Here is the truth about the kind of healthcare Trumpcare will bring to the American public.
Back in the day, before we had a national health insurance plan that attempted to address the crisis in care, I had great health insurance through SAG-AFTRA. I was one of those actors fortunate enough to earn enough on an annual basis to be eligible for benefits. At first, those benefits were free, but, with rising costs, the unions were forced to ask members for premiums. I paid $1,000 a year and what I got in return was terrific insurance. It covered chiropractic, had a $500 deductible, $9 co-payments; and I could go to any doctor I chose. I’m talking stellar coverage. After leaving Los Angeles and my acting career behind, I paid $350 a month for COBRA and retained that great insurance.
Until it ran out and I had to go shopping.
The first thing I found out after applying to the usual suspects – like Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, etc. – was that nobody wanted my business. Nobody. I was “afflicted” with three pre-existing conditions; and they wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot pole. Those conditions were IBS, arthritis, and acid reflux. Not cancer. Not a heart condition. Not liver disease. Nope. Just the garden-variety ailments one accrues during life, none of them life-threatening or even requiring taking prescription medication. I had found that medication for the IBS lost efficacy and taking probiotics worked as well as the medication my doctor had prescribed and never lost efficacy. Likewise, I found that chiropractic and exercise, along with taking a daily dose of turmeric worked just as well as medication from my physician without messing with my stomach lining as NSAIDS are apt to do. Chewable licorice tabs taste good and kill acid reflux almost immediately, and taking Slippery Elm daily pretty much eradicates acid reflux from happening. But those three conditions put me out of the insurance market with insurers that offered anything resembling comprehensive coverage.
Worried that if something were to happen to me – an automobile accident, a fall or any of those things that can happen to an individual – I could lose my life savings, my home, and any vestige of being able to take care of myself in my old age, I sought other markets.
This is what I finally was able to get.
The policy for which I paid $350 a month was for catastrophic coverage only. (The irony was not lost on me that I was paying the same for garbage coverage that I paid for great coverage.) It did not provide me with so much as a dime’s worth of discount when I went to the doctor. It did not cover prescriptions. The deductible was $2,500 PER CONDITION, each of which was capped at $100,000. Oh yeah, if I had a heart attack, I paid the first $2,500 and the rest was paid – up to $100,000 and then I was cut off. If I got cancer, that was a brand new condition, so again, I paid the first $2500 and was home free until I hit that $100,000 ceiling. If I got into a bad car accident and got laid up in the hospital, I paid the first $2,500 and the rest was paid for until I hit that $100,000 limit and then I was on my own. God help me if I got two conditions at once. Those deductibles add up pretty fast, just like those massive hospital bills. Anyone who’s ever had a protracted illness can tell you that $100,000 doesn’t go very far.
Basically, I paid $4,200 a year for “insurance” that would be virtually useless in an expensive medical situation and had the potential for leaving me broke, without a home, without savings and without a shred of hope for the future.
This is the United States Trump and the GOP would have us live in. They’ll tell you that the government shouldn’t get between you and your doctor but don’t say a word about insurance companies deciding what treatments you get, who will live, and who will die. They’ll tell you that the socialized medicine in all those other countries is terrible and people hate it – even though the health outcomes in those countries far exceed ours, and the people in those countries are very satisfied with the care they get. They’ll tell you that selling insurance across state lines and health savings accounts will end all our insurance woes. and everyone will be happy with the “great” care they’ll get. But they are lying. They know it and they don’t care. They’ve got theirs, so you go get yours. And if you can’t afford it, it’s probably because you’re lazy and expect the government to give you everything for free.
Donald Trump is always boasting about how great the stock market is doing, while ignoring the fact that since this Congress hasn’t passed a new budget, the Obama policies still in effect are what is keeping the market strong. Last week, he tweeted Health insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!
Note to Donald: You can’t have it both ways. You either bolster the economy or you tank it. But you can’t do both simultaneously.
Today, it’s health care being sabotaged by Trump. Watch out, Wall Street. Those soaring numbers are about to take a Bush-era dive.
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things. Show her some love and check out her books!
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