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Deep Thoughts with Rachel: Obamacare

This could be (but shouldn’t be) a new blog series. The title’s a bit misleading, haha. Whenever I randomly talk and trail off about something, and it’s followed by silence, I always say “This has been Deep Thoughts with Rachel.” In other words, I’m about to just start thinking out loud, and it’ll probably trail off into nothing. But c’est la vie!

When it comes to politics and political issues, I am almost always on the fence. I hate that everything is divied up into Republican and Democrat because there’s not really ever just two sides to an issue, there’s more like a gazillion. But having a gazillion political parties would only add to the problems I suppose.

So generally, since I never seem quite able to take a side and I’m not really sure how I feel about things, I shy away from political discussions. Also, people having political discussions are usually close-minded and really just trying to convince you of their point rather than actually discussing anything. In the end, I’m one of those cynics who gets into the voting booth and has to painfully choose between the lesser of two evils.

Now I’m just going to go ahead and say what everyone’s thinking – most political issues don’t directly affect my everyday life. Now before the patriots among you start casting stones, I will say that I understand the grave responsibility of being an American and I don’t take it lightly that my voice may be heard and that I have a duty to ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country. I bear my civic duty with due sobriety. But really, honestly, gay people getting married or people aborting babies is not something I think about very much or that has anything to do with my day to day life. Yes they’re big issues but it’s a lot easier to hypothetically decide what you think of something when you personally have nothing at stake.

Then there’s Obamacare. That actually is something I think about every day. Being ill, I take medication every day. I visit the hospital often and I visit pharmacies even more often. And a few years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do once I turned 26. I got married when I was 20, and applied for all kinds of health insurance. No one would take me. I felt that is was truly injust that in this free country, a sick person could not get help without being fabulously wealthy. But we knew Obamacare (I hate that word but that’s what the nation’s going with, apparently.) was on it’s way, and we prayed that whatever it was, it would result in a way for me to get medical care on my own by the time I was 26.

This year, at 23, I got my first real job with benefits. I was ecstatic to carry my own insurance card. Hell, having coverage actually made me healthier because now, when I got into a bad pain flare, I didn’t have to worry about not being able to afford medication or not having access to surgery. This peace of mind meant less stress, which ultimately means less pain.

Then, after only a few short months of security, I was laid off. I do believe that it had a lot to do with the toll this secure, high paying job had on my unwell little body. It certainly made the company’s financial decisions much easier. But that’s another post. The worst part of losing that job was losing the insurance.

I had a bad toothache that I let get worse and go away – luckily. I did almost actually DIE of a tooth infection once, so…it wasn’t good to just ignore that. But what could I do? We were saving our money for a house, living with my parents, and trying to get on our feet. I couldn’t afford a trip to the dentist. Or the doctor when endo flared up. Or to get proper guidance on weaning off of antidepressants. Luckily, I was able to get back on my parents insurance, but this is a short term fix.

So Obamacare, what’s up? I get why people are against it. Because it’s a handout. Because it puts the government in charge of healthcare. But honestly, is that really worse than having business run healthcare? Because business only wants money. Someone like me costs a lot of money. I don’t have it. I work hard, I earn money, but it’s not enough for my medical needs. So I need insurance. But insurance sees that they’ll be putting more money in to me than I’ll be giving them – so I don’t get it.

Sick people are denied access. If you’re already healthy, then you can see a doctor.

I know politicians are probably only in it for money too, but between politicians and businessmen, the politicians might actually be trying to do good for the country like they’re supposed to.

It’s a lot of big changes and it’s riddled with flaws. Other countries have flawed systems too, but they’re closer to functioning than ours in my opinion.

I’ve also noticed that the majority of people who really bash Obamacare are healthy.

I once got into a facebook altercation with one of those political types. I didn’t mean to. But these things happen. He said that healthcare will never be free – someone has to pay for it. And that’s not fair.

I said that in all honesty, if my tax dollars could go towards helping a sick person, that would make me much happier than having them fund wars, political campaigns,  or new coffee makers for my congressmen.

Our entire political system is flawed. Obviously budgeting isn’t our politicians’ strong-suit. I know my taxes won’t always go towards things that help me. But I’m pretty sure that republican or democrat, every president from here until eternity is going to make me pay taxes. I don’t mind. Overall, I’m pro public education and such. Right now, I see an opportunity for those tax dollars to help people as much as public education does.

Is public education perfect? No. I have a speech I’ve given many times to many audiences about that. There were good teachers and bad. Good schools and bad. But guess what? There are already bad doctors and bad hospitals. Turning it into public service won’t change that.

A long time ago, only rich people were literate. Writing was a privilege given only to the upper class. I was born to write, and I was born in a time when I could without much adversity. I devour books. I cannot imagine life without the written word. Many people must feel the same way, since now at public libraries you get access to literature, biographies, medical journals, fiction, every kind of book – all for free.

Well, someone pays for it!

But we’ve pretty much all agreed that the benefit outweighs the inconvenience of paying taxes.

Now, only the wealthy upper class (and genetically wealthy healthy people) have real access to any medical care they need. More and more people can’t work because of illness, which hurts the economy. People know little about health and staying healthy, so we spread epidemics like the flu every year and that’s just normalcy. Allergies, cancer, and chronic pain are all on the rise. More people suffer from chronic illness than ever before. People point fingers at GMOs and chemicals, and those things are very, very bad.

And those things are regulated by the government.

I dunno. Maybe I’m way off base here, but it seems only fair for the government to treat the illnesses they dole out.

But now I sound like one of those radical crazy people who think they government is really evil.

I’m not a crazy person, I swear. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, or an internet troll, or doomsday prophetess. I’m 23 years old, I like to write, I bought Disney Infinity today and I plan to spend my day off playing it. I have a cat, I’m a freelance writer and editor, and I drink Vitamin Water even though people like to say they’re very evil. I like to think I’m pretty open-minded, well-educated, and down to earth.

And sometimes I have things to say about politics. And they’re usually doe-eyed and idealistic, and maybe even stupid.

But if there was no flu-season, and less people had allergies and chronic pain, and more people had access to care….I just think that would all be great. Let’s do that, and let’s call it whatever. You like Obamacare? Gross but okay. I think something cute like “AwesomeCare” or “HumanityCare” or “LetsHelpPeopleWhoNeedItCare” would be fine too.

This has been Deep Thoughts with Rachel.

Deep Thoughts with Rachel

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About rachelmeeks

My name is Rachel Meeks. I have endometriosis, an incurable pain condition, IBS, a digestive illness, and PCOS, which causes irregular periods and infertility. After keeping my illnesses a secret, I started to get upset about how my fellow sick people were being mistreated because of ignorance. I knew that I'd need to stand up, make some noise, wear my heart on my sleeve, and admit that I am not well to make a difference.

19 responses to “Deep Thoughts with Rachel: Obamacare

  1. mo

    I agree with a new name instead of Obama care! Good post!

  2. Wish it were easy. Then it would be easy. And done. But it’s not, on any end. (I’m not good at discussing politics, even when it concerns me so closely.) On a lighter note: Ditch that Vitamin Water, you!! Unless the ingredients say water. LOL! XOXO.

    • I know it’s not easy, but it seems like it should be! UGH. I’m sure there’s an answer somewhere somehow, we just haven’t figured it out yet.

      I used to drink Vitamin Water allll the time but now it’s just for special treats. I’m finally starting to actually just drink water instead of fun drinks. It was hard but I’m getting better!

  3. Oh. you are so good with the written word; you write so succinctly and judiciously, with your words creating an understanding in the reader that’s impossible to miss. Being in Australia, I’ve never had complete comprehension of the ‘Obamacare’ that you speak of. But I do now! Thank you, Sugar Plum x

    I’m with you on Obamacare, but as I’m not there, my vote won’t be happening. However, over here, we have ‘Medicare’. This means that the healthcare system is free for everyone to access. Rich, the well off, and the middle class still have access to it also but they usually have private health care so they can access the best hospitals and doctors: this gives them choice over their health care. But, everyone over here has access to doctors who either bulk bill (the government picks up the tab, which, yeh, flows down to tax payers) or charge money, which is them claimed back via Medicare. The system is not perfect, and the very poor only have access to public dentists who may be trainees.

    The Immunologist that I see, charges reasonable prices and most comes back on medicare. The testing for various allergies is not covered, but still, seeing this doctor does not put me at a disadvantage where I cannot eat or pay rent, I see that as fair. But there are other doctors, natural therapists, that type of thing who are not covered, and they cost a bomb. We are talking thousands of dollars.

    My personal doctor (General Practitioner (GP)) bulk bills. I can go get medical help from a woman who I trust anytime I like. She is kind and lovely. Her manner, even though she is tired because people practically, line up to see her, is even better than any doctor I’ve even paid to see. She does say to me: “If science doesn’t back a doctor or therapist’s work, then don’t see them.” She says this because I’ve spent a heap trying to get better. It’s the supplements: they cost way too much, and yes, often are a waste of money. But the medicines that are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) are at a low cost to me. Therefore, the basics: pain meds, antibiotics, even antidepressants are at a low cost. My medicines cost around $20 for the whole month. And that’s for my whole family: daughter, dog and me! (Dog has private health insurance.)

    Our system is worked out on how much a person earns. if they are over (aprox) 37,000 k a year, then they pay more for their medicines. People on a disability or part, pay less. The same for the unemployed, single parents, students, or people suffering hardship. I pay a lot to see a dentist because I choose private dental care, but free is available to me.

    I don’t see it as a handout. Why should one person suffer and another not? Especially in countries as rich (compared to third world countries) as ours?

    We have so much in common, Rachel, hopefully we will both have healthcare systems that act like an umbrella, covering everyone–especially the most needy–very soon.

    PS: I just got my first freelance gig. Paid real money too! Check it out: http://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/309462/

    PSS: and for those who argue that free healthcare is a handout, people like us don’t aim to be in the lower income bracket. We strive to get out of it and ahead (dah, that’s why we are studying); and when we do, we too will pay our share and support those less fortunate than ourselves. No-one would choose to be sick but people need to be able to choose to do whatever it takes to not be sick (or to be pain-free, allergy/chemical free, cancer free, or whatever); therefore, being in the position to contribute back into society!

    • Thank you so much for writing this out! You, too, have a real gift with the written word. So many of the blogs I read are Australian (maybe because when you have access to healthcare you actually gain knowledge of your own health, what a concept! Here, people just stay sick till it gets really bad so they have no idea why! So why blog about it? GAH /endrant) and reading them at a surface level without knowing the system can actually be very confusing. Getting a summary of how it all works from an easy to understand peer is soooo enlightening! I really hope America can come up with a system like this. Having it based on income so that different people pay different amounts seems to get rid of the “handout” argument, at least from my point of view!

      Ughhh. But of course, even if we had the worlds most perfectest plan, it’d take years to implement because of all the bureaucratic nonsense. AMERCIAAAA, GET YO ACT TOGETHER. >.< *facepalm*

      Thanks so much again for writing, you've very quickly answered all my questions and I like, want to go tell people about it. Lol.

      P.S. – love your freelance site. 🙂 I'm doing freelance videos, and hopefully will have some finished stuff to post soon!

  4. wendy

    I also will not get in a discussion about politics, I don’t like to argue, and I don’t want to find out just how stupid some people are….hahaha. I feel I can think for myself, I don’t need someone else trying to get me to believe what they do…it’s not going to work anyway.

    I also think Obamacare is a dumb name. When he leaves office it just isn’t going to sound right…not that it does now.
    I keep waiting, thinking it will happen…but it has so many roadblocks. I’m lucky, my husband has insurance, so I do. But he’s out of work right now, we are using COBRA, whew, expensive. And who knows what kind of insurance he will get next time….if any. I have applied for disability, just to make sure i have some type of medical help. If something happened to my hubby, I would be up a creek. Hopefully, the disability will come through soon…on the first try….crossing fingers and toes.
    I went many years with little to no insurance, couldn’t afford my medication…I was lucky that my doctor got in touch with some of the manufactures and got me free or greatly discounted medication. I can’t imagine what would have happened to me if she hadn’t done that.

    Right now I have one med that is not covered by insurance, and it cost about $200 a month, I went on their site and found a discount card. So I pay $60 a month. it’s really worth it to get in touch with the manufacturer.

    Thank you for your Deep Thoughts. Interesting.

    • Getting in touch with the manufacturer is a GREAT idea and something I did back when I was planning my wedding. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful resource! Readers – take note!

      Yeah I just couldn’t spring for COBRA when I was laid off and we’re still having a lot of financial problems. Luckily my dad hadn’t taken me off his insurance yet, so I’m still covered but not for much longer. Eek! We need to break down these roadblocks, time is flying!

  5. Couldn’t help but think “This has been silly songs with Larry, tune in next time to hear Larry sing…a silly song.”

    As I’ve lived in the UK my whole life, I don’t really understand the American healthcare system but from what I’ve read on blogs about it, I am not a fan. In fact, with the possibility of academia jobs in the US, it would seriously put me off. Here we have the National Health Service which is far from perfect but is free to all. The waiting lists are huge, the hospitals are over-stretched and standards vary. Our current government is trying to quietly dismantle the NHS and privatise it, something which I for one believe is a major mistake.

    The idea that only the wealthy deserve decent health care makes me sick. We are meant to be a civilised society.

    • I relate very deeply to Larry. 😉

      I had no idea they were trying to dismantle the NHS! Very sad to hear that. I’ve heard lots of not very nice things about it but overall I’ve thought it was at least better than the American system! I agree with you. Healthcare is a public need, and I think it’s tragic that not everyone can get the help they need.

  6. Hi Rachel,
    Enjoyed the Deep Thoughts! Well, this is a topic of interest and no need to say Obamacare as the official term is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Anyone with private or employer-based insurance will still be under control of the HUGE, for-profit insurance companies next year, not the gov’t (so, no handout). Another falsehood is that insurance loses money off of people like us. Au contraire, as so many people who are insured–usually via their employer–are young and/or healthy and they make money off them due to the high premiums. The insurance companies turn huge profits, period. What a poor me story they have!

    The government will be expanding Medicaid by raising the income limits to allow more people access. This will be paid for by taxes (state and federal), as it is now. Things like dental are not covered (like with private ins.). This is the only welfare program (or handout) involved in the ACA, but due to a Supreme Court ruling, states can opt-put of the Medicaid expansion, which will leave the poor who aren’t welfare-poor unable to afford insurance although they will be fined if they don’t purchase. Ugh! The map of states NOT participating is not surprising one bit and include the poorest states in the US. The other issue is that Medicaid is not a great program, many docs don’t take it, and thus, your ultimate care is compromised. The exchanges will be run by the gov’t but private insurance (for-profit) will be used and this will be where most small businesses and individuals who don’t qualify for Medicaid will go. Again, you’ll get a lot of people who don’t buy insurance (but now have to), so money will be made.

    What we need is a functional, nationalized healthcare system, but that would never have gotten through Congress. That portion of the ACA was thrown out by the Republicans from the start. While no system is perfect, I talk to people in other modern nations (like those in the comments above) and I would trade in a heartbeat. Aside from Canada, I question this deep fear of waiting lists as it took me 5 months or so to get an echo for my heart! It’s 3 months + to see any specialist where I am due to a lack of general healthcare here. That sounds like a waiting list to me! Then we have the costs. I paid $13k or so in medical bills/prescriptions last year with insurance!

    Well, don’t want to write a dissertation (too late), but I strongly feel that access to quality health care is a basic, human right and if Churchill could create the NHS in war-torn England in the late ’40s, then why can’t we do that here? In my opinion, it’s partisan politics and the American attitude of every person for themselves.
    My Deep Thoughts! Great post…
    A

    • Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts! It is all mind-boggling, which is not good haha. But I hadn’t thought about the waiting list thing. BUT you’re right! It’s so true! I’ve done a lot of waiting to see specialists AND they cost a ton, and the worst part is feeling so powerless!

      Thank you for sharing your deeper knowledge of the act and the politics. I have tried to research but a lot of it just doesn’t make sense – I need friends like you to explain in normal-people talk! 🙂

      • LOL! Just an ol’, liberal politico here and who else to blab to? Well, we’re functioning with a partial federal gov’t tonight, so things are really cooking! Oh, what I’d do to be an expat again…
        Hugs! A

  7. I am certainly not well or wealthy, but I have always tried to carry insurance all through my life. I paid into Medicare since I was 16, but now the gov’t says it’s an “entitlement’ program. They’ve managed to spend all my money before I became of age to get it. Playingthehandiwasdealt explained things well, but I do have a few other points.
    There are more parties than the Democrats & Republicans. However, they rarely get enough votes to get noticed. I’ve always voted Republican because I like their platform better than the Democrats who currently have all 12 planks of the Communist Manifesto as part of their platform.
    Communism is basically the government running your life. You have no freedom. You will worship their gods, work where they say, buy only products they want you to use, and while you think their insurance would be a wonderful thing, look at the whole picture.
    Under ACA (obamacare is a name meant to ridicule) you will have a panel of non-medical people who decide what care you will get. If you are born deformed, you will be terminated. If you are elderly and sickly, you will be denied services so that you can die and ease the government’s misery. Services will be for the young and basically healthy. Doctors will not be allowed to practice freely where and what they want. The gov’t will tell them how much they can charge. Maybe cosmetic surgeons will only be allowed to practice in NY and California. The panel may allow your surgery, but send you to a doctor 100 miles away. I heard they dropped the death squads because they couldn’t find anyone to run it; yet I’ve heard lately that it’s still in play. So, anyone over 55 will get phone calls from the gov’t explaining how they can commit suicide. Old people are not needed apparently in the new regime.
    Recently, I heard that the doctors were forced by obama to buy a new computer program to use for the ACA. Not an unreasonable request except they could buy only one brand. It was not the best program out of the 6 available. The other 5 were under $5,000. The one obama ordered to be used cost $100,000. It was the worst one of all, but you know why. Obama’s friends owned the company. That is communism.
    We are a free republic, but obama is taking that away as fast as he can. You should pay more attention to politics. Like you, I never worried about it much until Clinton was in office. Reagan got our country back on track, but leave it to the Democrats to muck things up again.
    The second thing you should pay attention to is your faith in God. He can do more for you than any insurance or gov’t. Yes, things may be bad, but God is still in control. Once you’ve accepted Him into your heart, ask for a healing. He has helped me through my ordeals. I believe He has reason for not healing me now. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • Oh, Jesus H. Christ. What an insult to those with horrid illnesses, myself included, and how is it that you have insurance if you’re so sick? I was denied so many times I gave up. What you wrote is pure right-wing rhetoric, or fiction reported as fact per Fox News, that doesn’t belong on Rachel’s blog if you even know her. If you do, then it’s time for me to go as I don’t consort with your type. Furthermore, prayers and some higher power aren’t going to save any of us. If that were the case, we could just get rid of healthcare entirely. Seriously? Can you source all the BS you “heard” because I have MDs in my family who would be laughing at your claims. You can fact check everything that I wrote on.

      I’m sorry you won’t be getting Medicare per what you “heard,” because I just got my 2014 booklet this week, right on schedule. How odd! You actually may want to read Marx because, FYI, Medicare is a socialist program that LBJ created, as is Social Security, which FDR created. Who are the Commies now? I sure don’t hear Americans complaining about getting their monthly check and insurance, while others are still denied insurance until the last part of the ACA is implemented come 2014, thanks to Obama.

      Glad to know you still back Reagan and trickle-down economics. What does any of your unrelated, political commentary have to do with this post? I was alive and well in the ’80s and know exactly who benefited from the utter failure of Reaganomics. And then to bash Clinton, who actually balanced the budget and lowered the welfare rolls. Ha! I’m done here as I don’t care for the evangelical, misinformed masses. I sure wish you hadn’t mentioned my user name in your comment, as this is the result, and I will warn you to steer clear of me on WP. You have a blog, so go preach your theories on there.

      Rachel: Sorry, but I just don’t do propaganda and found this comment beyond offensive on so many levels.

      • I don’t mind a bit of healthy debate, but keep it clean you two. 😉 I don’t know enough to put in my two cents here, just what I stated in this post. I’m talking less about specific politics and more about human rights I suppose. I was still a twinkle in my father’s eye during most of the politics you guys are discussing hehe.

      • I did think some of the language above was a bit gratuitous and fantastical but I respect that it was at least written well and not “U so ignorant u dont even kno how bad your going to have it LOL wtf” – I will delete those kinds of comments.

    • The last part really resonated with me and I agree wholeheartedly. No matter who’s in office, it’s the guy in the big office in the sky that truly matters. In fact it has happened more times than I can count that I needed an expensive medication and the money just was not there. And suddenly there’d be a coupon, the doctor would have samples, or a friend or family member would pop up asking if I needed anything. All at exactly the right time.

      • Rachel,
        I was talking about human rights (after explaining the ACA), as well. I stated, “I strongly feel that access to quality health care is a basic, human right” in my first comment. It’s why I donate the little money I can to MSF/Doctors without Borders a couple times a year. I prefer to be part of the solution, rather than be a mudslinger. However, with time you see how politics affects so much of our world–including healthcare. If you or I lived in the countries where MSF is hard at work, we wouldn’t even be here anymore. See for yourself: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

        I apologize for being so loud on your blog, but my user name was included in the reply above and I would NOT have replied if it hadn’t been used (and in a condescending way as that person would never agree with me on anything). It’s your blog, but I felt I was attacked and then with such garbage.

        I’m sorry to create any issues for you. I wasn’t aware you were religious as you don’t bring that up on your blog like many, but Jesus isn’t saving me and I’ve never seen divine intervention in my life. I’m not a Christian and don’t get involved with blogs that are evangelical by nature.

        Yes, I was alive during some of those years and know 20th century US history VERY well. It was always a favorite subject in college, grad school, and beyond. I see you as someone who works toward social justice and equality like I do and highly suggest you learn about what happened during some of the years that were mentioned: Reaganomics, LBJ’s War on Poverty, etc. Just a suggestion. The poor are the first to lose access to healthcare in the US, and it’s never of good quality. If all you have is a free clinic and no dental/vision care, I hardly call that healthcare. Before I got sick, my career was in the non-profit sector and I always worked with the urban poor–usually in the projects. So, that’s a touchy subject for me.

        Take care my friend and I apologize for leaving my comment on YOUR blog, but not for my reply to such lies. I’m going to choose to say good-bye and I have really enjoyed your blog, but I’m too sick to deal with comments like the one above and would never allow that on my blog. It’s so against my morals and values I can’t even tell you. Perhaps our age difference is an issue, but it wasn’t for me.
        A x

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