History is in the making this weekend. As I write this a couple of media outlets (ironically, one of them is Fox) is already counting up to the magic number 216 yes votes anticipated when the House takes up the bill on the floor on Sunday.
This one is personal. It’s the difference between my adult son having insurance and not. One of the immediately implemented parts is raising the age of dependent coverage. My son was knocked off my insurance when he turned 19. He got in his first car accident WITH injuries that year launching him on a roller coaster of medical bills, creditors etc. The jobs he has held since then have sometimes had insurance, but most often do not. He’s shopped for his own plan but even the cheapest was beyond his reach. He’s young, yes, but he isn’t without medical needs. He’s now 24, will be 25 in July and the extension for dependent coverage up to age 26 would mean at least one year of insurance. That’s huge! It buys him time to find a job with it’s own coverage OR see how the new insurance exchange pool will work out and hopefully have access to a more affordable plan. The delays have killed me because I see it as time ticking down for him, but hey, even a year on my plan again will be huge. He’s staying sober, he’s even working on kicking out cigarettes and it seems to be working. But he could really use professional help which has been out of reach all this time. To be able to see doctors around here who we know and trust? Well that would be priceless. So for that bit alone I am hopeful.
I’ve watched my employers out of pocket health coverage costs explode. I see the books, I know the impact it has had. My company is fabulous and has not passed on any percentage of that to us – yet. At least, not directly. After all, while my our of pocket portion of my premiums has not gone up, merit increase percentages have not either. In fact, they have gone down the last 3 years. It’s a trade off. Yes, I am fully aware this is not a hardship at ALL. However, for those people who are cruising through life thinking this Reform is not needed, will cost too much, doesn’t impact them because they have a good plan & are happy with it etc etc…you probably just don’t know. It’s easy to keep your head in the sand that way & I totally understand. But ever since my son turned 19, I’ve become acutely aware of all the obvious & less than obvious ways that our health care system is flawed. And yes, I think the cost is worth it.