Sunday, August 18, 2013

Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Health Care Act

"We should defund Obamacare."

If we truly care about caring for those who can't care for themselves, America would fully fund the expansion of medical social services.  There are right now millions of Americans being denied medical attention, and the care that they eventually seek is the most expensive possible, at the ER.  It is costing us too much now not to do more.

I was disabled after a drunk driver decided I didn't need to play basketball anymore.  After a spinal cord injury to C-4,5, and 6, I am now a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair.  Because I technically worked, and payed into social security before my accident, I qualified for Social Security Disability. In Texas, this means I qualify for Medicaid- Full Medical, One Eye Visit a year, and 3 prescriptions a month.  That's cool, I can get by.

Recently, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and was so diminished physically that he to now qualified for this same Disability Program.  Concurrently, I now qualified for another benefits program, as a survivor or beneficiary of someone who is disabled, which means $75 more each month.  This had a negative effect on my status in the Texas system.  I was simply no longer qualified for the Medicaid program, but I could re-apply.  This process takes from between 30-45 days, AND the program I am applying for doesn't cover prescriptions or eye exams, both of which I utilize.  The 'good' news that in November of 2014 I qualify for Medicare, which costs $100, and only covers 80% and no prescriptions.  As of July 31st I am without coverage of any kind...all because my Dad got cancer.  (*ETA:  I just found out that I qualify for another program that will return me to my original coverage, but now I have to re-apply every year, and failing to do so in a timely manner could again endanger my coverage.)

We've got a great system!  Unfortunately, I find myself in a crack.  The Affordable Health Care Act is intended to have states expand Medicaid and fill in these cracks, but MY Congressman, Mac Thornberry voted some 40 times to abolish it.  My next door neighbor, newly elected to the Texas State Legislature winner of the Most Conservative  Republican, Drew Springer, has not responded in a manner that leads me to believe he cares about amending things either.

In places where the Act is being used, rates are falling, people are getting rebate checks back, and more claims are being paid out.  It is all because there are now more people's premiums going into the kitty, and the AHCA forces health insurance companies to pay out 80% in claims.  Among others changes, it also  forces companies to cover pre-existing conditions, which means terminally ill-patients won't show up at ER's for treatment.

If republicans are pro-life, why aren't they pro-health care?

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