be a participant in my health care.But this security is now in jeopardy for millions of Americans, like myself, and especially musicians, artists and others who rely on the Affordable Care Act. So as part of the #CoverageMatters campaign, we are designating today, January 12, as Artists Day of Action. So if you are a musician, writer, actor, painter, poet, sculptor, or artist of any stripe, share your story about why you support the law, what it’s done for you and any personal Affordable Care Act story you or your families and friends may have on social media using #CoverageMatters.
 SideGig: I’m a creativepreneur. My goal is to encourage people to add creativity in their lives to reduce stress, express themselves and spend quality time with their family and friends. I call it spreading the gospel of glitter. And I’ve done it by sharing tutorials, business tips, videos and classes, as well as writing books and speaking across the country.My husband is an artist and musician, and together, we have crafted a life following our passion of making, selling and teaching art. But we couldn’t run our business full time without the security of health insurance for our family.Before the Affordable Care Act, I had researched health insurance plans on the private market and could not find one we could afford. Thanks to the ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace, I was able to leave my full-time job with health benefits in 2015 to start my own business. My side gig became my main gig, and my business has thrived. The Marketplace plan was perfect for our budget and lifestyle. The first year, I was even able to cover my then 23-year-old daughter because of the law’s provision allowing adult children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ plan. My children are now employed at full-time jobs that offer coverage.
Farmer:I’m a fourth generation farmer, and farming is all I want to do. I raise corn, soybeans and Angus beef. It’s been rough economic times for many farmers, and I’m no exception. I had health insurance when I was younger, but the premium kept going up 10 percent each year. It seemed like a waste of money, so I dropped it.It was also pretty difficult to get coverage at all because I had diabetes. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers could refuse coverage to people like me with pre-existing conditions.I was pretty much on my own before the Affordable Care Act. Most people don’t see what’s going on out here. As farmers, we’re all individuals. We don’t have group insurance. I was hit with Hepatitis C in 2006 and had to get colon surgery in 2007. My medical costs for the two years amounted to about $100,000. I had to refinance my 760-acre farm (I rent and farm another 440 acres as well) to pay my medical bills because I didn’t have health insurance.There was no question about what I would do when the Health Insurance Marketplace opened in 2013. No one asked me about my pre-existing conditions, and I found an affordable plan for 2014 that would fit my needs for about $400 a month after tax credits. My premium for 2015 was about $364 a month and about $390 a month for 2016.
 So all of these folks are riding on the rest of us who work for a living. Musicians, SideGigs, Farmers, are having the rest of us carry them so they can follow their dreams! Yet the CBO says if we do not continue to pay for their healthcare as well as ours then we will not have music, gig stuff, or whatever this farmers is making. So what! Let them get a job just like those who are currently paying for them!

A note to the current Administration. You should keep these stories alive and at hand. It explains why we are in this mess!