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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Health Care Fiasco on a personal level

Three years ago I went to a Catawba County Chamber of Commerce event about the upcoming "Affordable Care Act". It was more than obvious that people like myself weren't even an afterthought when it came to all of this so called reform. We don't even register.This has never been about affordability. That was a bait and switch for the gullible.

I work in the restaurant business. No owners of such small businesses can afford to furnish health care to their workers. They would have to raise prices by 33 to 50% and people already complain about prices as it is.

When I worked at one of the local Clubs at the turn of the 2000s, we were given full Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage, but that all ended after 9/11 when everyone's premiums spiked. So we started paying around 25% of our premium as I recall and dropped a tier in our coverage.

After a couple of years, I decided I wanted to go back to work for my aunt and so I was going to have to get a personal policy. Basically if you work in a small business you are a contract employee without a contract here in North Carolina. Labor laws are a one way street here. My Insurance premium was $107 per month with a $1,000 deductible in 2003.

I am a chef by trade and so I have stayed in the restaurant business and I am pretty much locked into this area because I bought a house back in 2005. The premium amounts on my health insurance have gone up by double digits every year and so to keep it affordable, I eventually had to have the deductible raised to $2,500 and then to $3,500 -- I also have higher out of pocket expenses.

In 2010, my premium had risen to $210/month and that is when I changed the deductible to $3,500. That lowered my premium/month to $138/month for 2011, but the 2012 premium rose to $161/month, and in 2013 I have been paying $181/month. I pay that in after tax dollars, although I do get to take it off my taxes, which probably gets me back about a month's premium. I don't consider putting out over 10% of my income on a product I can't afford to use as being affordable.

Having a degree in finance and twice passing the State Health Insurance Licensing test, I know a thing or two about the Ponzi Scheme/Multi-level Marketing scheme that is the Insurance industry. The Insurance industry is one of the main culprits in this mess. Their lobbyists had major input on writing this legislation. You can thank our bought and paid for legislators, on both sides of the aisle, for the mess we find ourselves in today. They took the money, but of course they don't think they should take any blame.

On September 30, 2013 I received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the mail informing me that if I wanted to keep my current policy I could. Oh how fortunate you must think I am after hearing about people losing their current policies. Well I could keep my current policy at.?.?.?.......... $424 per month. Oh, but I could get subsidies... whoopee, everything's gonna be alright. If I'd only pay over $5,000 up front, then they'd send me around $3,500 back with my taxes in **2015**. These people are freaking nuts. Does any of this even make sense?

Now, I received a letter in the mail today informing me, "We understand what you are facing. Now, you can keep your current plan."

What is even funnier is that I had planned on taking care of this today and making a decision whether or not I was going to have health insurance. This has been seeping around in the back of my mind for a couple of months and I didn't want to wait until the very last minute. Well that isn't happening, because when I went to the BCBS website it is under maintenance and says it won't be up until the beginning of December. I will have until December 15 to decide what I want to do.

Where was this understanding a couple months ago when these idiots had to have known that there weren't just glitches, that this is a wholesale fiasco with dead end stops and people's health will truly be in peril as a result of all of this. They took a system of bureaucratic red tape and coated it with super glue.

I'm to the point where I'm most likely going to do without insurance next year. I'm not going to participate in their convolutions. I saw where the "Exchange" policy for me would be $295 per month. I pay that up front and they reimburse me on the backside -- or will that be in the backside bwahahaha! I ain't doing that. I'll just have to gamble and not go to the doctor. Frankly, I think we should all walk away from the system. We need to break these people, because they evidently don't care if they break us. No good businessman treats their customer like this!

And for you Republicans running around peeing in your pants with glee, the status quo isn't working either. If this fiasco were to be repealed, you have offered nothing that will help working class Americans. Health savings accounts do nothing for people like me. Nothing has been done to curtail costs and help with affordability, which businesses can't afford and doesn't allow them to compete against your globalist corporate buddies. Premium costs are going to keep escalating out of site just as they have.

Thank You, but no Thank You for all of this.

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