Why I’m not anti-Obamacare even though I know it won’t solve all the problems

LoveToday’s my husband’s birthday. He’s 49. He’s rarely sick. He’s self-employed. He pays taxes. He makes a good living.

Several years ago the cost of adding him to my insurance quadrupled, so he got his own insurance, which he uses rarely. Over time that policy continued to escalate in price so he upped the deductible. It’s now $10,000, and he pays thousands of dollars a year for that coverage just in case. He rarely uses the insurance for anything other than a yearly physical. In fact, in over a decade, he’s used it three times, two of those last year.

Before he upped the deductible, he had a kidney stone. We thought he was having a heart attack and called an ambulance. We were young and didn’t know better. I think it was over a decade ago, but time gets fuzzy. That was the only time he used the insurance for anything other than a physical until last year’s kidney stone episode. We knew what the problem was and went to the ER on our own. The ER nurse was awesome, kind and helpful. We saw the doctor for all of 30 seconds. He told us my husband had a kidney stone and walked out. We paid over $2000 for that ER visit. Over $1000 for the 30 second doctor’s diagnosis. The trip to the urologist was cheaper.

He’s had a kidney stone since then, but he chose to self-medicate and get through it on his own instead of going to the doctor.

In the last year he’s developed reflux. Last night that reflux turned into something awful. I looked up the symptoms online and have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong. We’re going to try diet changes first. If that doesn’t work he’ll have to break down and go to the doctor. And that trip to the doctor will break us even though he has insurance. Insurance he pays an arm and a leg for. Ridiculously expensive insurance that is still cheaper than putting him on my state teacher insurance policy.

I realize Obamacare isn’t the answer, but it’s at least an attempt to fix a problem that exists with our current system.

5 responses to “Why I’m not anti-Obamacare even though I know it won’t solve all the problems

  1. I completely understand. My husband, a jeweler, is employed by a family-owned business that doesn’t provide insurance. Like you, we can’t afford to put him on mine. He’s rarely sick, so we pay any doctor bills out of pocket, knowing full well that one day, we’ll really pay for our folly. Last night he began complaining about a sore shoulder, and I’m worried about a rotator cuff problem – expensive. A jeweler needs both arms functioning, so my worst-case-scenario mindset had me worrying in the middle of the night about surgery bills (or even physical therapy) with reduced income. There’s just got to be a better solution.
    Kudos on regular blogging. Haven’t hit mine in forever.

  2. I totally agree with you, my friend. The general public has this incorrect assumption that TRS Insurance is as good as the Federal Government plans. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. I was on the federal plan until Fall 2010. The day of my divorce being final was a wake-up call on insurance cost and coverage. Fortunately, I was able to have my ex-husband keep my girls on his federal plan. However, the cost of prescriptions, etc. is unbelievable. On one in particular, my share was $120. My daughter’s share is $42. This is for the same medication she and I are both are taking. I hope you guys are able to manage his condition. I am praying for you. However, right now – I am having to make myself talk to Him. That’s for another day. ❤ you!!

  3. I know just what you mean! I went to the ER in May for what turned out to be a panic attack. I was there three hours and it cost $5000 AFTER the insurance. No medicine, just a doctor who came and talked to me maybe a total of 5 minutes over the course of 3 hours and a couple of x-rays. Another $2000 this fall for an injury that didn’t require stitches, only again a couple of x-rays and a pain killer. I rarely go to the doctor, but dang, when I think of all I’ve paid into the system, I should get more of a break! But being without is terrifying.

    • Wow. Just think there are four of us facing these issues. How many more are there? I hope you’re right, Lisa. There’s got to be a better solution than what we’re doing now! Toni, I’ve heard the actual government insurance is MUCH better. I can’t imagine the sticker shock for the prescriptions. Praying. Mary, that is NUTS! You’re right, though. Being without is terrifying. I know a lot of people do it, but if something happens, what then?!

  4. Hi,
    Since I have been living in Europe for some while and they have a different type of medical care plan, I had no idea that medical care in my homeland had risen to such proportions. Now I understand much better what the fuss is all about and can only say, that this plan is probably a step in the right direction. What I cannot understand is the high costs by doctors! Their prices are ridiculous!
    Thank you so much for giving me much needed insight.
    All the best for 2013.

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