A woman from Pierce County, Washington received the dreaded Obamacare cancellation notice from her insurance company. Needing health coverage of some kind, she turned to the online Obamacare exchange, but that’s when she found out that she was being forced to join Mediciad, despite the fact that she doesn’t want to be on government welfare.
Before Obamacare Charlene Hopkins had a catastrophic-coverage health insurance plan that cost only $276, but after her Obamacare cancelled her insurance, her only option from the insurance company was $415, a price out of her reach. Not wanting to give up, she turned to the Obamacare exchange…
from Wall Street Journal:
She entered her personal and financial data. With efficiency uncommon to the ObamaCare process, the site quickly presented her with a health-care option.
That is not a typo: There was just one option—at the very affordable monthly rate of zero. The exchange had determined that my mother was not eligible to choose to pay for a plan, and so she was slated immediately for Medicaid. She couldn’t believe it was true and held off completing the application.
"How has it come to this?" she asked in one of our several talks over the past few weeks about what was happening. When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family. "How have I fallen this far?"
In 2011, she had to give up her real-estate license; as a newer agent, she did not stand to earn enough in the tough market to justify the fees to renew. She has since managed to eke out a living as a substitute para-educator in the Central Kitsap School District. “I’m not on the couch, watching TV,” she said. “I’m out trying to find more work every day.”
Unable to secure employer-sponsored health care, she had, until this fall, chosen to pay $276 a month for bare-bones catastrophic coverage. “I think that we should be able to take care of ourselves and to earn enough money to pay for basics, and health insurance is one of them,” she told me. For two years she had paid out of pocket for that plan, but now she is being told that the plan isn’t good enough for her.
The Sept. 26 letter from my mother’s insurer promised that the more expensive plan “conforms with the new health care law”—by covering maternity needs, newborn wellness and pediatric dental care. My mother asked: “Do I need maternity care at 52?” In addition to requiring her to pay an extra $1,677 annually, the plan would have increased her deductible by $1,500.
But she had at least been presented with an option that she could turn down, unlike on the state exchange.
The situation sounded absurd, so I asked her to walk me through her application on Washington Healthplanfinder to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. Sitting in New York with my computer, I logged onto the site under her name and entered the information my mother provided over the phone. I fully expected her to realize that she had forgotten some crucial piece of information, like a decimal point in her annual income. We checked and double-checked the information, but the only option still appeared to be Medicaid. She suggested clicking on “Apply for Coverage,” thinking that other options might appear.
Instead, almost mockingly, her “Eligibility Results” came back: “Congratulations, we received and reviewed your application and determined [you] will receive the health care coverage listed below: Washington Apple Health. You will receive a letter telling you which managed care plan you are enrolled with.” Washington Apple Health is the mawkish rebranding of Medicaid in Washington state.
The page lacked a cancel button or any way to opt out of Medicaid. It was done; she was enrolled, and there was nothing to do but click “Next” and then to sign out.
"I just don’t expect anything positive out of getting free health care," she said. "I don’t see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise." In paying for health insurance herself—she won’t accept help from her family, either—she was safeguarding her dignity and independence and her sense of being a fully functioning member of society.
I so strongly admire this woman’s desire to stand on her own two feet and not be dependent on the government to supply her needs. It is a conviction of the very highest character that leads people to not take the easy way out of life’s problems.
Obamacare does not seek to see people stand on their own two feet. No, it seeks to take people’s feet out from under them. Obamacare seeks to load up Americans on the government dole and grow dependency on an power-hungry state whose appetite is never satisfied.
Would that our entire country was full of people like Charlene Hopkins, who see the moral transgression in forcibly taking somebody else’s money to pay for your own comforts. Sadly, we are not that country. We are a country full of takers and politicians who are happy to buy the votes of those takers with more and more government.
Insurance plans were only canceled if the companies refused to change them to comply with the (very reasonable) guidelines put in place by the Affordable Care Act. This woman was paying close to $300/mo for a bullshit plan that didn’t offer her comprehensive coverage.
And now her kids are being covered at no further cost to her. Boo fucking hoo.
Yeah, I’m like, not seeing the downside for her. Soooo she had $276/month catastrophic-only health coverage, which was cancelled, and now she doesn’t have to pay a dime for her comprehensive health coverage? And it’s a sad story… why?
Here are some choice quotes:
“I think that we should be able to take care of ourselves and to earn enough money to pay for basics, and health insurance is one of them.” Yeah, she’s right, we should all be paid enough to take care of ourselves. That’s something us evil progressives have been talking about for a long time. Fewer people would be on Medicaid if companies like Wal-mart and McDonald’s paid their employees a living wage.
"I don’t see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise." Uhhhh… you realize that’s how insurance works, right? You all put your money into a pool and then when something bad happens, other people are pitching in to pay for your care. Older Americans have paid into Medicare their whole life, so it’s not "free" healthcare, it’s prepaid healthcare.
Again… I’m having trouble finding the part where I’m supposed to feel bad for her.