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Michael Gray
Lives in Texas
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Michael Gray

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Hello there America!
This is my first blog...and the subject matter is of the utmost importance. I'm sure you'll agree.
   I often read, with a sense of sadness I might add, about how "Obama Care" is supercharged with uncertainties... will drive employers to slash hours... will bring about the apocalypse...yada..yada...yada. Well, for better or worse, the Supreme Court has ruled and we're going to find out the truth of it all soon enough.
   It is true that there will be serious problems surrounding this new laws' implementation. It is true that insurance companies and the medical industry as a whole will profit heavily from this new law. It is true that employers will do what they must to maintain their healthy bottom line. That having been said, the status quo is unsustainable and everyone knows it. The system must change and as it does let's remember exactly who said what and what the reality is for many Americans out there.
    Politicians on the wrong side of this issue have failed, time and again, to deliver an alternative to "Obama Care"....an alternative path of any kind to lead us out of the valley of darkness. In most cases you can see the disdain on their faces as they pretend to even care at all about the problem or the people. Nowhere was this more evident than in the last presidential campaign. The self-anointed anti-bama, otherwise known as Mitt Romney, pitched his healthcare plan on the voters... the emergency room. Needless to say, doctors across the world laughed at this ridiculous mentality. This seems to be the thinking of the very people who sit on world-class benefit packages that will follow them to their graves and therefore, in reality, do not represent the majority of Americans in any way, shape or form. Nor do they have the slightest inkling of how much most Americans are having to sacrifice, as a percentage of their income, simply to see a doctor... that is if they have anything to sacrifice to begin with. Furthermore, in an epic statement of ignorance, candidate Romney said millions and millions of people who have no health insurance  "can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility." This statement is nothing short of pure fiction in 90% of states. For example. I have a friend, I'll call him "Sam", who is uninsured. He suffered a fall and injured his lower back. It was not something he could ignore as the pain was bringing him to his knees. Sam went to an emergency room in Fort Worth, TX. Sam was forced to sign paperwork taking financial responsibility for his visit before seeing anyone. A battery of tests, including CT scans to check for kidney stones, were performed and the doctor said it was just a muscle strain and it would heal in time. The prescription for his ills was a weeks worth of pain killers. Well that's great right? It was until Sam got the bills. It was well over $ 3,000 dollars altogether.... and yes they EXPECT to be paid. If they are not, they will report you to the credit bureaus, they will send your case to collections and eventually that will become a civil claim against you in court. That doesn't sound like "no responsibility" to me. There is nothing "free" about that care. Sam was already in a financial hole from being unemployed. The following week, Sam declared bankruptcy.
    Even for those with company "sponsored" health plans, things are bleak. Another one of my friends, I'll call him "Tony" is currently on his wife's employer "sponsored" insurance in a large school district as she is a teacher here in Texas. They are a family of five... 2 adults...3 children... in relatively good health. Their monthly out-of-pocket bill for health insurance is almost $ 1,000.00. Of course that doesn't include the actual cost of co-pays, deductibles ...etc. The majority of school districts nationwide, closely followed by businesses, actually contribute little or nothing to the cost of that insurance. They are merely a portal for insurance companies to access the ill-fated masses who will be forking over 1/4, or more, of their income for the "privilege" of being able to see a doctor...minus their deductible of course.  This is nothing short of insanity.    
Does this mean that Obama-the-Savior has done things right for us? Not at all. he handled the issue poorly from the get-go. Just think of it... Sen Mitch McConnell negotiate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi??? Ha...that's a good one. Having a well-reasoned package emerge from those egomaniacal extremists was doomed from the outset. Politicians should have had little input on something so complex and out of their realm of expertise. When that happens... Vietnam happens. 
    So... is "Obama Care" the great savior of our healthcare system as it's proponents claim or is it Armageddon in 2300 pages? As with most things it is likely somewhere between the two. However, rest assured, the insurance companies will soon be hiring a legion of accountants just to handle all the money.
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Don't get me wrong.. I'm not a fan of this new "tax" being forced on us...nor do I believe that the democratic altruism espoused in this law is not self-serving...but I am a fan breaking down the strangle hold that self-serving insurance companies have had on the Market because of a complete lack of competition in the current systems. The new exchanges will change that forever. Remember...employees of the Federal government are the only ones, up until now, that had access to a competitive market. Now...finally..all Americans will too....even the haters will be thankful next time they get fired and lose their insurance...there will finally be an affordable net to help them. Trust me.. I know... COBRA is not an affordable net nor is it permanent. We MUST change.
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