Any one who's known me for more that 5 minutes knows I'm a progressive democrat. Most people also know I'm an independent marketing consultant. That means I work from home for various clients, and don't make a lot of money. Let's just say I fall below the poverty line.
Now, I'm a college graduate, pretty dang smart, and very good at my job, but I've suffered a couple health issues over the last year - as well as some financial issues - that have made it impossible for me to look for a regular office job. So I figured I'd use my talents to help small businesses instead. Though I'm practically destitute, I have never taken foodstamps or welfare, and instead make ends meet through the generosity of my family. I'm lucky that way. For the last 2 years, not only have I championed the ACA to anyone who would listen - going so far as to write letters and tweet to congressmen when it was threatened earlier this year - but have looked forward all year to being able to sign up myself. I attempted on the first website, but after hearing about the bugs, I figured I'd wait till the relaunch.
The relaunch was this week (just in case you've been living under a rock) and I quickly signed on. I didn't have any issues with the forms - all very easy, knocked it out in about 15 minutes. The issue arose when I was offered the plans I qualify for.
My state is letting the federal government run their exchange, which is one reason I was so surprised when I saw my options. On the Bronze and Silver level - neither of which I can really afford ($150-$250/month premiums) the deductible was $2,500-$5,000. For someone who spends less than $200 a month on GROCERIES the idea that I would have to spend $2,500 out of pocket on health issues before my insurance would start to cover anything is absolutely INSANE. I can't imagine how many times I'd have to see my GP to even put a DENT in that deductible. I've called the Help Line and they were...no help.
I have the option to appeal the decision the site made in determining which plans I was qualified for - but who knows how long that will take. I was told I may qualify for a tax credit and some other sort of credit, but if these things come at the end of the year they'll do me no good in affording healthcare day to day.
This legislation was designed to HELP people like me - people who otherwise would have no coverage at all - and yet... How am I supposed to afford these things? I feel as though I would have been better off buying insurance BEFORE the ACA. As it stands, I'm now waiting to see if I qualify for Medicaid - the only other option I have. According to my states Medicaid website, I don't, but I have my fingers crossed.
I'm SO frustrated and disappointed. Is this what we worked and fought so hard for?? I love this country, and while he's had his issues, I love this President. I just can't understand how this is the best option. The rest of the Western World offers Universal Healthcare. If the right wing could get their (excuse my french) heads out of their asses for 5 minutes, maybe we would too.