I was so hoping to have figured out how my life in healthcare might be for 2014 and give you some specifics that might help you. Alas, darkness still reigns.
On the other hand there is movement, albeit to the dismay of those who want the taxpayer to pay their health insurance, but feel that many of us don’t need our own.
It occurred to me that while the Obamacare Health Exchanges should have been the big news, around 30 federal law makers got their knickers in a twist about a bill that was signed into law, deemed legitimate by the Supreme Court, tried and failed to be repealed over 30 times and is now being implemented. These few knicker-twisters have decided to throw the entire US economy into a tizzy, ruin tourism throughout the country and, on a local note, keep 120 families from getting help from a local food pantry because the food pantry is on a national park road that is now closed. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget those good for nothing Head Start kids who should be working instead of getting nourishing meals and an early education. Way to go, Congressman Marino and your buddies!
Back to the main plot–
The website that anti-Healthcare Exchangers promised us would be quieter than the-currently-closed-Smithsonian-Museums actually got over 3 million hits than the 1 million planned. People are actually waking up to the idea that they may be able to get affordable health insurance. The hordes of young bucks not wanting healthcare haven’t voiced their concern, yet. Insurance brokers are realizing that their pockets may be filling with coinage due to this new, crazy Republican healthcare plan. Yes, this was first proposed by the Republican party.
Of course, many Americans don’t really know about the Health Exchanges
because governors like our Governor Keep’em-Dumb-and-Paying-For-Me wouldn’t allow the funds put aside for educating the public to be used for that purpose.
But, my dears, I think I have found the last Willy Wonka golden ticket. Yes, I found a NAVIGATOR! This is one of those few who are trained at explaining to people how to get help. He is checking to see if he can give a presentation at the Monroe County League of Women Voters program, Navigating the New Healthcare Exchanges, October 12, 10am-12pm, at the Hughes Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, PA. He seems like a very smart and articulate guy. During our conversation he clarified the plan by my chief executive, Governor Where-is-your-brain?
Mr. Navigator said that I could qualify for the exchanges and possibly some financial assistance because I earn a middle of the road income. However, because I live in a state which doesn’t really care about poor people, because they don’t vote, a very nice guy who walks down my street every weekday to eat a free meal at the Salvation Army probably won’t qualify for anything. Well, that is if he has a low-paying job. We have lots of low-paying jobs around here.
My street guy would make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to qualify for a tax credit to join an exchange plan. One of the ideas behind the new healthcare system was to close the Medicare medication donut hole. That is being done, but it appears we have created another in states where there was no expansion of another federal healthcare program, Medicaid.
To currently qualify for Medicaid, you have to make just enough to keep you a step above eating cat food, wild berries and tree bark for meals. I have a number of Medicaid patients. Other than the widow with 8 kids, 4 under the age of 6, all of the parents have jobs. These folks want better jobs and make more money. They work hard and are smart. They would be willing to pay an insurance premium that takes the same percentage of their pay as I will in the exchanges. At this point, Governor Where-is-your-heart will let these people wander in the insurance desert choosing between food and insurance should they get a raise or slightly better job. Way to go! Let’s keep those emergency rooms overburdened with the uninsured and drive up the costs for the rest of us.
Cross your fingers that Mr. Navigator can do a presentation. I’m firing up the flashlight and hoping Mr. Navigator can provide the map.