Tag Archive for insurance companies

Anger and lies on the right

Image by Huffington Post. This graphic shows the cost of health care premiums state-by-state. It shows the average weighted cost for the least expensive policy on the bronze tier. Dark colors are the most expensive, light the leaSt.

Image by Huffington Post. This graphic shows the cost of health care premiums state-by-state. It shows the average weighted cost for the least expensive policy on the bronze tier. Dark colors are the most expensive, light the least.

As the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces finally open for business, opponents of health reform are getting desperate.

Take, for example, the 21-hour circus sideshow fake filibuster by Texas Republican Ted Cruz in the Senate.

Take the willingness of Republicans to take down the entire government in a desperate last-ditch effort to kill the law.

Look at the TV ads with the frightening Uncle Sam head popping up behind a doctor’s examining table.

In the last week, my son read stories about how Georgia will be the most expensive state in the county to buy insurance. I did some reading on my own and found the numbers in the story were NOT the average prices but the worst-case scenario — you know, someone my age who would not be eligible for assistance.

In fact, Georgia is not the most expensive, it’s the middle of the the pack, and if you make less than four times the federal poverty level (about $46,000 for an individual, $60,000 for a couple and $93,000 for a family of four), you will get help paying for your premiums.

Then yesterday, I heard North Carolina will be the most expensive. Look at the graphic here. It’s in the middle of the pack too, along with California and New York. I’ll bet they have similar misinformation campaigns in every state.

In all, prices are about 16 percent below what was first predicted. Granted, it’s not cheap, but for most people, it will be affordable. The hysterics are nothing more than lies perpetrated by the very people who want the law gone. These are the people who are going around telling young adults to “burn your Obamacare draft card.”

I suppose people could do that if there were an Obamacare draft card, but there isn’t.

Those creepy Uncle Sam head TV ads also are lies. You will buy your insurance from a private company and you will see your own doctor.

Your insurance company can no longer deny necessary treatment, thanks to the law.

They can’t charge you a co-pay for annual physicals, cancer and other screenings or immunizations, thanks to the law.

They can’t put annual or lifetime caps on coverage.

They can’t throw you to the curb if you get sick.

They have to pay out 80 to 85 percent of what they collect in premiums on direct services.

And they don’t like all this regulation because it cuts into their obscene profits.

Because of all the money spent to spread the misinformation, 70 percent of the people who are eligible for help in paying for their premiums don’t know it. More than one-third of Americans think the law was repealed.

The truth is the Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted 41 times to repeal the law, but have failed to get it done, thank God.

The truth is that 45,000 Americans died in this country every year from lack of access to care before the Affordable Care Act, and thousands will continue to die because of GOP-led efforts to deny Medicaid expansion.

These are not pro-life people, no matter what they say. I have had some argue that point with me, but the truth is that if you want to deny people access to life-saving care, if you lie to convince people not to take advantage of access to care, you are not pro-life, no matter how much you love unborn babies.

 

 

 

Happy “Obamacare” birthday

Carolyn Comeau with her husband, Craig and their children, Louise and Colin.

As we celebrate the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we can’t become complacent. Its opponents, funded by the massive Health Industrial Complex, are stepping up their attacks and lies.

Just the other day I saw the tired old “death panels” online again, and the lie that anyone older than 75 won’t get treatment if they get cancer. I answered with a paragraph from the law that forbids age discrimination.

So, what’s the truth? Well, my friend Carolyn Comeau can tell you that she doesn’t have to worry about her family going bankrupt if her breast cancer should come back. She was diagnosed five years ago with breast cancer. Soon afterward, her husband, Craig, lost his job, but they were able to maintain coverage through COBRA. It nearly broke the bank to pay the premiums, but they got her through treatment.

Just as COBRA was ending and they discovered that Carolyn was uninsurable, the state’s high-risk pool came online, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The coverage isn’t cheap, but it’s not unaffordable for the family, either.

Older Americans are getting more help paying for their prescriptions; 2.5 million young adults are able to stay on their parents’ policies until they reach age 25. People who have insurance no longer have to pay anything out-of-pocket for screening tests like colonoscopies and mammography. Insurance companies can’t dump you if you get sick, and a birth defect is no longer grounds for an insurance company to refuse coverage to a child. That last one alone might have saved my son.

For all the bad press the Affordable Care Act is getting, for all the deliberate lies about what’s in the law, it still has the approval of about half of Americans, and many who don’t approve say it’s because the law doesn’t go far enough.

I’d still like to see a public option. Give me the opportunity to buy into Medicare so I don’t have to send money to insurance companies that spend billions on lobbyists and mega-bonuses for their executives.

For all its flaws — the biggest of which is that more than 20 million Americans will remain uninsured — the Affordable Care Act has improved our health care system and is poised to do a lot more.

So, I’m celebrating today that we finally got that first step to a better system for all Americans.

 

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