Dear Facebook Friends:
Next time you are tempted to gleefully post about how happy you are to see ObamaCare repealed, I want you to think about the people whose lives are going to be affected dramatically when that happens. I want you to think about people who are terrified of losing their coverage, who went years uninsured, who saw doctors only when in dire need, who went bankrupt due to medical bills, who visited the emergency room for care because they didn’t have the money a clinic would have demanded up front, who spent hours researching online and filling out forms and chasing down doctors for signatures to get prescription medication payment assistance, who figured out which of their medications they could forgo in a given month, who held their breath in the pharmacy drive-through line while they waited to hear the terrible total.
You are entitled to your opinion and the ACA isn’t perfect, but it’s sure better than the nothing many people had before it was passed. You can suggest changes and discuss drawbacks and talk policy without appearing to be enthusiastic about the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their care and that some of them are going to die.
Consider, please, how it makes me (and others) feel when I see people who are supposed to be my friends celebrating the fact that my family may soon be without health insurance and thus effectively without care. In my posts on this topic in the past I have always been careful to affirm my friends who told me that the implementation of the ACA had caused them difficulties like higher premiums and changes in doctors. I was always sympathetic and willing to concede the imperfections in the ACA, as evidenced by my many honest posts (which I will link at the end). I agreed that improvement–although not repeal–was needed.
Remember that there are suffering people who see your Facebook posts, people who are frightened, for whom this isn’t about politics or partisanship or finances but about staying alive. Remember that, and if you care about those people, watch the tone of your posts.
A Once and Possibly Future Uninsured American
My previous posts on ObamaCare:
The $64,000 Question, Answered
More on Our Journey to Health, Brought to You by Obamacare
It’s Good to Be Insured: An ObamaCare Update
Obama care has greatly effected my FAMILY, three adult children can not afford coverage, two before Obama care, grandchildren have to go 40 to 60 miles away for doctor care with back log of specialist appts running 4 month wait, so Obama care sucks and should be repealed. Hopefully replaced with some type of aid.
I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience, although the 22 million of us who have gained coverage disagree. I guess we will see what they replace it with and hope that it is better for everyone.
I am not in favor of repealing Obamacare, only in favor of improving it. After recently losing employer provided health insurance, I quickly realized that the name Affordable Care Act is a joke. What is affordable about a $9,000 deductible per person plus monthly premiums? Insurance will not cover anything until deductible has been reached. I met somebody at a party recently who works for BCBS and he told me that insurance companies are in the business to make money. No kidding. It is a disgrace. One of my best friends is a widow receiving a small SS income (widow benefit) and is on Obamacare. Her deductible is $6,000 plus monthly premiums. She can’t afford a very necessary knee surgery because she can’t afford her deductible. I sure hope that our new president has some ideas how to make it at least affordable.
It’s all due the the greed of the insurance companies. It was a good start but of course it’s not fair that you should pay so much and receive so little. So far our new president seems to be a man of very few ideas, but I suppose we can hope. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting, as always.
I am lucky because I have great health care from my work.
I think that Obamacare is a great start but more needs to be done (Single Payer). It was written for and by the insurance companies.
I do think that before Congress does anything that they listen to people like you and other Americans who have benefited from it and they need to have a plan in place before they repeal it.
I agree. And I hope they will listen. But I am not super optimistic. Thanks for commenting.
I would not have medicine I need or access to medical care without the Affordable Care Act. I agree that it needs improvement, but one should also recall that many of the strengths it originally had were removed in the process of getting it passed. There needs to be better funding, and the insurance companies must be more tightly regulated, or the whole system should be run on a not-for-profit government basis. But ACA was a compromise for the people who were fearful of their care disappearing and those who were fearful of their profits diminishing. I worry that people are quick to hate, and very slow about trying to understand.
I agree with every word. Single payer is the only way to solve all the problems. Still, the ACA was a step in the right direction. Thanks for commenting.
The health care system seems very complicated in the US. My friend was on a work trip and fell ill with a cold. Her medical bill from a GP was 4 times the price of what we pay here and that was without the medication!! I read that if you don’t have insurance then you can’t afford any type of medical treatment in the US. Why can’t it be made more affordable and have different level of subsidies depending on your income?
It is very complicated, Agy. The prices are very high and without insurance most people just go without care. The ACA does subsidize costs, but now they are getting ready to do away with it. We will see what happens.
A brave post and great reminder to think about the good and bad side of both situations, and how our blaring opinions can hurt others!
Love the way you described that: “blaring opinions.” Thanks for commenting.
We had a policy professor in school tell us, “The policies of today have major ramifications on the future.” And, like most policies, there are some good parts, and some unsavory parts. I pray your friends on FB remember that what may not be needed for their family, might be a component another family desperately needs. And, as you point out, watching our words is critical – to being united together for the good of our country. Very thought provoking post!
Yes, I can accept that many people have different opinions and experiences in this and in many issues. But it’s important to remember that there are actual people behind all those opinions. 🙂
A tough subject to cover, especially in light of so many opinions and personal experiences with health care. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for commenting. Yes, I take some risks when I post these controversial things.
Such a complicated issue. I am not a fan of the ACA, but I’m not a fan of our current system, either. I’m sorry you’ve felt affronted. I will pray for you, for your friends, and for our government.
Thanks, Ginny. It IS a complicated issue and there are no easy answers.
While I am not a fan of the ACA becuase I have been privy to the imense burden it places on some people and the Medical community, I do appreciate hearing how it has helped you. I feel like it should be repealed but careful consideration gone into what replaces it so people have continued access to healthcare.
I’ve got no problem with it being repealed if they come up with a good replacement that won’t cause harm to millions of Americans. It definitely is not the final answer to providing healthcare to all.
I am collecting stories about people who have benefited from the ACA to share with legislators and journalists so that they can use these stories to preserve (and hopefully improve) it. Join and post in the Facebook group Healthcare Nation if you’re interested.
Thank you, Lauren. I will. I had been thinking about doing something similar here.
Thanks for sharing. I think that a ridiculously high premium is still better than NO coverage! I would like to see ACA reformed, but not repealed!
Exactly, Michele! It NEEDS reform, absolutely. But let’s not throw out all the progress we have made.
I am sure it has helped a lot of people but it has also hurt a lot of people. For example my fiancee. Before Obamacare he was able to qualify for a discount as our local pharmacy and medical clinic. Since Obamacare he was forced to purchase insurance that he can’t afford and no longer qualifies for the discount and his blood pressure meds went from 20$ his cost to 600$ his cost. He works everyday seven days a week and is raising two boys. The main people that Obamacare helps is the ones who don’t want to work the ones who think they are intitled to everything for free. It makes me sick
I’m sorry that your fiance was affected negatively but I must take exception with your final column. My husband works more than full-time and has his whole life and I work at home as his assistant. We pay–as does anyone who buys a plan on the new exchange–a premium every month for our coverage, and we have a deductible and a co-pay. Before this we were unable to get insurance for him at all. So we work hard and don’t get anything for free, and you would do well to check your facts and not insult people you know nothing about.
Paul Ryan said in his town hall tonight that it would be immediately replaced and that people would not be left without healthcare. I’m glad I caught that “town hall” by accident – and was relieved to hear that. My husband and I are Republicans, but mainly because we are so passionate about defending the unborn and providing women with more alternatives. There is no room for hate or being so one sided on every issue. I blame Fox News and MSNBC partially!
I really, really hope that he is telling the truth and that he can deliver on that promise! And you are absolutely right about our news sources. There is a DESPERATE need for accurate and unbiased news. I personally think we would be better off without a two party system as well. It is so polarizing. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
I am so glad I found this post! I have been defending “Obama Care” since before it was passed into law. I personally know 2 people whose lives were saved because of Obama Care. They could not afford insurance but needed cancer treatment. They got the insurance they needed for a reasonable price and got the treatments they needed, and are alive today because of it. I love hearing other success stories about how this awesome healthcare law helped them.