I am a recovering Democrat. I do not make this announcement lightly. My entire voting life I have been willing to vote both parties, but found myself in a place that put me in the Democrat’s column. I am a social conservative, but there were some things I believed should be left alone. For instance, I was a young mother and my husband and I would have never been able to go to school without grants (unfortunately I still have loans too), my children were born on state issued insurance (Tenncare), and while they were little we had WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) that paid for their formula. We would have never made it without these things. However, we did what you are supposed to do. We received our education (3 diplomas between us) and moved into the working world. We used the program as a catalyst into middle classdom. We now pay into the very system that we used. We don’t complain, after all if it were not for these programs we would not be where we are today. But, where is that exactly?
At first it was a good place to be. Hard work had paid off and we were able to buy a house. We even upgraded (which is another blog post), but we had finally come to a place where we doing better. We were above the poverty line and no longer qualified for the EIC and this is a good thing. Upward mobility is what we want right? Right?.......Right? Hmmmm….this is where I am not so sure.
While pitching the ACA, President Obama promised me and my family we could keep our healthcare (Obama).
Unions have been among the most vocal opponents of the Cadillac tax, as they have traditionally used substantial benefits packages to attract members. But Klein’s group, the Alliance to Fight the 40—which counts unions, insurance companies, an American Cancer Society affiliate, and county governments among its members—claims every American covered by employer-sponsored insurance, roughly 175 million people, are “at risk,” because of the inflation indexing (Kelly).
I do have to ask how you can claim to be pro-union and pro ACA at the same time? The answer—you can’t. This is what has happened to me. Someone who has worked so hard to improve life for herself and her family has been cut from her husband’s insurance and forced onto my employer’s healthcare, which has cost me another premium (without a discount on my husband’s premium) and now I have high deductibles. Even though I was told I could keep my insurance. I could keep it, if I quit. So if I regress, I can keep affordable healthcare? Really? Is that the American Dream now?
What about that Cadillac tax? For our police, fire, and other city employees that means the city is trying to move them to high deductible insurance in order to escape the 40% tax hike. What does this mean? This is how it has played out for my family. I do not get the medications and the HEALTHCARE I need. You see having health insurance does not mean I get to actually go to the doctor. Since I am already paying for a new policy, which President Obama said I wouldn’t have to get with higher deductibles and copays, I only go to the doctor when I don’t feel I can tough it out. The problem now it that I live in constant pain. I don’t believe it is life threatening (at least I hope it’s not) the first round of very expensive tests I am still paying for were inconclusive and I cannot afford the next round of tests until I pay the first ones off. So here I sit in pain and I have to be honest it is wearing on me. It is affecting every aspect of my life and there is literally nothing I can do because like most middle class families these days we are pushed to the point that we are choosing healthcare or groceries? Utilities or prescriptions? But thank Goodness those $10 birth control pills are now free huh? President Obama I am almost 40 years old, I can pay $10 for birth control, what I can’t pay is $1000 for a colonoscopy up front. There would be minimal costs involved if it were routine, but since they don’t know what’s wrong it makes it diagnostic and not preventative. So, what is the solution? I choose groceries and utilities and I pray that whatever this is in my side is benign and will take care of itself.
Some days I wonder, was all the hard work to make life better for my family really beneficial. I mean I am working 3 jobs just to make it. I work and I am proud of that, but if we would have chosen to stay living below the poverty line I would have truly affordable healthcare, food in my cupboards, child care, and a healthy EIC on my taxes every year. So I ask again, the goal of some of these policies to truly help Americans get better or is the goal a little more sinister? I am starting to think that being dependent on the government is the idea here because if you try to remove yourself from the dependency they are making life harder for those who don’t. If we choose to try to capture the “American Dream,” We are forced to live pay check to paycheck.
I also understand that there people living in extreme poverty that do not have anything and I am not taking away from them. But, if these policies are not helping them either, we have to ask who are they helping?
I cannot blame the wealthy for much of this although I know some blame can be placed in the laps of corporate greed, I’ve been the victim of that too (That too is another blog.) So what do we as American’s do? Do we sit and take it? So we accept the new “American Dream” to be just to be able to go to the doctor when we are deathly sick? Or do we fight back? I choose fight back, but I cannot do it alone. You have to stop accepting this and burying your head in the sand and tell Congress NO more! Tell your state legislatures NO MORE! The middle class is the dumping ground for failed policies and it is time they do right by us! It is our country we must take it back. Get out and Vote!
I hope sometime soon I will be able to once again afford that healthcare he promised me or maybe I can become a member of Congress and become exempt from all of this.
Kelly, Nora. The Atlantic. 28 January 2016. 30 September 2016.
Obama, Barack. Politifact. 4 November 2013. Quote. 30 September 2016.