Column: Affordable healthcare none of us can afford
In case you haven't heard (and I hadn't until I opened up the e-mail at work Thursday), Organizing for America-Arizona (OFA-AZ) State Director Jessica Jones is absolutely furious with the Republican vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare.
"Congressional Republicans' vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act today shows just how out of step they are with the needs of American families and small businesses," Jones fumes.
"After campaigning for months on reducing the national deficit and working for the people, Republicans have used their first major vote in the House of Representatives to support legislation that would explode the deficit by a trillion dollars and restrict Americans' freedom and control in their healthcare choices."
You get the idea. And like Jones, I'm deeply troubled about the needs of American families, particularly the one that includes my brand new grandson. My daughter tried to get Alexander health insurance through work (she's a teacher in Bullhead City) and found out it would take about $500 a month.
This is a lot of money, especially considering the little rascal is really healthy. Daughter Jane and Dustin, Alexander's dad, had even less luck with private health insurers, who essentially stopped providing coverage to infants in July, shortly after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.
I called one of those health insurers myself to find out what was going on. Yes, my daughter could get insurance for the baby, the representative told me, as long as Jane bought coverage for herself as well. It would cost about $600 a month for the both of them.
The representative said the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as no out-of-pocket expenses for any number of new baby services, made the decision to eliminate infants-only coverage an easy one.
Jones also notes that "repealing the Affordable Care Act would give health insurance companies free rein to return to the same practices that denied healthcare for millions of Americans while lining the pockets of insurers with record-breaking profits."
I'll rely on personal experience again to report that Alexander's grandmother, the always-cheerful-when-she's-holding-Alexander Roxanne Thurlow, is still insured despite the diagnosis of a brain tumor in 2006. And in spite of that tumor, the cost of her premium remained under $200 a month - at least it did until the Affordable Care Act was passed into law.
As for insurers and their alleged "record-breaking profits," I don't know about anyone else, but I'd sure like to hear about someone in Kingman enjoying "record-breaking profits." I'd absolutely love it if the Miner was enjoying record-breaking profits. It would certainly help the boss pay for the record-breaking high health insurance premiums, another direct result of the Affordable Care Act.
Question: How is it possible I have refrained from putting "Affordable" in quotation marks up to this point?
You might think from the tone of this piece that I think Jessica Jones has a bright future in the wholesale fertilizer industry. You would be wrong.
Instead, I'm going to ask Jessica and the other hard-working Organizing for America collectivists to do some more hard work for little Alexander and prove me wrong by locating a health insurance policy for him that his parents can afford. That should be a snap now that the "Affordable" Care Act is law.
Jessica, once you've located a quality health insurance product for less than $200 a month for Alexander, contact me at (928) 753-6397 (ext. 224). Or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
I'll be sure to keep our readers informed on the amazing success story that is the "Affordable" Care Act.