This will be the last political post that I make for a while because that’s not what this blog is about. That said, people seem to be having drastically different experiences with the Affordable Care Act. What I don’t understand is why people are continually arguing with each other. Yes, Tony from down the street may have had a hellish experience with the Affordable Care Act while Cheryl from next door had the most amazing experience ever. The system is not some flat fee healthcare for all. Some people are going to be pissed off when they see their new plan options and others will rejoice. It’s just the way it is going to be. I’ve checked the basic information for plans and my rates are about the same whether I go with a package through the exchange or through an outside healthcare provider. I will note that I went to one health insurance company’s website and compared its lowest policy on the website with its similar policy on the exchange and the exchange rate was about $50 cheaper for me, but I’m still shopping around for the best deal.
I’m not clear on why some people have ridiculously high rates. Is it because of their income, state policies, the lack of competition in their state exchange or what? Why are some people having wonderful experiences and others having nightmarish ones? It doesn’t seem fair or right. There should be a way to set an acceptable range so that policies don’t fluctuate so much. I get upset for some of the people who have rate changes that they cannot afford because ignorant people try to call them liars, as if the system is perfect. It is just as likely that someone has to pay more as it is that someone has to pay less. Don’t call people liars unless you have evidence to contradict their claims. Your experience and the experiences of the people you know do not extend to everyone. If you can’t be civil to people who have different experiences or perspectives then maybe you shouldn’t read about other people’s experiences.
That said, I don’t understand why some people are complaining about having to sign up for the ridiculous prices. Did they miss the memo? They can still look for and find their own healthcare package. The exchange is not the end all be all for healthcare options. I’ve been tempted to remind them that they don’t have to pay that rate. They can go elsewhere or they can pay the fee. If the plan they are quoted is hundreds of dollars more than they can afford to spend each month, then don’t spend it. Save a few dollars each month and pay the fee instead. View the fee as the cheapest health insurance ever. As long as they stay healthy, they’re going to save a bundle and if they don’t stay healthy, at least they can say that they kind of sort of contributed and they aren’t one of those “leeches” who receives help from the government. Or they can try to get an exemption from the fee, because, as with all taxes, there are exemptions.
Now let’s talk about the federal exchange. The exchange has been a disaster in certain states. I expected there to be some issues, but nothing like the things that I have heard. Obama should be thanking the republicans for the shutdown because the shutdown distracted from the epic glitches in the system. The news mentioned the issues, but they weren’t taking up the headlines like they have since the shutdown. I can understand why some people are upset that a Canadian company was used to create the federal exchange. It doesn’t matter that the government has used the company before or that the company has lots of offices in the United States. There is something that just doesn’t sound right about that. With all the tech companies in America, why not take a risk and try one of them? On top of that, even if I overlook the use of a Canadian based tech company, I can’t overlook the fact that some people have not been as lucky as I have been. Some people are being royally screwed by the available plans. If the government can’t call check on insurance companies then who can? The government is literally throwing money at the insurance companies and the thanks the government gets is rates that are too high for people to afford? Really?