Centerburg, Ohio — President Obama is celebrating 90 days of health care reform. I’m not sure what there is to celebrate.
Ninety days after passage of health care reform, we have seen a decrease in the amount of media coverage of vicious “town hall meetings.” I can celebrate that. Here in Ohio, the first of the $250 “doughnut hole” rebates have started to arrive. Three cheers! Attorney General Richard Cordray has issued a warning regarding scam artists contacting the elderly when offering to assist them in getting their rebate.
More health care reform regulations were put into place on Tuesday. The two most important were barring insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, and barring annual or lifetime coverage limits. Insurers are also not permitted to cancel coverage for “unintentional” mistakes on applications. I’d like to watch the first court case that defines “unintentional.”
Ninety days after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, nothing has changed for me. I’ve been uninsured most of my adult life, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. With an annual income of around $10,000, and a very frugal lifestyle, health insurance is not in the budget.
Someone out there is reading this, and their blood is starting to boil. I’m not asking for free health care; all I’ve ever asked is that insurance premiums remain affordable. I take responsibility for my well-being, and do everything I can to stay in decent health.
Last week, I searched online for a comparison of medical coverage rates. The best I could find for my circumstances — unmarried/no kids, 45, annual checkups, ER care if necessary and, of course, hospitalization in the event of the worst — was more than $100 a month. That’s over $1,200 a year out of a $10,000 budget before taxes, and I can’t afford to pay out more than 10 percent of my income right now.
There are people out there who will benefit from health care reform. I look at the elderly who cut pills in half or skip days with their medications to make them last longer. I look at children diagnosed with devastating illnesses who might not receive the proper care.
There is nothing to celebrate 90 days after health care reform. Doctors and insurers will still be sued, resulting in astronomical jury verdicts. The “doughnut hole” won’t be plugged until 2020.
There are people like me. I manage to keep a roof over my head, pay the bills and live a happy life without any public assistance.
Health care reform has not made insurance more affordable in the last 90 days. Put away the noisemakers and streamers.
Sources: Ohio Attorney General ; Columbus Dispatch ; CNN