Saturday, February 13, 2016

Catch-22 - health care edition

Fellow blogger Nicki has a heartbreaking and infuriating tale of how bureaucracy can first screw up what should be a relatively simple process, then punish the guiltless who follow its strictures.

This appalling web of bureaucratic lunacy is brought to you courtesy of the Affordable Care Act. A man and his wife, whose takehome pay is so low right now, they qualify for Medicaid, are now being forced to pay thousands of dollars in penalties they cannot afford for turning to the government to get coverage that is now required by law.

The absurdity would be hilarious if a family’s livelihood wasn’t at stake!

And my friend’s story isn’t the only nightmare Americans have been experiencing. A Facebook page dedicated to ACA horror stories has been created, and the stories are heartbreaking.

FreedomWorks last year did an article of its own, detailing top ObamaCare horror stories, including that of a pastor diagnosed with stage three cancer of the esophagus who was told – just minutes before getting chemotherapy – that his treatment would not be covered.

Meanwhile, the left’s smarmy, arrogant, lying, biased, craptastic excuse for an economist Paul Krugman last year claimed the ObamaCare horror stories were “imaginary” – concocted by those who obviously just are too ignorant to know how FAAAAABULOUS ObamaCare and too stupid to know what’s good for them.

These are real people with real life problems, betrayed by politicians and pundits who couldn’t even begin to understand what it’s like to not know how your next grocery bill will be paid, or what it’s like to lose sleep, because the IRS says you owe them money you don’t have.

There's more at the link.  Talk about a Catch-22 situation!

And Americans voted for, and many still vote for, the politicians who enacted this monstrosity, and who instructed the federal government bureaucracy to implement it in such a heartless, unconscionable fashion.



Uncle Lar said...

I have been trying to convince the gentlleman Nicki speaks of to contact his congress critters to seek some intersession and relief from the situation the ACA has put him in. Failing that, many news organizations have a consumer ombudsman service of a sort that ought to pounce on just this sort of situation.
But he is a proud and honorable man and dislikes the feeling that he would be going hat in hand to beg favors from his betters.
In my opinion our elected officials are still public servants whether they act like it or not, and seeking redress for harm done to constituents is damn well one of their primary functions.
On the ACA itself, I know it's become very popular for conservatives to demand that it be totally removed should we retake our government. Personally, I don't care, remove it or keep it, as long as they rip out big chunks of the act that create this sort of thing, and replace them with something that actually gives us decent health care instead of universal crappy health insurance.

Bob said...

'.... replace them with something that actually gives us decent health care instead of universal crappy health insurance."

We should all long so long.

What we (all 50 sovereign States) should do is dump this dysfunctional debt-ridden lunatic-run federal government, and form a new centralized institute to represent us in the limited manner the founders intended.

Judy said...

And then there are people like me who are going to be penalized for having 'Cadillac' health insurance polices that our employers provide as part of our benefit package. My former employer (I'm retired.) is scrambling to CUT our health insurance plan to fit the criteria of ObummerCare.

Anonymous said...

Two points:
1. I'm a Federal retiree: we have some very nice health benefits. As Judy says, "Cadillac" policies. And yet, as soon as Obamacare passed, our premiums started going up drastically.

2. Something that hasn't been mentioned very often lately: Remember all the invective about "Death panels?" I'm over sixty, and in poor health, and the healthcare I need now and will need later will only get more expensive.

No, there won't be anything called a Death Panel. But eventually, there will be conference rooms full of suits, led by someone who will be forced to deal with the bottom line. That individual will say, "Let's face it. We can't afford to keep paying for dialysis treatments (hip and knee replacements; expensive drugs; etc) for those who contribute nothing to the economy. We have to concentrate on providing benefits to taxpayers."

It may be done by an age restriction on certain benefits. It may be done by issuing DNR orders for every non-working person over 65. There may be other ways. But the net result will be that people like me will die.

- Paxillated

Gail said...

I know people are losing tax refunds because they did not sign up on the insurance. So even the people who are trying to work and pay their way are being punished.

Gail said...

I, too, am a retired federal employee. Rates up, coverage down.

LBJ said...

I had a family member, unable to get into see the VA, and unable to sign up for Obamacare, due to the state's exchange being messed up die months earlier than he should have due to cancer. The stories are in the thousands and they're real.

Quartermaster said...

ACA has been an abortion. All it has done is force people to buy substandard, useless coverage, and costs are still rising rapidly. My daughter bought a policy she could afford, and the deductible is $5,000. As a result, she's still on her own, but gets to pay an insurance premium for a policy that's pretty much useless.

Anonymous said...

It's been adequately demonstrated, at least to my satisfaction, that a reasonably structured "pay as you go" system, for medical care and everything else, is the most equitable,and affordable.

Two friends, in different parts of the country, are exceedingly fortunate to have primary care physicians who have eschewed the entire fuster cluck of insurance, etc. Sometimes called "boutique care" it is nothing of the sort, but a return to what constituted basic medical care of decades past: these two doctors, operating as General Practitioners, are both in semi-retirement, with one nurse each and no office staff (or should I say "office staph") to process paperwork - it's cash on the barrel head, no credit cards, no insurance billing, bounce a check once and you're out. An office visit is $35 for one of them, $45 for the other. Why so cheap? No $@#& insurance paperwork overhead.

Unfortunately, once out of their hands and into labs for tests, hospitals for advanced testing, prescriptions, or to specialists, my friends are back into the sordid depths of the entire insurance game, but for all of their familys' problems that can be handed at the GP level it's heaven.

I remember, as a child, my father handing over pictures of presidents at the conclusion of a visit to my pediatrician (a jovial second generation Irishman named John O'Brien, may he rest in sacred peace). That seemed quite ordinary at the time - everything my family did was paid for in cash with no expectation of anyone else covering the cost because it was my parents' responsibility to raise their children, no one else's. My emergency appendectomy at age 11 was paid for that way, from savings, with the resultant tightening of the family budget for several months afterward. (My father had one credit card - a gasoline company's, used only for our summer vacation trips. Everything - from groceries to rent to clothing was paid immediately upon delivery, cash or check.)

How in the name of Sam Hill have we lost so much of what was, for centuries, normal life?